My name is Sean and I am an alcoholic,
Since I was a young boy, I remember feeling different, not because I was overweight not because people were mean just because. I could not attach myself to any “group” at school or even my own family. Along with this, I always thought I could do things my way, not having to participate like “you people”. I had my own agenda, and so it was most of my life. I married, had children, had great career(s), nice home(s).
Drinking was always a part of my life, in my 20s and into my 30s. I was finally introduced to vodka and redbull, at that point I was well on my way to being a full fledged alcoholic, though I thought I could control my drinking and still manage my life. My job became unimportant, my family became a second thought, I completely disregarded my health, my wife became the sole provider and I became depressed and suicidal. Alcohol was my master. My wife finally had enough and told me to leave, so I did and went on a 4 month bender that took me back and forth across the country. I finally landed back in Colorado, not welcomed back home by my family.
I made my first attempt at AA, and my life started getting better, much better…the family was spending time with me, I made very good friends in the rooms and somehow landed another great job. This lasted about 5 and a half months. I never took to helping others, stopped going to meetings and stopped making conscious contact with a Higher power. I was soon drunk again, and this time added some “party favors” to my drinking. I lost my job, my friends, my family, my self respect and I lost Hope. It took another year and a half, a DUI, loss of health, nine and a half weeks in the homeless shelter, and in an instant I witnessed an act of Providence when alcohol finally Stopped working for me.
I was separated from alcohol on November 26th 2012. That started my journey back to recovery and my Surrender to a God that I had no real belief in. I was willing to do anything that the Men of my group told me to do. It began simple, I was told to get on my knees and recite the 3rd step prayer, go to meetings, and read the Big Book with another alcoholic every day. I began to remember the things that my first closed mouth friends had taught me and I started practicing the 12 steps vigorously. Within 5 months men started asking me to be there closed mouth friend. In doing this. I gained more knowledge about myself and our program, than I had when I went through the process with a closed mouth friend the first 2 times.
Again my life began to take shape, I got another great job, made lifelong friends, remarried a beautiful woman, my kids came back in my life, I was gaining respect among our fellowship, etc… at some point my work took priority over AA, my family, over everything. I found myself trying to manage life, and I stopped working with other alcoholics. One judgment at a time, I moved away from my fellowship, my family, and I stopped seeking conscience contact with God. I moved my new wife and son from my first marriage to Nebraska, with no real plan to engage in AA once we got there. This soon brought me back to insane thinking, I managed to scare the life out of some innocent people which landed me in a jail cell facing 2 felonies, at 48 years old. My only other interaction with the justice system was my DUI. I was laying on the floor of my jail cell in the fetal position begging God to end my worthless life, and swearing that I was going to do just that when I was released.
Well, that didn’t last very long. My imprisonment only lasted 22 hours, I went from wanting to die, to preaching to other men in jail the things that God had given me and how much AA had helped me, that I was in there because I had forgotten about both. God and AA! I’m not sure what happened, but there was a burning bush somewhere in my cell. My wife finally was able to get bail money. We went home and she had already decided that we needed to come back to Colorado. The next week I lost my wonderful job because of the charges I was faced with. Two weeks later, I had a heart attack, my depression kicked back in and I was useless.
My wife and some members of our old fellowship moved us back to Colorado and I began to go to meetings, started meeting with many of the men that had been a part of my recovery and sharing what had happened to me. I asked one of them to practice the steps with me. We met weekly, or as often as my health would allow. By this time, my health was getting worse, inside and out. I was able to mask my depression for months, and even started working with some of the new guys of our fellowship. Through this period of about a year and a half, I managed to get so depressed that it was affecting my wife and her sanity. Finally she had enough and told me to leave. And I did, I had not worked in almost 2 yrs and anyone with real sobriety could see through my facade and kept their distance. I had nowhere to go. I stayed in my old beat up car for 6 weeks, utilizing whatever private bathroom I could find to stay somewhat clean. During all of this I went to meetings with my head down, sharing my self pity, but also desperately seeking God. I had somehow not lost Hope…which apparently showed. I kept sharing in meetings, but it went from self pity to surrender, once that finally happened members began to offer help, someone even offered me housing.
My Hope and Surrender turned into Faith and Trust in God. I was still working with other men, but still lacked someone that could match my bullshitestry with Honesty and guidance, I turned to a friend that had seen my journey from the beginning and he told me he was waiting for me to ask him for help. So I did and began putting pen to paper, EXACTLY as instructed from the Big Book. I picked up a couple more guys under my wing, and we began to do the Work together. As a result of these Actions, I continued to receive the Power needed to get out of my depression and self pity and began to Trust God to solve all of my problems. I only concentrated on getting other men through the process of finding a Power greater than themselves and doing my own work. I am still technically homeless, jobless and nowhere near a relationship with my family or the opposite sex. Somehow God keeps providing me with food, keeps my car running (amazing), and have a few bucks to contribute to our fellowship. I still cannot work, due to some major physical issues, and my past debts continue to grow, but I seem to be unfazed by the potential calamity that surrounds me. All those “withouts”, I keep walking in Faith.
Today I feel lighter, more energized and Freer than I ever have been ever. I do not know what next week looks like other than seeking new guys to share The Message with as well as, continuing my own work with my closed mouth friend, but it doesn’t seem to matter, because with God everything is possible and inevitable good and not so good. I know today the problem has been removed and that my life is completely full of Abundance, not of this world, but in the realm of the Spirit. I dwell here, and as long as I am willing to “play the role that He assigns ” and Humbly rely upon Him, He enables me to match All calamity with Real Serenity.
I am at Peace with what I Be, and more so I am at Peace with what you Be…
This story was submitted to Recovery Speakers by Sean M.