I got a new AA sponsor last night. He was reluctant to work with me at first because the last two years of my life involved using opiates and anti-anxiety medication. He said, “I just don’t have experience regarding the abuse of medication. I’m just an alcoholic.’ He did agree, however, that I should make my home in AA rather than NA. I am fifty-five years old, and booze is a big part of my story. He said the demographics of NA include a much younger crowd. I noticed the same thing while in rehab. In fact, one of the techs suggested I attend AA meetings rather than NA meetings.
I spoke with my sponsor last night. He gave me a handful of suggestions. One in particular was that I walk to meetings. He knows I have trouble with depression, and he said exercise releases endorphins which help you feel better. Also, I am about forty pounds overweight. I know I did not have a choice regarding this whole walking thing. It was as if I was being challenged as to what lengths I am willing to go to be sober. So I walked to the noon meeting today. It felt really strange leaving a perfectly good car behind and heading out on foot. It only took fifteen minutes to get to the meeting, so it was no big deal. It was cold out, but I remembered the time I walked an hour and a half in the cold winter months to buy a bag of pot. The least I can do is walk to an AA meeting.
Really, this is about being willing to take direction. I have been very self-centered and unwilling to listen over the years. I have a decent IQ and did very well in college. I took a lot of psychology and counseling courses. So I decided I knew better. I had it all figured out. But I once said to myself in the mirror, “If you’re so smart, how come you are drowning in alcohol?” It’s very true that controlling our alcohol consumption is not a matter of will power. We lack the ability to choose. It’s like the drink chooses for us. No human power can relieve us our our alcoholism. But there is one who has all power. That one is God. So being able to admit powerlessness and to decide we don’t know how to quit drinking on our own is more than half the battle. It sets us on the right path to recovery. It allows us to begin working on our character defects. I like the saying, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
So I am walking to AA meetings until further notice. Frankly, it feels right. I guess maybe I am finally willing to take direction and do what it takes. I am well on the road to recovery. (I’ll admit, I can’t wait for warmer weather!)