Retirement Announcement – Ruth Dubin
December 22, 2023
They Are Not at Fault
December 22, 2023

When You’re Lost

I am 46 years old. I am almost 9 months sober (again)…

I first got sober when I was 35, I stayed sober for 2 years and 2 months. And after having a sponsor, having a home group, going through the 12 steps twice, it was still difficult to say, hi I’m Tracey, I’m an alcoholic. It was like a dirty word to me. I’d rather say I’m a drug addict or that I’m bi-polar. But, something about the word alcoholic, made me cringe. I was in denial. I did not believe that I was powerless over alcohol or that my life had become unmanageable, because to be honest, maybe it hadn’t gotten that bad, yet…

You see, it’s a progressive disease. And, I never lost a job or a man or gotten a DUI or had health issues or financial woes. It, this cunning, baffling, powerful disease, was eating me alive.

I’ve been to 6 different rehabilitation facilities, 5 since 2020, mostly fancy and bougie, I was a rockstar in rehab, could get sober quickly and did have the desire to stop drinking (Tradition 3) yet couldn’t stay sober. Until I finally hit my lowest emotional bottom.

God never left me, but I left God. I wasn’t suicidal, but I thought, what’s the point of life? I’ve pursued everything I ever set out to do. I’m not passionate about anything, what is my purpose?

Since July 20, 2020 (my birthday) I’ve been sober on and off. I thought that when I quit my stressful job and finally ended my tumultuous relationship with my fiancé, I wouldn’t have to drink so much – wrong. It only got worse; collecting unemployment, isolated and then COVID, in Los Angeles.

The last rehab I went to was strict. The only option was Alcoholics Anonymous. Not the usual buffet of: smart recovery, refuge, moderation management, therapy, medication assisted treatment. Just straight out of the Big Book. The original incentive to get my iPhone back was to find a new sponsor that was local to do step work with every week. Therapy was very beneficial and I started journaling again, every morning before I did anything else “morning pages” I’d learned from the book The Artist’s Way (written by sober folks).

For the first time, I understood the steps as if I finally had them translated. As if God, had always spoken a foreign language and now he was speaking English. I was focused and worked the 12 steps as if my life depended on it. I didn’t stall. I finished the steps this time in 90 days. In my humble opinion, the way they should be done. I truly believe that if everyone worked the steps, there would be world peace! Because I looked at my part, where could I have done better, been more honest, less selfish, helped someone else that needed a little extra love and encouragement. Trust God. Clean House. Be of Service. Simple, not easy.

I don’t (won’t) drink no matter what. That first drink sets off the craving; the allergy of my body and then, before I can blink, turns into the obsession of my mind, that poison is then all I can think about. The plot of the Big Book: you are either in self will (superiority, ego centric, self-pity = selfish) or you are in God’s Will. It’s black and white. When I’m down or feeling sorry for myself I reach out to another alcoholic. I get into gratitude: from my basic surroundings and health all the way up to the big beautiful sky, and I remind myself to stay present. Just for today.

I am now in acceptance. I needed the gift of desperation (God) and to have complete deflation (the original step #1 p 263 BB). I finally have inner peace and contentment. My light is back on. I lean back and can go with the flow of life that God wants for us all. I know that I was never alone. I am blessed and now my purpose is to pay it forward. Life gets “Lifey”, I live life on life’s terms and know in my heart and soul, drugs and alcohol only temporary filled that big, deep, wide, dark hole inside of me. I am forever FREE!

By Tracey R. Area 55 News, December 2023

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.