Recovery: It’s A Start
Alcoholics Anonymous had its humble beginnings in 1934 after Dr. Silkworth, a noted physician and director of the Charles B. Towns Hospital for Drug and Alcohol Addictions, declared Bill Wilson a hopeless drunk and admitted him to the hospital for the third time. During that last hospitalization, Bill had a profound spiritual experience that changed his life forever. Feeling God had touched his life and heart, Bill’s last drink was on December 11, 1934.
Though he remained sober, Bill faced tremendous struggles with wanting to drink again. He knew he had to find someone to help him through these struggles and soon met Dr. Bob, also dubbed a hopeless drunk. Bill stayed with Dr. Bob for three weeks until he was able to stay sober. Together, both their friendship and desire for sobriety grew. And on June 10, 1935, Dr. Bob also had his last drink… and Alcoholics Anonymous was born!
AA has come a long way since then and has shared the 12 Steps of Recovery with many other addictions: gambling (GA), cocaine (CA), opiates (NA), weight (FA), sex (SA), relationships (CODA), emotions (EA), and more. Anyone who desires freedom from an addiction, hurt, habit or hang-up can follow the same model that has been working since 1935.
Recovery: It’s Personal
I have been in recovery since 1981 and attend meetings to this day. They offer me a fellowship of individuals who care and share similar stories, stories of hope, of the steps they’ve taken, and the struggles they too have had. This is a fellowship of experience, strength, and understanding. Within these meetings, I find love and acceptance – another family I can turn to.
I find my deepest comfort in the spirituality of the program. Prayer starts the meeting and prayer ends the meeting. It’s a spirituality (as opposed to religion such as Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic, etc.) that acknowledges we all have one God, one Higher Power, one Spirit of the Universe that we come to see as God. No specific denomination has the front row seat on this. Throughout the meeting and within the pages of the fifth chapter of The Big Book (pp. 59-60) are the steps we all continue to take toward peace and sanity.
Recovery: It’s Hope-Filled
My hope at each meeting comes from those who share their experience, strength and hope. Their smiles, their tears, and the courageous steps they take each week challenge each person to do something different and better. To watch as others self-examine, inventory their behavior, and then bravely share at a meeting fills me with strength.
More hope comes from the promises we share at meetings (The Big Book, pp. 83-84):
- If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
- We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
- We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
- We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
- No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
- That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
- We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
- Self-seeking will slip away.
- Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
- Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
- We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
- We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Recovery: The Miracle Can Be Yours
If you are ready to finally experience the miracle of recovery, contact our office (click here) and we will be more than happy to guide you to our local meetings, to recovery, and to a better life. May God be with you on this journey.