Pat's Story

The AA Way of Life

I love the AA way of Life. Most of my life has been spent searching for some kind of meaning and strength. I thought I had found this in alcohol. Now I have this way of life which, if I live by it, will absolutely guarantee me continuous sobriety and a quality of life which I could never have imagined.

Life always puzzled me. I could never seem to grasp the basic principles of living a happy, constructive life. Alcohol became my official solution to the vast array of troubles and problems that plagued my miserable life. Imagine the scenario: hopeless giro drunk seeks solution to a mountain of self-created problems. Ahhhhhh!! He comes up with an answer and it’s a positive act of genius: I know, let’s get drunk, then smash up my flat; then, I’ll go round to see my long suffering ex-girlfriend, urinate on her doorstep, declare my undying, unfaltering love for her and then get taken away by the police. It’s a stroke of genius! Joking apart, this was one of the many ‘intelligent solutions’ that I came up with when I was left to my own devices.

Unsurprisingly, I reached a point where I had enough of my self and my own inability to solve the drink problem, and by this time the severe living problem which I had. Towards the end of my drinking, I would much rather hide away from life and drink myself into a stupor and refuse to face and engage with any kind of adult responsibility. I was tortured by my own twisted thinking with or without alcohol and was a regular attendee at doctors, therapists, counselors and mental health day centres. I was a pathetic case - I frequented these places to get tea, hugs and sugar-sweet sympathy. Very often these well-meaning but misguided souls gave me what I wanted and sent me packing with a head full of therapy and medication. I felt like I was rotting away from the inside.

I was hopeless and defeated, that’s how I arrived at my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I started to realize that there was an alternative solution on offer at these meetings. Put simply, the AA way of life has become my solution, and what an answer it is. As I mentioned earlier, I could never in my wildest dreams have thought the joyful, wholesome existence which I feel privileged to live could ever be a reality. I have found spiritual riches which are way beyond my comprehension. The way forward for me was to admit defeat and surrender to my alcoholism. Then, and only then, was I ready to embark on the genuine work of genius which is the AA 12 Step program of action. The one particular characteristic of the program which I found so remarkably different to any other spiritual way of life, was its relative accessibility to any one who wants to recover from alcoholism. This accessibility to any person from any background, any culture, any class is surely a wonderful attribute of this life-saving program. For an alcoholic like me who found it impossible to fit into any social group or maintain any kind of meaningful relationship with another human being, this ease of understanding, honesty and openness was a truly miraculous discovery.

The life that I have now is a definite polar opposite to the sorry existence that never really resembled a life in any form. I drink from the fountain of life now, not a plastic White Lighting bottle. I pray now, I don’t cry. I smile now, I can’t do anything else with the life I have. I can forgive now, not live in the burning, festering wound that is resentment. I can relax and feel comfortable for the first time in my life without having to get drunk, and it's all down to the this wonderful AA way of Life.