“For years I was sure the worst thing that could happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would turn out to be an alcoholic. Today I find it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. Today I find it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. This proves I don’t know what’s good for me.” Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 417-418
Admitting I was an alcoholic was easy. My life was overrun by the bedevilments talked about in the Big Book: I was having trouble with personal relationships, I couldn’t control my emotional natures, I was prey to misery and depression, I couldn’t make a living, I had a feeling of uselessness, I was full of fear, I was unhappy, and I could not seem to be of any real help to others. Faced with these bedevilments and the mountain of evidence that the wreckage of my past presented, conceding to the fact that I was in fact an alcoholic was relatively easy to admit.
That was my Step 1 experience. Although I had readily admitted I was an alcoholic and had felt a sense of freedom, however small, from taking this step, being an alcoholic was still a somewhat depressing pill to swallow. I was fortunate to be blessed with the willingness to continue down the path suggested and work through the remaining steps and this is where I found my true freedom from the bondage of self and the grips of a hopeless state of mind.
I recently was chatting with a friend who works as a social worker in Washington state and works with numerous suffering addicts and alcoholics. We were having a fairly light conversation about my experience with A.A. when he asked me, “Does it not get depressing saying ‘My name is blank and I’m an alcoholic’ everyday?” I told him no, because I am not just an alcoholic today. When I was out on the streets living in my addiction, I was only an alcoholic. But today, I am a good friend, a good son, a hard worker, a responsible member of A.A., and so much more. I am definitely still an alcoholic, but that is far from all I am today. I have found spiritual freedom and a new outlook on life, which I could never have had if I hadn’t first admitted and accepted that I am an alcoholic.