When I went to my first meeting I was living in Des Moines; alone with no future and a lot of past. It must have been a bad weekend or night because something prompted me to make a call to find the nearest group. Upon walking through those doors for the first time I definitely became a little weak-kneed. Even though I was uncomfortable with the environment, the urge to bolt never occurred to me. I was unwilling to put myself in the spotlight, so I sat tight-lipped and did my best to listen while I silently judged those surrounding me. I came to the conclusion I was in a room full of criminals, me included. That was three and a half years before I finally stopped drinking. I’d been living a life of constant desperation, and that’s just about as close to death one can get before breathing stops. We see movies and TV shows about the living dead, zombies if you will; and I’m here to tell you, they are real. I was one of them. So are a great many more. I fed upon death and produced nothing. I didn’t care who I had hurt, I didn’t care about tomorrow, and I didn’t even care for the moment. The only thing that kept me going was fear.
Occasionally I would go to meetings when my shame weighed heavy and my life seemed lost, but I never did what was asked so simply of me until drank my last drink; I HAD to hand my life over to a higher power. The humor of the situation (so easy to see now) was that almost everyone had a better life than I did, in other words I didn’t have to search very far for my “higher power.”
If you are looking for your “higher power” please keep in mind all this has to mean is asking for help from someone who is in a better place. In the end, this is all it should be anyway. God is omniscient to begin with, which means the presence we seek is everywhere and in everybody. I’ve said it for years, “the cosmic radio has never moved from the station, we just turned down the volume.” Turning up the volume will effectively drown out our own misgivings and insecurities. Keeping it down will amplify our doubts and fears that in turn will be the seeds of self-destruction.
IF you are thinking about going to a meeting; if you are considering trying to change your path, here are a few pointers. These are the first flames in the darkness, may they guide you to a place of peace and prosperity.
- Ask for help from those who have made it beyond the same place you now stand.
- Do not question what comes next, do what you are told. For the moment whoever “they” are, they are the higher power.
- Know that you will probably be angry about what is asked of you, this is normal and unavoidable, do it anyway.
- You must be willing to pay any price. This is better known as a leap if faith.
- Breath. Do not worry about the future, do not regret the past, focus on the moment. This is called “one day at a time.”
- This is a program designed to strip the ego. Selfishness and self-centeredness must be eliminated or you will die. Period.
- This program has never failed those who live by its words.
The BEST people I know are members of this organization. I’m totally serious. If it weren’t for them I would most surely be long dead. Those who take it to heart and practice and share the steps I would trust my life to; actually I do. Do not let your fear stop you from a future that might never happen. Know that I and many others Love YOU, really. Give us the chance to prove it.
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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood