Alcoholics Anonymous, My Journey From Darkness Into Light
How does one describe the journey from darkness into light? Many members of Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step fellowships will explain this process as a spiritual awakening. My spiritual awakening was of the slow, educational variety. There was no elderly man with a billowy white beard and long white robes who parted the seas, and certainly no burning bush to guide my path. There was however, a long and tedious road of self-exploration, a trip of discovery, discarding, and polishing. Within the confines of Alcoholics Anonymous, I continue to amaze myself on a daily basis.
Five years ago, I simply existed. I no longer participated in life, except to get loaded on drugs and alcohol. I lived to use and used to live. All other areas of life fell by the wayside and my primary purpose was to maintain my high. My family had since given up on me, I was essentially homeless, my health was questionable, and most importantly, I was spiritually broken. Part of me was dying for human contact and help, and part of me was just plain dying. I suppose I had somewhat of a moment of clarity when I realized that the mass amounts of drugs I put in my body weren’t working any longer. The more I put in, the worse I felt. It finally appeared as though nothing on God’s green Earth could save me from me, except perhaps another way. Thus began my journey………
I crawled into Alcoholics Anonymous wanting to once again live. I had no recollection of formative life skills and had to build from the ground up. I took suggestions, got a sponsor, went to meetings, fellowshipped with others, and dove head first into the process. Most importantly, I had to find a God of my understanding. Growing up in a Roman Catholic household, this was no easy task. The punitive God that I had grown up with, had given up on me a long time ago. Letting go of this notion was difficult to say the least. Slowly but surely, I grew into my own skin, came to define and redefine God, and learned how to stand on my own two feet. I also learned what service work was all about. Helping another alcoholic receive the blessings I have received is part of the miraculous cyclical process of the program. Alcoholics Anonymous has provided me with both a new outlook on life and an impenetrable optimism where truly anything is possible. I will forever be grateful.