WHO cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one,of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the ideaof personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admit that,glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an ob-session for destructive drinking that only an act of Provi-dence can remove it from us.
As I have written out in my story, and as I seem to share endlessly, I fought this long and hard. Within a few days or weeks of beginning to drink, I knew I was in serious trouble. I contacted AA thinking they helped alcoholics drink safely. I went to my first meeting at 16 years old, all on my own. After a few false starts I stayed sober for 18 months.
And then I drank again, and again and again for another five years. I went from “probably going to be an alcoholic” (in the estimation of my high school psychology teacher, God bless him) to unable to function at all. I couldn’t write my name.
And so I understand now, I hope, that although I thought I had taken the first step when I first got sober, I hadn’t. I hadn’t admitted complete defeat because I went on to try and drink successfully. And at that time I surely wouldn’t have admitted that I needed an “act of Providence” to save me.
Why? It’s interesting that the instinct to survive almost kills us. Kills many of us. I am so lucky.
As for how this step and concept are active in my life today, most important of all is the fact that I feel sure I won’t drink again. I won’t drink, and I won’t stop the behaviors of working the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, just in case, and because I don’t want to stop.
I’m powerless over other things and I’m afraid that they don’t impair me the way alcohol did, so I don’t admit defeat, so I continue to struggle with them. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.