This week’s Here’s To Your Health is a continuation of Polly’s story: We only have two rules in Alcoholics Anonymous, “A desire to stop drinking” and what’s commonly known as Rule 62; “Don’t take yourself so darned serious!” When I first came to A.A., I was over serious, my mind raced at mach 10, it was super intense and I didn’t have a clue about “Easy does it.” One of the most important things I’ve learned in A.A. is how to laugh, but that took a lot of help.
A little girl who grows up with a name like Polly gets teased a lot. “Polly want a cracker?” “Polly-Wolly-Doodle all day,” and etc. I was a sensitive only-child who detested being laughed at. After a period of sobriety however, by working the steps, going to meetings, reading the Big Book and helping others, I regained my sense of humor. Today, I like the name Polly and I’ve yet to meet another Polly in A.A. so when I hear somebody say ‘Polly,” I know they’re speaking to me. There are no negatives in God’s world (the God of my understanding), but negative perception ruled and dominated most of my early life.
I did not know that I suffered from alcoholism; I was dieing but did not know from what? I used to drive down the freeways in Dallas and beg God to let me die from something respectable like cancer, or heart disease. Today, I know the greatest gift I was ever given is alcoholism because if I didn’t have it, I would not qualify for the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Everything I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, the God of my understanding has a great sense of humor. Neither one of my parents is an alcoholic, so I’m living proof that it is possible for an alcoholic child to come from non-alcoholic parents. I have nobody to blame for my alcoholism, except me and if ever there was any abuse in my home it was because I was loved too much. Being the only-child my parents adored me.
I sponsor a lot of women nowadays and I’ve heard many terrible and tragic things that have happened to them as children; things that should never, ever, happen to little girls. And, although bad things never happened to me in childhood, I am alcoholic just like them. Alcoholism is an equal opportunist, no matter what the person’s profession, education, income, environment, childhood or social standing; it strikes 10-14 percent of the planet’s population. And, if you’re a chronic alcoholic like me and you have not yet found A.A., I pray that you will. I pray that you will discover the connection between ‘bad things’ which happens to practicing alcoholics and drinking alcohol. “Bad Things” are what bring us to A.A., where an elegantly simple solution to a progressive and fatal malady is waiting for you to discover.
There are many chronic alcoholics who also have other afflictions and our Big Book suggests if you do, you should not hesitate to seek outside help. God gave us physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists, who can help waith problems other than chronic alcoholism. A.A. specializes in the treatment of chronic alcoholism; we prescribe practicing the 12 suggested steps of A.A. and practicing A.A. principles in all of our affairs. Occasionally A.A. sponsors forget about our singleness of purpose and start giving medical, psychological, financial, or marital advice, outside issues, but when they do, it’s not good for them, or the people they sponsor.
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