This week’s Here’s To Your Health is a continuation of Polly’s story.
Today, I’m proud to say that I’m an alcoholic Mom in recovery. When I came to Alcoholics Anonymous I was financially and spiritually broke. I took Step One by admitting to my inner most self that I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become totally unmanageable. I was at a place in my life where no human power could help me but I soon learned in A.A. that God could and would help me if He were sought.
It’s never my intention to bash anything or anybody but I need to tell you that besides being a recovering alcoholic and addict that I’m also a recovering Southern Baptist. My most influential teacher in A.A. has been Clancy, I don’t get to his home group or see him often but Clancy has a tape out that’s titled, “Alcoholism a Disease of Perception.” I learned from his tape that I have a perception problem and that I have a diseased perception. Information comes into my brain and after it’s finished circulating and percolating what comes out has no resemblance to the truth. My thinking problem is centered in my mind. I have not had a drink of alcohol for many years but if I don’t continue to suit up and show up at A.A. meetings my thinking; my diseased perception will cause me to start drinking again.
A lot of people in Alcoholics Anonymous talk about denial, but the Big Book doesn’t mention much about it, but it does mention delusions. Denial is to know the truth and do the opposite but delusion is not having a clue and without A.A I never had a clue about my erroneous thinking. A.A. and my home group keep me in touch with reality but without them I wouldn’t have a clue. I can stray from the path of good orderly direction (God), and wander off into the weeds in no time at all because my perception of truth and reality is distorted.
What I’m about to tell you that I heard at that Southern Baptist Church is what I thought I heard but it’s not really what was said and it’s far from the truth about what was said. My mother still goes to that church and she never heard anything like I heard.
A long time ago, before I ever picked up my first drink or drug, I had a perception problem. My perception was those Baptist preachers pounded the podium, their face got red and their veins bulged as they screamed, yelled and pointed their finger at me. I thought they said, “If you’ve thought it you’ve done it!” I don’t know about any of you but I was an alcoholic in the making and I thought there was no way God could love a sinner like me because I had bad thoughts. I started having feelings of worthlessness, guilt and shame. I believed that I could never be nice. When I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous they gave me a Big Book and it said that God lives deep within our soul. I thought I heard the preachers say that God lived way up in the sky and that I had to go through them in order to find Him. The Big Book said all I needed to find God was to search for Him fearlessly.
The God of my understanding today reveals Himself to me through the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I don’t know about any of you but God has never called me on the telephone, sent me an email or fax, but He does speak to me through the people in A.A. Furthermore, my A.A. Higher Power has a fantastic sense of humor and He absolutely loves me. The God of my understanding tells me to wear this world like a loose garment and not to take life too seriously. In A.A. we have one more rule besides “a desire to stop drinking,” it’s called rule 62; “Just don’t take yourself so darned serious!” When I showed up at A.A., my mind was thinking at mach 10 and it was heart attack serious.
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