This week’s HTYH is a continuation of Shannon’s story: My Dad sent me to a Girl Scout Camp but they kicked me out and what neither I, nor they, understood was that I was detoxing and on the verge of the DT’s. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. Then Dad sent me to an in-house treatment facility that was supposed to last 6-8 weeks but they kept me for 8 months, and that got me sober. My Dad had good insurance and treatment center wisdom says the day your insurance runs out you’re healed. I’m not a fan of treatment centers but what I’m grateful to that one for was that they introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous. When I got out of that facility I couldn’t wait to get loaded but I had a determined sponsor who drove all the way from Anaheim Hills to Costa Mesa, CA just to take me to an A.A. meeting and she took me to a meeting every night. I still nevertheless looked the same and acted the same but I wasn’t drinking alcohol or doing drugs. This lasted for two or three years and I was still trying to be the same self-centered person sober that I was drunk and I couldn’t understand why nobody would talk to me or why I was so crazy. I was filled with resentment, hate and fear-nobody liked me except one A.A. lady named Debbie.
I thought I was slick, a smart thief who could easily get by with stealing, but I got busted for grand theft auto when I was 4 years sober. I was too ashamed to tell anybody in A.A. that I got caught and I wasn’t honest with my sponsor, I didn’t believe in God, I wasn’t working the steps and I was like so many people in A.A. who think that putting the plug in the jug, and laying down the drugs is enough. I thought that I could continue acting like I did before coming to A.A. and that abstinence from alcohol and drugs would fix me-I was sober, but totally insane. Some sponsors hold their A.A. babies hand while they go through the court system but that was not the case with Debbie, she made me do it alone and I was facing 2-3 years in the state penitentiary. Being alone and in absolute desperation is what finally forced me to my knees and led me to God so, I am grateful to Debbie for what she did. I became willing to totally surrender my whole-self to the simple program of action as it’s outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
Once I had willingly worked all 12 steps with my sponsor and became teachable and sincerely wished to be the best example of a sober, responsible, A.A. person that I could be, all of the lights turned green and by some mysterious chain of events, I was not sent to prison. When I was about 4½ years sober Debbie and her husband moved me into their home and spoon fed me Alcoholics Anonymous-they taught me how to get along with the people in A.A.
After I moved out of Debbie’s house, I moved into a house with some other women and then a guy asked me to marry him, I said yes and we married. I don’t know much about spiritual awakenings but I can tell you that, I have had several spiritual experiences since I came into A.A. There are so many little or seemingly insignificant things that caused my spiritual experiences like seeing the change in a new person’s gaze after we have worked the steps and did prayer and meditation together. I recently gave birth to a little boy, I had been pregnant other times, but I was not allowed to keep the baby and when the nurses laid this little boy on my chest, it was a profound spiritual experience. For the first time in my life, I knew that had to take responsibility and care for this little boy, I was 23 years of age and because of A.A., everything in my life had changed. To be continued.