September 20, 2012

AA - Brave and Courageous though humility.

I went to an open AA Meeting tonight because of an assignment for one of my classes. I was nervous to go, new place, new experience.  The members were welcoming. I double checked that it was an open meeting, where non-alcoholics could members, college students doing an assignment for class, and it was confirmed...yes, the group is open. I really hadn't made a connection about the family member part until a bit into the meeting. My dad was an alcoholic and died over 10 years ago, I had made my amends with him, forgiven him, it is just not something that I dwell on regularly anymore.

The meeting was wonderful. I went in with a bit of a bias as to what it would be like, because my dad always put AA down with lots of derogatory remarks. I guess some of them stuck because I heard it lots growing up. I remember hearing my dad say so many times he didn't need a group of whiners and complainers to help him quit drinking, he could quit any time he wanted. He had the power. The group was anything but whiners and complainers, they took responsibility for their actions, followed the steps of AA with the help of the group and a sponsor, and took away the power of the bottle.

So many of the members said that the hardest part was admitting they were powerless over alcohol. I sat and listened to this group of members, every age, every color, every socioeconomic class, and thought that they were maybe the most brave and courageous people I knew. They were brave enough to take away the alcohol and see who they were without it, they were brave enough to admit that they didn't have it all together - it takes much more courage to be humble than it does to let pride be your ruler. They were taking control of their lives with the help of God and AA.

One of the members said that he had been sober for several years, and that he had learned a lot through AA, but the most important thing he had learned was that he would never have to walk through anything in his life alone, ever again. Wow. There were men and women ready to be sponsors to any newbies in the group, to walk them through the steps. The commitment that the members had to each other was amazing. Brave and Courageous.

I kept picturing how my dad's life would have been different if he would have said the words, I am powerless over alcohol, I saw his face in lots of the men's faces tonight. I wished with all of my heart that he would have not let fear keep him from getting help. It was fear, he made it sound like he was powerful, but he was just afraid. Afraid of how he would cope without his lover called whiskey, or beer. Afraid. Not a partier, but afraid. Not in control, afraid. It is funny that my last post I wrote on my blog was my experience of being delivered from fear. When fear is in control, it messes with our heads, it seems like a dinosaur - but it is just an illusion. Fear is only a lie, that is all evil has to use to trick us...lies - there is no reality in fear.

The things that I used to be so afraid of, seem silly to me now. Something that would panic me, I find great blessing through trusting God for His provision. I wish my dad would have been able to see that he had much to offer this world without alcohol, I wish he would have said the words...I am powerless, for God delights in those that know that they need him. If we think we have it all together, God wont push his way in, but if we bow to Him and ask for His help he is already there before we finish our sentence. He is the great Healer, Rescuer, and Savior of our souls.

God, we all need you, whether we are alcoholics, drug addicts, suffer from anxiety, are full of pride, are full of fear, use shopping as a drug, read books that take our minds to places we shouldn't be, the one's who don't know Your love, who don't trust you, who keep secrets, who cheat on exams, who let their eyes wander, who are afraid. Come Lord, into our hearts, we invite You to rescue us, You are our only hope.


Anonymous said...

So true Tammy. You captured the truth of alcoholics and their families. With God, life can be so different. I had a similar assignment in college. I also watched your mom, you and your siblings. So many alcoholics think that they are only hurting themself. They hurt everyone in their life. Thanks for sharing. When I read what you write, you show such maturity and wisdom. You make me smile. And you make me proud! Thanks. Pam

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful! I just wish I could hug you right here! This is do heartfelt, honest, eloquent... I hope you send a copy to the group leader... It is so full of the Hope that we all need in Jesus. This writing is something beautiful on which to think, Karise