I now have time to work on me. Maybe I had time in the past – I did…I just chose that time to drink, that was “Me time”. Getting drunk on the bottle, glass or boxes of wine. Digging up the past; gossiping about others, justifying how others wronged me, worrying my family and friends. Making myself look like a superhero; flapping my gums, never listening, always talking and never willing to accept advice, only dishing out my own.. Sound insane to you? Well….it was! The only way I knew how to deal with my feelings and emotions was to chase them down with more alcohol. The more that came up for me, the more I drank. At a point early on – I accepted that alcohol was my best friend. That it would come first and everything and everyone else second, third, fourth and so on. Nothing or no one would come between me and my precious alcohol.

Little did I know God had other plans for me, and I will continue to thank him everyday that he did. I knew of “AA”, I knew my family loved me, but out of shame, guilt and embarrassment, hopelessness and stubbornness, I would have rather committed suicide then reach out for help. I knew if I told on myself, someone would take the alcohol away, and I couldn’t see my life with it or without it. I was in quite the predicament. At that point in my life God intervened…since that day of June 21st, 2017 (summer solstice) I have not had a drop of alcohol.

God took everything away from me in just 39 days. Locked in a psych ward – he took my freedom: my booze, secrets, self-will, my precious flying career, my home, belongings, my pride, ego, health and happiness. My mind, denial, humor, sanity, my vehicle…mine, mine, mine, it was all gone. The one thing he left me with was the gift of desperation, and if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be where I am today!

I wasn’t forced to go to “AA”. I made that choice, with the help of a very nice nurse and a new friend I had made in the nut ward. I knew I had to earn my life back, I had lost everything, so I had nothing left to lose. At my very first AA meeting in Grande Prairie, surrounded by about 40 ladies – kind, supportive, loving, non-judgmental, I began to hear “My story” – that’s when the magic began. I took a 24 hour chip at about a week sober. I was overwhelmed with shame, guilt, confusion and fear, that’s where my next journey began.

That was the second gift I received. A new found family that was to teach me how to get back all I had lost. Things were to get much worse before they got better. In AA I found a new family, like no other I had ever experienced. Rather then pull me out of that pit of desperation I was in, they crawled into that dark, damp, frightening hole I was in. They sat beside me, took my hand and told me their stories, gave me hope and slowly explained how I could get out; if I was willing, and “They”, AA would be with me every step of the way.

I don’t know how or why AA works? The “Program”, “The steps”, that magic in the meetings? All I truly know is somehow I got out of that pit and I’m now standing back in the sunlight again. God is not above me, or below me, he’s within in and encompasses me, he guides me if I allow him. This ain’t no free ride! This getting sober, and staying sober is not for sissies! I got off that free ride and got to work.

Have you ever seen a swan, gliding through the water, peaceful, elegant – it looks effortless. In reality, under the water it’s paddling like hell! It takes work, it’s messy, incredibly panful, uncomfortable to put it mildly. It’s severely humbling, exhausting, tremendously taxing, just down right awful at times. I “Thought” I could work the steps, the suggested directions, the program of AA on my own. You know what “Thought” did – it thought it farted, but it actually shit its pants! AA suggests you get a sponsor, someone to help you guide you, help lead the way. I think it should be mandatory, unless you want to walk around with poopy drawers.

I tried to do it on my own for four months, it wasn’t pretty. AA is a “we” program, not an “I” program. Gods third gift to me was my sponsor. He lead me to a certain meeting, pushed me towards a lady, picked the perfect match, then gave me the courage to ask, “Will you be my sponsor?”. The answer was “Yes” – and she turned out to be everything and so much more I could have ever asked for. Life is good for the time being, all I know now is that I know nothing at all. Slowly, very, very slowly, God is giving everything he took from me in those 39 days. Except this time it’s on his terms, not mine.

I’ve received so much more then I ever imagined possible. With brutal honesty: the hardest work ever, discipline, dedication, perseverance, surrender, patience and practice, I’m trudging the road to a happy destiny!

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