I have been attending AA meetings for about a year. I have 15 months and 14 days of sobriety yet I still don’t feel the serenity. I am not happy, joyous and free. Life has been a little rough the past few months, and I have maintained my sobriety throughout, but am I just white knuckling it, or am I truly sober?
I have yet to read the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous from cover to cover. My rationalization for this is because it is too dated. When I went to my first meeting, one of the men said to me, get the Big Book and read the first 164 pages. I may have read the first 64 pages, then it went to the bottom of the reading pile.
I still took the book with me when we went away last summer, and to Florida this winter. I did not open it once. It could actually double as a paperweight right now.
Two weeks ago, an interesting “old timer” came to our little home group meeting. This person is intriguing,has very long term sobriety and that sense of serenity surrounds him. I was drawn to him, I needed to find out how he got that and has maintained it for 24 years.
We became Facebook friends, and immediately started using the chat feature to discuss alcoholism, AA, and the Big Book. I outed myself, and told him I have not read it. I got the usual reaction when I tell anyone from AA that I haven’t read the book; WHY NOT?
I knew the only way I would actually pick it up and read it is if I was held culpable. I suggested we do a Big Book discussion group, all two of us.
Yesterday, we got together to discuss Chapter 1. I was explaining to him that I still have not found a Higher Power, nor can I really commit to the concept of a Higher Power, the whole process seems to still illude me. I have moments of YES iI think I have this, but it is not a constant ribbon running through my life. I do not feel it daily.
I then disclosed, that frequently when things get to emotionally painful, my go to thought is : DRINK! Or DRINK + PILLS! That was when he said, maybe you aren’t done drinking yet. Followed by, frequently people need to relapse to really be ready to embrace this program. There was also discussion about putting my sobriety first every day. Do I do that? I don’t know.
All of these months of ups and downs with being sober, and maybe I need to relapse to get this program? How does that make sense? Is relapse a prerequisite for finding serenity and letting a higher power guide my life? Will I find the answers to all of this in the book that I have been using as a paperweight for over a year?
I guess I will find out. Chapter 2 on Monday