Essays academic service

My comfort zone experience at the open alcoholics anonymous meeting

Her spirit is helping other alcoholics. That gives me comfort in my grief. Audio Version My aunt was such a fearful person.

I can identify with that. Everything scared me too. And when I found alcohol, I found that I was no longer scared. But it was false courage, and I began to lose fear of the things I should have been afraid of. Like hurting people's feelings to get what I wanted.

Or like acting disgracefully. And when I sobered up, then the fear of repercussions made me isolate.

And I was stuck. Feeling disgraced, fearful and isolated. And I have no doubt that my aunt felt that too. But the fear of change was so strong that she could not change and the path that she was on only led one way: I knew that was coming for me. I had to be brave. I had to ask God to help me. I asked for the courage to change. That courage came in the form of people in AA helping me. My first sponsor told me that she would love me until I learned to love myself. I was someone she didn't even know, but she was so sure that I deserved love even after all the disgraceful things I had done.

I felt afraid and I told people I felt afraid. I didn't hide it by isolating, or making others feel bad so that I felt marginally better. I felt the fear. And I was told it was okay. Fear wasn't going to kill me.

And these people told me to do the Twelve Steps. I saw Step Four and said, "I can't do it, it's too scary. Take one Step at a time. Take each Step in order. Then when you are at Step Four you can see that you have already got three Steps behind you. Three tools in your toolbox of recovery. And that confidence helps to dissolve fear.

And the courage to change becomes a daily journey that is less and less terrifying. I had not seen my aunt in five years. Then I saw her lying in the open casket at the funeral home. I don't think she found that peace in the last ten years of her life.

But that kind of peace is available.

The Spirit of Service

It is possible to quiet the fear. Quiet the negative voice in your head. It comes by taking certain Steps. By not doing it on your own. By trusting that a different way exists and that other people have managed it and now live lives free of fear. Instead of fear, they have serenity.

I know that because it happened to me. I was terrified but I asked God to give me the courage to walk in to a meeting. I took slow, small steps every day and that courage grew and I changed. The best gift my aunt ever gave me was watching her experience.

Working with others: Service

I held it up to my own life and I saw I was on the same path. Without change, I would be on my way to an alcoholic death and in the process I would be taking my family hostage in pain and suffering along the way. Sharing her experience in meetings helps keep me passionate about my recovery. It helps give meaning to her pain and her death. It serves as a powerful warning that without change, a cold hard coffin is where the other alcoholics in the room will be going too.

My comfort zone experience at the open alcoholics anonymous meeting

It makes me find some comfort in her death, knowing that her story is helping someone else stay away from a drink. Even if that person is me - that's enough of a gift. In many ways, my aunt was like a mother to me. Her experience has helped me to experience a rebirth. Now I get to pass that courage on to others. And so the cycle of pain and despair is changed into a cycle of love and serenity.