At age 60, as a depressed, despairing, down-trodden sleeping pill addict since graduation from Stanford Law School in 1951, and as a later real alcoholic beginning about age 46, I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like our two founders (they and AA Number Three), I believed in God, was a born again Chrisitan, and Bible student. But I was entrapped in the snares and disasters coming out of excessive use of alcohol and sleeping pills. I did not come into A.A. to "come to believe." I had long believed in Almighty God. I did not come into A.A. either because I was a Christian or to become a child of God through Jesus Christ. I had been born again since a trip to the Holy Land in 1979. I did not come into A.A. to learn about the Bible. I was already a Bible student. But like our cofounders, those attributes had long taken second place to my pursuit of liquor and sedatives. And so too with our cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob.
What I did do was decide to quit for good. Two days later, I entered the rooms of A.A. I was met with love, service, encouragement, and daily support. I dived into active membership--daily meetings, commitments to service, Big Book study, a sponsor, taking the 12 Steps, daily communication, staying away from slippery people and slippery places. But I immediately had three grand mal seizures with no suggestions or help from AAs. I spent a month in a rehab with no "spiritual" assistance from the program or its counselors. I emerged to face an unbelievable amount of self-inflicted wreckage of the past--divorce, taxes, unethical behavior, criminal activities, nerve damage, brain damage, fear, anxiety, and bewilderment.
From there I went to a VA psych ward--still involved in A.A. Still helping others. Still determined to get better. But awash in a sea of fear. Fear that came from no significant reliance on the love, power, forgiveness, guidance, and healing of God. Thanks to my older son and his wife, and to the daily phone calls from an elderly gentleman in my Bible fellowship, I then turned to God--just as our first three AAs had done. The deliverance was immediate.
The fear was gone. The problems were tackled with God's guidance and help. Sobriety was maintained. A.A. enthusiasm was heightened. And I began sponsoring a host of men and also leading them into our Bible fellowship. The latter with repeated attempts by my sponsor and grandsponsor to prevent my study of the Bible and prevent my leading others to the Bible and to Jesus Christ.
None of this deterred me from AA activity, from helping others, from sponsorship, from taking others through the 12 Steps, from speaking by invitation at innumerable A.A. Meetings. Fortunately, I got rid of my sponsor and his sponsor. And through it all, at age 86, I have maintained 26 years of continuous sobriety and freedom from addiction; and been involved in the happiest years of my life. Gloria Deo