Defiant by Nature: AA Saved this Raging Alcoholic from his Demons

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By Anonymous

If I am spiritually fit, I enjoy bouts of peace and serenity. What a miracle recovery has brought to this flawed and suffering alcoholic!

My recovery story starts with a genetic pre-disposition and an early risk-taking childhood that grew into a teen problem-drinker, blossomed into a daily drug habit and culminated in a raging alcoholic. The progression of alcoholism and drug addiction was steady and wrought with chaos, self-loathing and constant tension. 

My grandmother was an alcoholic and mentally ill and my mother was raised by her aunt. Both of my parents were teetotalers and very strict.

My father and mother raised me in a Midwest conservative, middle class, Catholic upbringing in suburbia with my six of seven siblings in an early blended family. The 1960’s and 1970’s were a mix of wonder and life experiences that allowed my imagination and education in humanity, current events and coming of age, to expand and grow. Mental illness was rampant in my family and I stayed away as much as possible with sports, friends and events. 

My father was a large animal veterinarian who worked for a Fortune 500 agri-business and built his reputation and career as a company man and workaholic, which meant extensive travel. My mother raised us in a Robert Kennedy-style fashion mixed with rage, self-pity, delusion and a priest who “loved” my mother. 

My first experience with alcohol and pot provided the needed relief from chaos and launched my early drinking career. In the 1980’s as my education and athleticism improved, I took advantage of peers, teachers and coaches to fuel my passion for drink, partying and women. This hedonism followed me into my middle ‘30s and left me a shell of my former self.

Painful, self-inflicted problems, including 3 DUIs and Assault & Batteries, not finishing college after numerous stints, and broken family and personal relationships dogged me throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. Working in hotels, clubs and restaurants provided an alcohol and drug–fueled environment that escalated into my stint in rehab in 1991. But that only temporarily slowed my progression. 

Discovery of a 2 year old daughter in 1992 only fueled the progression further and I deal with the estrangement of my daughter to this day. 

I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife, during the mid 1990’s and merged our families. My drug use ceased but my alcoholic intake increased as my sales career blossomed.  

The new millennium ushered in the death of my father and my entering AA. I was a raging alcoholic who wanted to be a better father and step-father, boyfriend and person, but who was unable to stop drinking on my own. 

I had been to AA, counseling, company – ordered anger management, group therapy and to psychologists and psychiatrists to help me with my drinking. But to no avail. 

My personal relationships with my family and at work were deteriorating again and I hated who I had become. Most importantly, alcohol had ceased to provide me with the desired relief.

I surrendered when I entered AA this time and was assigned a sponsor. I worked the steps of AA for the first time. Slowly the fog lifted and my life began to improve. I learned to be honest, let go and let God, accept life on life’s terms, confess to God and my sponsor, take personal inventory, pray, meditate and self-reflect, and be of service to others. 

My girlfriend married me after a year in the program and my daughter and step-daughter as well as my wife and others allowed me to make amends to them. A lifetime load of guilt, shame and blame lifted. 

My IT sales career continues to flourish and morph into a practice that allows professional and personal growth. I am born again and continue to marvel at life’s miracles and how my life continues to improve. 

There have been many challenges and peaks and valleys, as that is how life works. I strive to be one among many and not take myself and life so seriously. Yet I fail often and try again. 

I still have to pray daily for patience with others, to remove my defiance of authority, and to remind myself that I get a perverse satisfaction from rage and egomania. I ask God to remove these character defects diligently. 

Finally, through the Grace of God and AA, I have been able to turn my life around and lead a productive and spiritual lifestyle in recovery.

If I am spiritually fit, I enjoy bouts of peace and serenity. What a miracle recovery has brought to this flawed and suffering alcoholic!

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