My Sobriety date is September 18th 2006. For the first five years it was really easy for me to go to meetings and work the program hard out because I had nothing other than recovery in my life. But the gifts soon started to come after I’d done the work and I was getting really into prayer and meditation. Wanting to take this to the next level I went to see a hypnotist who told me “The only reason you are alcoholic is because you keep going to AA and declaring yourself one. If you stop going then you don’t have to be alcoholic anymore”
This started a cycle for me … I would start to go to meetings and look for what I was getting out of them instead of what I could bring. When I started doing this I started to hear all of the differences instead of the similarities and all of a sudden I started to find all of the reasons why I did not need AA and that the hypnotist was right.
I’d stop going to AA. I wouldn’t drink but my world did begin to shrink. Fear and Isolation crept up on me and became default without me even noticing, my behaviour would start slipping, I was rude to my partner, she would go to al-anon and I would sit behind my screen trying to solve the world problems.
Something would happen – I’d feel the first nip of the wringer and Id go back to AA. I listened out for the similarities – started to find all the reasons I needed AA – would often share that “Life works better for me when AA is front and centre”. Id believe it too…
But then I’d get a resentment – Meetings would take a nose dive, I started hearing the differences and off we’d go go again.
My saving grace this time was Online Meetings…
My relationship was about to end after 13 years – Id just spent $3000 on an online game in a month, It was lockdown, covid was rife and I was frightened and alone…
I was talking with my business coach who was trying to pick me up. I said “I need to go back to AA, Ive heard they are doing online meetings , Im going to give one a go”
That was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I went to the 6.30am Zoom into the world of the spirit group. We always called the early morning meeting the “Too early for bullshit meeting” – this would do so I went. The first thing I heard was “Please treat this online meeting like you would an in person meeting”
Well, that to me, meant I needed a home group a sponsor and a job. I learned in the early days that “Sobriety starts with wet hands” and recovery happens before and after the meeting.
Today 2.5years on I love my online recovery. The gifts just keep on coming – I got my home group, sponsor, jobs, and worked the steps. I help other people wherever I can and I try to be the best version of the big book I can be. I have connected with people from all around the world and have international friends.
2 old timers from Denver in Colorado came over to stay with us, people have visited from Boston and San Fransisco and I hope to meet a good recovery friend from Chicago at the NAATW convention in September.
All of this is possible as a result of online meetings and OIAA. I found home here, Home is people not a place and the people I have met through this organization have helped take my life to a whole new level.
Today I am happy to say “My names Matt and I’m an Alcoholic”… I happy to be an Alcoholic because it gives me the opportunity to show up and live life on life’s terms. I’ve proven to myself so many times, that is something I cannot do for myself I need the help of my HP and the program and fellowship of AA (& OIAA) to do that.
Thanks for letting me share 🙂