From Control to Surrender Grapevine Article by Patti S

She couldn’t believe that she was actually an alcoholic until the night after her first meeting

Although I didn’t start drinking until I was in college, my alcoholic mind was developing from the moment I was born.

That I had an alcoholic mind in my teenage years was evident from the poetry I was writing at the time. It reflected the self-pity and victimization that I felt during those years. I had always felt like an outcast who never fit in or belonged anywhere.

I did try to control it. I was careful to always drink for the “right reasons” and limit myself to two, or quit before I became out of control. Looking back, I can see that I was always irritated when I stopped because I really wanted more. As my disease progressed, so did my pattern of drinking. I would drink for long periods of time without any control at all, suddenly stop and then go for long periods without drinking. I could quit when I wanted to or when I needed to. My disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It had me by the shirttail just waiting for the right moment to reel me in.

Three years before I reached my point of desperation, I hit an emotional bottom. It was sparked when I miscarried my second child. I lost a part of my soul, and for the first time in my life, I did not feel that God was anywhere near me.

This loss took me to the bitter depths of sorrow, loneliness, despair, anger, and depression. I felt as if God had abandoned me. Thus, I began a drinking spree.

While using the crutch of alcohol, I continued to search for God. One day, I caught a glimpse of hope. I began to pray again. God was faithful to let me know he was with me and had heard my prayer. He would get me through this experience.

I put the bottle down and began to try to have another baby. Although this third pregnancy was not without its challenges, I had a healthy baby girl. I celebrated by drinking a bottle of wine that I had saved for nine months for this occasion. Instead of thanking God, I was drinking again.

Post-partum depression set in and I began to drink on a daily basis. Control drinking was no longer an option. The disease of alcoholism had me in its snare and alcohol became my master. For the next three years, I was unable to put the bottle down.

I hit not only another emotional bottom, but I was also spiritually bankrupt. I was a lost and lonely soul with nowhere else to go. I felt that my soul was isolated from my spirit, and reality seemed so far away. The truth was distorted in my mind. I experienced feelings of uselessness and self-pity. I felt I was in a pit from which I could not get out.

My search for God began again. I thought I could get sober through church, but the guilt of my Jekyll and Hyde existence prevented me from absorbing anything about God. I tried counseling next which alone did not work for me, but it became a useful tool in my search for sobriety and God. My counselor finally convinced me to go to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I really did not want to stop drinking because I didn’t think I was an alcoholic.

I did not understand the disease that I had. My first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous was on February 8, 2000.

I went home from that meeting with mixed feelings. My disease was telling me I wasn’t really an alcoholic, while my heart was screaming, “You are an alcoholic.” I spent just about the entire night asking God for help and what I should do about my drinking. He gave me these words, which to this day have convinced me that I am and always will be an alcoholic: “I have a disease for which there is no cure; its never-ending battles, daily, I will endure. That was the beginning of my sober journey.

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