By Ann H. (Munro 2009)
This New Year’s Eve marks my five-year anniversary, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my journey other than with Alcoholics Anonymous.
It wasn’t always that way. You see, my husband committed suicide on November 27, 2008. Jim was only fifty eight years old. They say when one door closes, another opens. I had to go through the mourning process; it was tough, emotional, difficult and emotionally exhausting. But I was willing to go to any lengths to become sober and stay sober.
The longest relationship I have had was with Mr. (Ron) Bacardi. Forty two years of failed marriages – five to be exact. Two children from two different husbands. Many lonely nights with strange lovers in broken down hotel rooms. I could hardly stand myself. The shame, grief, guilt and bottomless loneliness were unbearable. I wanted to stop drinking, but the idea was a far off – a scary proposition.
At this point my family wanted nothing to do with me. They actually made a bet how long I would last until Jim ended my life. He had become extremely abusive. I could see no way out. The police were regulars at our house, like takeout dinners.
After a night of drinking, squabbling, pushing etc., he was once again charged with assault. He took the only way out that he could see.
December 31st, 2008, I called my friend Brent and went to a meeting of AA. There was no way that I could go into the New Year like being the way I was in the current one. All I did was cry. Slowly things began to change. It wasn’t immediate. I found a remarkable sponsor, Helen B., from The Church Street group. I still have Helen today in my life, and I am very protective of her.
Luckily enough I was welcomed to the Renascent Centre February 2009, for their 21-day program. What an eye opener. I have a disease that loves me so much it wants to kill me. When I start feeling better, my disease tells me I do not have the disease! How cunning, baffling and deadly is that.
Today my life is truly a miracle. I am so humbly grateful, and I am really great. I attend at least four meetings a week. I have been taught that the successful people in AA., who stay sober, attend regular meetings. I practice the principle “live and let live”. I am one of the lucky ones that “get it”! One drink is too many and a hundred is not enough. Living the pure, straight life is marvelous. I would not have it any other way. Service work is part of my gig, and I am now joining the prison committee so I can take the message behind the walls. Did I mention I spent 10 days in the super jail? Nothing super about that.
My youngest son, Christian, is back in my life, as well as are my siblings. All bets are off! I was able to make amends to my mother before she passed on. Truly Alcoholics Anonymous has saved my life. I am sane, safe, secure, serene, silly and peaceful. I have forgiven Jim, and the most difficultly, myself.
The year 2014 will be an amazing new one with dreams, goals, new loves, peace and harmony. I will endeavor to go forward and spread the wonderful message of AA. for all those who wish to listen, and have a second chance at a beautiful, fulfilling life.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.