182 days ago, I finished off a Budweiser in the car after driving from the bar. I tossed the empty can out the window of the car and pulled into the parking lot of my second AA meeting. I went to my first one the week before but drank for the week following. I stumbled into the meeting a broken man and was half cut when I entered. I saw a bunch of happy faces on people who welcomed me into the meeting with open arms. At the time I didn't think that anyone would notice that I was a little drunk and no one said a thing about it. They just welcomed me in and made me feel very comfortable. I knew I was at the end of my rope. I had spent the past week or so looking up suicide methods on the internet. By the time the hour meeting was up, I had a Big Book, a peron willing to sponsor me, a list of phone numbers and had been given the 90 meetings in 90 days suggestion. I had never felt such warmth from a bunch of poeple who I didn't know in my entire life. After the hour I got back in my car and immediately cracked another Budweiser and drove home drinking it. Man was I thirsty. The coffee had dried me right up. I got home and polished off the last half of a quart of vodka and went to bed. The next morning I got up and for the first time in my memory, I didn't really want a drink. I didn't have one. The hours went by and I still didn't want one. The whole day went by and I was a little edgy, but I still didn't want to drink. I went to another meeting that night sober. It was the first time I had ever been sober after dark since high school. 35 years without a whole day off from drinking. Just four days later, still sober and totall amazed by it, I had to go to Remebrance Day festivities at the local Legion where I was Secretary. I was armed with free drink tickets, a 24 hour desire chip and had to spend the next 6 hours in the bar with everyone drinking. I gave my free drink tickets away to someone whom I knew had no money so that they could have my free drinks. I left there after those 6 hours with a feeling of strength. I had made it through one of the toughest days in my life. I have continued to not let any alcohol pass through my lips for half a year now. I to this day have no desire to drink. It was like a miracle had occured. Now after 182 - 24 hour days, I attended this same group that I am now very involved with and these people are now some of my closest friends. I help out at the meeings and have chaired many of them. What a change in lifestyle. My life has still got it's up and downs as you may or may not have read in my journal, but one thing has stayed the same. I am sober. It really can be done. I'm proof that it really can be accomplished if you allow it to. Since that second meeting 182 days ago I have seen many newcomers come in and some who have fallen out and some that have slipped and come back. I've been granted the opportunity to help my fellow alcoholic start of the road to recovery and help other with much longer sobriety than I remain that way. I've been blessed with a strength I never realized that I had in me. Life is getting better, albeit slowly, but constantly better. I've been granted the opportunity to help members of this Daily Strength community and have had the benefit of words of wisdom from others that frequent this site. For that I am eternally grateful.
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