My entire drinking career could be characterized by 4 distinct phases. At any given time in my life you could find me engaged in one of the four following activities:
1) Trying to drink
3) Recouperating from drinking
4) Trying not to drink
There isn't freedom in any one of these four activities, and yet, I had somehow become convinced in my early recovery that my staying sober would greatly depended on my ability to become really, really good at number 4... trying not to drink: Level Expert!
Ironically, that is the thing that a non-alcoholic and a recovered alcoholic have in common – neither one is trying not to drink. In fact, the only people on the planet who try not to drink are untreated alcoholics.
The question I had asked myself every morning in my active addiction was "Where's alcoholc going to be?" Because wherever alcohol's going to be, that's where I'm going to be.
In my early recovery, prior to working the 12 steps, I asked myself the same question, for a much different reason. "Where's alcohol going to be?" Because wherever alcohol's going to be, that's the place I need to avoid.
The problem with that method of staying sober, for me, is that alcohol was still controling my life. The only difference being that I wasn't getting to enjoy the benefit of the sense of ease and comfort that comes at once by drinking it.
Today, greatful to say, when I wake up in the morning, I no longer ask the question. I don't care where alcohol is, what it's doing, nor who it's doing it with. If I have to go someplace where alcohol is present, I'm fine; if I have to go someplace where alcohol ins't present, I'm just as fine.
To me, that is the miracle of it. To me, that is freedom.
“My first time at the Elgin Alano Club was a couple weeks ago. It was my first meeting, ever. I was extremely nervous. The place was packed, but somebody quickly offered me a place to sit. I was congratulated by everyone for making it to my first meeting, and offered a first step meeting. I have horrible anxiety, but the girls that participated in my first step meeting made me feel so comfortable. They made me feel like I’m not alone in this battle, and it really helped to know that people understood what I was going through. I’ve been to meetings around my area, but the Alano Club is by far my favorite. I love the mix of newcomers and people that have been in the program for years. Everyone is always so nice, and make me feel very welcome! I’ve been introduced to some really great people, and look forward to making new friends!”
I found my hero at an Club meeting. I was new to the program and she went out of her way to show me the ropes of becoming grateful and spiritual. Every day she reminds herself to do the right thing, and to be grateful for what she has. She's a mother, girlfriend, and sponsor. And she's changed my life in many ways.
“The Elgin Alano Club really saved my life. Even though I’ve been sober for a few years now. I always go back there a few times a month to try to give to others what was so feely given to me. I know if I’m having a problem I can go to the Elgin Alano Club any time of day and someone will be there that I can talk to who will understand what I’m going through.”
“I'm grateful for the Elgin Alano Club. I had never been to an AA meeting or even researched AA before going to the club for a meeting, someone had given me the time and address. I felt comfortable and welcomed there. Grateful for how things have turned around in my life and will be forever grateful to the club where I attended my first ever meeting.”