Sometimes, I almost forget that I’m an alcoholic and AA has to pull my fat out of the fire, as the saying goes Like it did a few days ago and has done more times than I like to admit over the last thirty-six years since I got sober.

This past August was a ball buster of a month, one thing after another trying to take me back to square one. Staying sober is hard whether you have one week of sobriety, one month, one year, or thirty-six years of sobriety like me.

The disease of alcoholism or alcohol addiction is defined by AA as an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind. (One drink is too many and a million ain’t enough) Most Alcoholics call it the demon and it is incurable no matter what you may hear from the ill-informed, you can never allow alcohol or any other mind-altering substance, including Weed, to cross your lips again once you’ve quit or you’ll be right back in hell.

So, as usual when I don’t go to my meetings my ass and my sails get really ragged, and all the way to my first meeting in a while my disease was telling me I didn’t have to go to this meeting, I could go back home and go tomorrow or the next day when I’d feel better but I knew that lying snake and just kept driving before he started telling me that a good cold beer would be a lot better for me right now than a dull, hour-long meeting

Of course, even at the meeting, I was ill at ease, said little, and began thinking of just easing out the side door and going home but I hung in there, heard the AA message coming through one person and then another, and another, and began to feel some strength and courage building in me.

I got up and went to the bathroom, washed my face, and remembered that I needed to talk in the meeting. I needed to tell everyone what was going on inside me — they would instantly know and understand but I still needed to stand up and say it out loud, confess I’d been stupid, and put everything ahead of my sobriety by not going to meetings during these very stressful times as I’m supposed to do. I had to remember that nothing is more important than my sobriety because without it I would have nothing; I would be dead which is exactly where the demon wants me to be but as long as I go regularly to my meetings and work the AA program, I am lord over this demon.

For some people, all this may sound a little too dramatic but if they just turn it around and substitute any terminal disease, (diabetes, cancer, mental illness, etc.) in the place of alcoholism and addiction, they’ll see it’s just as serious; if I don’t take my medicine just like other terminally ill people, (My medicine is going to meetings) I’m going to end up on death’s doorstep in terrible health and die drunk.

So, after a couple of more meetings, I was ten feet tall again, feeling strong and positive again, safely back on solid ground with my God of my understanding.

There’s nothing like having your life and your mind given back to you again, which is what I experience every time I let myself come near to getting drunk or stoned again. I can’t tell you how much I fear falling back into the shameful, gruesome hell I lived in for so many years that almost took my life before I was dragged into AA and saved.