In March this year I underwent a serious eye operation and after that I stopped drinking. I did not expect to stay sober. I prayed that I would stop drinking, but I knew myself as a secret drinker who undermined all my own resolutions and could not stop, whatever the resolutions of the morning. I was physically tired and very sick, run down and emotionally at the end of my tether. I didn’t think AA could help me. I didn’t think anyone could help me. I felt that I was going to drink myself to death.
The desire to drink was taken away from me. So was a certain darkness and horror relating to my childhood that had haunted me for years and had become an excuse for drinking. The resistance to telling anyone fell away. I called AA and began speaking to people. What had seemed impossible – the sickness of secrecy – just didn’t matter at all. When I opened the BB for the first time, the phrase I read, quite out of context of course, was ‘the sunlight of the Spirit’.
The hardest moment was not admitting that I was powerless over alcohol. I knew that so utterly there was no hesitation in me. What I wanted to do however was to run away from my Higher Power. It seemed to me that I was coming back to the Beloved from whom I had been running all my life. There is a poem by Francis Thompson called The Hound of Heaven which some of you may know:
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
I do feel my HP has been waiting patiently for me to simply ask for help and stop running, stop undermining and sabotaging everything and admit I am ill and need help. Whether I call my HP Maybelline, George or Beloved is beside the point. It is all about letting the power of that greater love into my life and making space for that love any way I can. The poem ends
All which thy child’s mistake Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home: Rise, clasp My hand, and come.
Gratitude. There’s no other word for it.