PERSONAL STORIES - Journeys of Recovery
These sharings of "experience, strength, and hope" have been given short, descriptive titles as though they had been included in the Big Book.
- Disease Number Two is Normanism - Norm W
He was literally becoming a stone.
- A Couch Potato Alcoholic - Polly P
Her chains too soft to feel, too strong to break.
- Must be Present to Win - Peggy M
Her dog died of liver cancer because she breathed on him too much.
- AA is Selfish Like Breathing - Tom B
He spent a lot of time dreaming because he could not stand reality.
- Not Needing To Be In a Relationship, They Choose To Be In a Relationship - Carol and Barney M
But her suicide attempts were just killing her, and stopping drinking was driving him crazy.
- Always Life or Death - Terry B
She got involved in General Service because all the serenity was getting on her nerves.
- A Meeting Right by the House - Penny P
She found out in AA that she is loved.
- Just a Mild Alcoholic - Paul O
He ordered a tank of CO2 for the Master Bedroom.
- 100% About Not Drinking - Sandy B
He is absolutely happy about not drinking.
- Home Plate is Spiritual Sobriety - Dr. Paul O
He went to one meeting too many and became an alcoholic.
- We Are His Mirrors - Clancy O'H
He had to learn to like the hard parts.
- Got Drunk in a Japanese POW Camp - Pappy B
SLIP stands for "Pre-meditated thinking to get drinking".
- Not the Same God Today - Gretchen A
Alcohol comes in bottles, alcoholism comes in people.
- Came from a Long Line of Fools - Miriam C
AA taught her to feel her emotions and take responsibility for her reactions to her emotions.
- Join the Marines or Drink Alone - Sandy B
AA took away his whole game plan.
- The Prodigal Son - Rev Dutch W
When he did his amends they saw something in his eyes they never saw before.
- Everything He Knows He Learned in AA - Sonny C
Sober prison time counts.
- He Wasn't Irresponsible, He Was Busy Getting Loaded - Eddie C
AA showed him the things that held him back from being who he was.
- Let the Book Change You - David A
AA reaches down to a place medicine can never go.
- Didn't Know There Was Anything Wrong - Bob K
He really wanted what they had but he was afraid to tell them.
- Worst of Ma and Pa - Polly P
"Thou Shalt Not" equals "I Just Got To".
- An Alcoholic, Drunk Or Sober - Norm A
The only alcoholic in a family of hard drinkers, he worried about his reputation.
- The One Good Drunk - Wynn L
A "habitual periodic", she thought she cared about what she was wearing.
- Not Me, I'm Different - Johnny H
There was always a war going on in his life until he began to understood peace.
- That Same Old Horror And Remorse - Julie P
When you start going downhill at 11 years old, you don't get very far.
- They Thought I Had It Together - Alvin J
His entire life before AA was just a rehearsal for what it became when he got sober.
- Remember Who You Really Are - Bernie F
Willpower got him everything except sobriety.
- You Didn't Tell Me The Truth - Bryant D
Despising the life his family lived, he got as sick as he could without remembering most of it.
- She Locked Herself In Her Bathroom - Carol W
After heavy medication from an serious accident in 7th grade her whole life changed.
- That Moment Of Clarity - Cliff R
In and out of AA for many years, he had no right to finally be sober.
- Somebody Will Say Something - Clint H
How could he live in such a way that he didn't start drinking again?
- A Disease Of Inches And Seconds - Chris C
Sober since he was 16, he used to get a buzz just from having a case of beer in the trunk.
- Her Blinds Were Shut - Diane
A housewife who drank at home, she wanted to stop but didn't have the power
- The Pilot Light Never Goes Out - Dick G
Suffering from the shared loneliness disease of alcoholism, he had a case of "terminal uniqueness".
- He Cared Too Much - Dr. Paul O
He wasn't an alcoholic until he came to AA, because his professional self-diagnosis had always been that he had a brain tumor.
- The Lie Becomes Natural - Fr. Joe M
"We're all here because we're not all there." A priest had to confront his lack of faith.
- You've Got A Day! - Frank C
The man he was will always drink, will always be useless, will always lie, will always cheat, will always walk in terror, and will never be enough.
- You Can't Turn Around And Go Back - George D
A member of the AA World Service Board explains how his Higher Power has brought him in sobriety to be able to serve the Fellowship as the groups direct him.
- I Took After My Father - Ginny P
Starting with a chip on her shoulder, she rode her motorcycle down a chaotic path of personal destruction.
- Always Running Down Alleys - "Irish" Annie
She didn't plan to stay long, but she kept showing up, and her life has changed in ways she can't repay.
- It's A Process, Not An Event - Jeffrey N
His parents never taught him right and wrong. He found himself in the pages of the Big Book.
- The Party Was On - Kim W
Everyone of her drunks was the same, and she thought her life was normal.
- Two Chances To Live Life - Larry G
He didn't want to stop drinking. He just wanted the pain to go away. An AA biker group showed him the path.
- These Were My People - Kathy Y
A nightly drunk, she especially loved the hard-core Sunday night bar drinkers. She was willing to quit every Monday morning, yet still went back and did it again.
- 17 Out Of 20 At 18 - Lillian S
Being drunk was the thing to be doing, drinking was not. She knew she was crazy but thought she could keep it to herself if she wasn't drinking.
- I Don't See It Until I See It - Laurie H
From the first drink, she couldn't wait to do it again. As long as she had alcohol she didn't need anything else, and when she reached her bottom she looked like the living dead.
- You Calling Me A Drunk? - Mark P
He started as a kid sneaking cough syrup for the alcohol. After years of a professional career, the pursuit and consumption of alcohol became the center of his existence. But he got to go to Hell, and then leave thanks to AA.
- A Drunk Tank Drunk - Nick McC
A drunken young adult in Hawai'i, at his 1st meeting the old-timers gathered him in. After 4 years he moved to California and picked up a drink. Finally, at death's door, he surrendered.
- She Had To Drink - Carrie N
Her first drink during middle school fixed everything, until age 14 when she started blacking-out. And it got worse.
- Oh My God, I'm One Of Them - Claire
At her first meeting, she didn't identify. When she finally got back, she still was trying to do it alone.
- That's Just How It Was - Roger Y
When he found alcohol it simply made sense, and there were no consequences. He was always making excuses, until he was as willing as only the dying can be. Now he's accountable to AA to be kind and just.
- Like A Ghost - Bob B
With an enlarged liver at 23, he wondered if he was an alcoholic. After years of sobriety he realized that he still had Step work to do, and that he was tired of starting over.
- He Wasn't That Bad - Bill M
A man of the world, enough was never enough for him.
- Couldn't Make The Call - Bob E
He was always ashamed of who he thought he was. Still thinking he was crazy, through AA he got what he needed.
- She Says She's Overpaid - Christie
Experiencing a shame beyond words, she knew that couldn't be all there was to life. She finally got back to AA to find so much more.
- Just A Kid From Nebraska - Peg
At last so exhausted by daily drinking she was finally surrendered, and learned to risk loving.
- He Pretended to be a Priest - Seamus O
Alcohol made him feel holy, but getting rid of the empties was a nightmare. At his first AA meeting he loved the earthy language when members were talking about spiritual matters. Eventually he understod that the insanity of alcoholism is for him to ever take a drink, not what happens after.
- We Think He Had Family in Arizona - Pat G
She was willing to be miserable for the rest of her life if she could just not drink. Now, if she's not seeing a couple of miracles every day she's not paying attention.
- A Real Old Time AA Talk - Ruth M
A true Flower of the South tells how she became a lady in AA.
- They Called Me "Catatonic Tom" - Tom B
His father always wondered what it would take to get him to show an honest emotion. He drank to be somebody, to forget, and because he couldn't stop.
- Gentleness Worked For Him - Gil A
He didn't want to insult booze by saying it caused his problems. As a doctor he did his own diagnosis, and was uncomfortable with the idea that he was insane. At the end, he thought he was cursing, but it was actually a prayer because there was an answer.
- Sobriety Is Like A Box Of Chocolates - Galen R
He tried many times to prove that he could just have two drinks. Once he got sober, letting people know through H&I that there is a way out became his main vehicle of service to ensure he stayed that way.
- AA Spiritual Experience - Ken D
He found that the lifeboat of AA is big enough for everyone. At his first meeting he knew he was in good hands, and that he could be free of bondage.
- The Special Inventory - Irving N
He told the members at his first meeting that because of his metabolic system he required alcohol like he did food, so he wasn't an alcoholic. He didn't think he was lying.
- A Risk A Day - Linda G
Left alone as a child, the fear went away when she drank, and alcohol became her meditation. When she got to AA she had to be brought in gently. The key was willingness.
- Unwilling Youth - Margie O
She drank, she got drunk. Then did it again even though she said she wouldn't. At 17 that was enough and she decided to live her life as a drunk, but she stopped drinking that day.
- Did It Again - Dave C
Blackouts from Arizona to Anchorage led him to California. He didn't like AA, until he realized it was all free. After 5 years of sobriety the hum of his self-awareness was still so loud he couldn't really hear the message.
- AA Answered - Darrel
When he was drinking, he didn't make good decisions. When he finally called for help, he knew where he needed to go.
- Learning To Speak Your Feelings - Pat D
There was nothing funny about her life, and she showed no honest emotions until she got sober. She was a blackout drinker from the beginning.
- He Didn't Come To Stay - David F
Drink, puke, lie. That was it, and doing it in his room alone was not "partying". One more drink and he'd be OK.
- The Privileges of AA - Johnny H
"Better living through electricity" didn't shock him out of his insanity in the mental institutions. But when an AA meeting was brought in to his last prison, he understood what he really was and how to get free.
- No Reason For His Alcoholism - Jack B
When drinking he was unable to be responsible. When the time came that he knew he needed to control it, it was too late. 42 trips to hospitals and asylums later, he began to accept help from AA. It gave him his life.
- Wild Child - Crickett R
Little girls don't live the kind of life she was living, the police said. Eventually she knew that to drink again would be to die. All her life she wanted to be stopped, but AA taught her to live.
- Side Effects - Colby
Alcohol became a solution for him from an early age. AA offered him a better solution. He was sure drinking would still work for him, but believing he had killed a family during his last drunk made him willing to give up.
- Gradually Getting Step Three - Barney M
It took him several years in AA to realize that social drinkers don't drink to get the effect he had been seeking. He didn't have an alcohol problem, he had a sobriety problem.
- Flight Attendant's Story - Annie D
She became what she hated. Stealing and drinking through college, everything seemed fine. How could anyone say out loud that she had a problem?
- A Chance To Live - Adel B
She didn't know she didn't know. Every day she'd say she wasn't going to drink tomorrow. But AAs told her to come back. Now she's happy as a clam in batter.
- Built Like A Tank - Tom B
A "primary" alcoholic, he stole his second drink from his father. An AA Board member in New York when he spoke, his commitment to humility was as important to him as sobriety.
- Self vs. Service - Bob D
He first came to AA before he was old enough to take a legal drink. When he finally knew that he didn't know, he was ready to learn the program. He'd rather go to one meeting too many than one meeting too few.
- The White Horse - Buttermilk S
From Arkansas to Alaska the stories kept getting wilder and the drinking worse. The hog stayed in the back seat and the turkeys in the front room, but when the horse left he knew he'd had enough.
- He Called Me Gene - Glen L
Whenever he took a drink he always overshot the mark. 18 to 20 arrests for alcohol-related crimes brought him to an AA meeting in a penitentiary so it would look good on his record. There were blackouts still ahead.
- The Right Question - Yvonne N
She was better than the people in AA. She drank "to" and "because of". She became afraid that she might harm her children, but it took years to make the call.
- The Music of AA - Nancy N
She hated the corny stuff when she started AA. A child of the '60s, she came to love the laughter at all our "almosts". First her body tried to run away, then her mind went blank, and she became teachable.
- No Intention To Stay - Paul
It was beyond his comprehension that a nice guy like him could belong in AA. At first he wasn't paying attention but that let the message sneak in without him noticing.
- Pistol Packin' Momma - Mary M
After years of drinking 8 to 10 beers a day, she switched to bourbon so there weren't so many bottles to hide. Her family hid their guns and ammo so she wouldn't shoot at them, but she got her own bullets. Then the doctors started prescribing pills.
- The Universe Rushed To Co-operate - Noa G
She didn't do the Steps, so it was just a question of when she was going to drink. Until she got honest.
- Backing Away From Hell - Si P
No matter what he tried, even LSD sessions with a psychiatrist, he went back to drinking. Then he heard about AA from a bartender.
- He Was Wrong - Keith L
Alcoholism convinced him that he lived in a horrible place where there was no love, and that when he was sober he didn't fit in.
- She Lost The Ability To Choose - Yolanda T
She had sworn she'd never do those things again, but she had to drink. The probation officer said she had to stop and her AA sponsor told her that motives aren't important.
- Buy The Skunk A Drink - Sharon B
She was waiting for the mother ship to take her away, because she had no answers and no choice. She was headed to being a picture on her parents' piano framed in black.
- He Went To His Own Funeral - "Happy Jack" B
Working at the distillery, life started to look pretty good. When kids came, he had no feeling for them. After all the wrong he had done, how could his higher power reward him with a good life?
- He Chose Not To Jump - Orrin C
What he thought was the answer was the problem. Then he came out of a blackout on the edge of the roof. When he went to his first meeting they knew his name, and his sponsor always said he was right on schedule.