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    I’ve never been comfortable with the notion of powerlessness, partly because I never related well to the Big Book.

    The founders were all low bottom drunks. I was primarily a pot head, though alcohol often supplemented the high or served as a pitch hitter. There were two periods of several months in which I imbibed as much as a quart of vodka a day–but I was doing it because of a painful back injury, or so I told myself.

    I didn’t want sobriety, I wanted change, and I couldn’t think of another way to get it. My life changed, but I couldn’t do it all by myself. I went to tons of meetings, and became willing to go to any lengths.

    I certainly had to surrender to a process, going to meetings whether I felt like it or not. Few people can stay sober due to will power alone. Because I didn’t relate to the Big Book, I learned about the disease elsewhere– currently Beyond the Influence, The Recovery Book, and the works of Terrance T. Gorski, which have the advantage of being more current than the Big Book by decades. I’ve learned that addiction starts long before the stage of DT’s and blackouts, hospitals and jails.

    I know people in the program who had one drink and nothing happened; it was only when they decided that they didn’t have a problem when their lives went into the dumper. I remember one time taking an hour to drink one glass of wine (guess I had something to prove).

    Our addiction has a range, and it starts when its still fun. I didn’t drink before I went to work because it would screw up my life, which would mean I couldn’t drink.

    Some paraphrase the First Step: “Drinking doesn’t work, it’s no fun, and I don’t like where it takes me.” As Gorski says, “The essence of the First Step is to admit that you cannot control your addiction and that your addiction is making it impossible to manage your life.” That I can buy.

    I’ve been sober for 28 years.

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