“There are many things worse than dying, but is there any death worse than the progressive, self-induced slow suicide of the practicing alcoholic? The alcoholic suffers death many times over. Alcohol wrings the guts out of life, eats into the brain in such a way as to make the alcoholic blind to the truth. I served 12 years in prison, never suspecting that without alcohol I would not have been in prison at all. Had it not been for AA in prison …I’ll never know, but my educated guess is that I would not be alive today.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Lost Nearly All,” Ch 1 (“A Five-Time Loser Wins”), p 457.
Today, like a prison inmate, I experienced the multiple deaths of a drinking alcoholic in the form of losses of family, friends, jobs and milestone experiences like a son’s or daughter’s wedding or birth of my own child, people and experiences that cannot be reclaimed. And, like an inmate, I may not even yet realize that I may never have suffered those losses because of alcohol. But, today, I am sober and in recovery, and the Program has taught me to think now in terms of life because, in surrendering in Step One, I chose life over death. Now I must surrender the regrets and pain from those losses and anticipate whatever new life is yet to come. And whatever life has planned for me, I can do it now because I am sober – because I chose life. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2014