Thank you for the opportunity to be with you this evening and share the
fellowship and the message of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m an alcoholic. I
believe I am way different than anyone else, of course, but you might understand
I believed that I was the ‘Black Sheep,’ of my family, but it seems I was self-
centered, selfish, dishonest and smothered with fear. I couldn’t have told you
that at the time, but I spent years trying to find out who I was, all the while trying
to be anyone else but me. I felt like I didn’t fit anywhere. So I chocked it up to
being ‘different’ and I drank and I used and I controlled and I obsessed for over
35 years. Alcohol and other stuff became my solution. And I couldn’t stop
drinking. This led me into a room full of drunks to keep from dying. I am an
alcoholic and I’ve earned the right to be here.
I was different because I was told I was different. I came out backwards and
last—breech, previa placental abruption requiring emergency Cesarean. No kid
should need to know this… Roughly two percent of the cases result with both
the child and the mother alive. My mother was convinced that I was a gift from
God. No pressure, right? I came out left handed. Thirteen percent of the world
population is left handed (Devil’s Hand as I’d later be encouraged to recall). I
came out with a violent allergy to milk, so my best chance was goat’s milk (might
explain the black sheep thing). I was constantly held to different standards—or
NOT held to them at all because I was, in fact, very different. Terminally unique,
I would find out later.
The men in my family were encouraged to be ‘craftsmen’ and earn a living with
their hands. Lefties don’t learn well from Righties because Righties use the
wrong hand. Enter my first fundamental experience with hopelessness in
circular logic. It would be many years later that I would find a definition:
Insanity. Doing the same things over and over expecting a different result).
I graduated high school early. I was smart—and I didn’t want to be. I simply
wanted to stop feeling like I was different. Approval seeking and belonging were
my tools for emotional growth and when I was drinking, everything was better. I
drank for effect, to fit in, to forget, to be funny, whatever—because the laughter
meant being loved or accepted; it meant “The Stinking Thinking Committee”
voices would not convene in my head. Life was fun as long as there was alcohol
and I was the fun. Therefore, alcohol quickly became my life. I can remember
the first time I got drunk to this day. I did it to fit it.
Eventually I began to notice that I didn’t drink like other people and that I may
have a ‘little problem,” but when I finally acknowledge it, I couldn’t stop drinking
despite when I tried. So I tried other obsessions to avoid my solution: I
exercised obsessively in binges. I ran foot races of all distances and found that I
had to replace the carbs. Enter beer and more beer. Lots of beer—for
medicinal purposes, obviously…
I tried volunteering and more volunteering; I tried going to church more; I tried
ONLY drinking wine; I tried drinking only at home (I found more excuses to be
home); I tried drinking only when I was alone or with someone, but I liked being
alone more, because then I didn’t have to share. I tried drinking ONLY after 5, or
4:00, or whatever time. That just kept me up later, so I went to work earlier so I
got off earlier so I could drink earlier. I tried everything. Denial set in. And
I blamed my parents, grandparents, and any descendant that drank. I blamed
God. Loudly. It was HIS fault and even I, a gift from God and giving, caring
person with a mere human frailty called a ‘drinking problem,’ could see that. I
blamed my wife who made me see a Pshrynkerator.
I blamed the Pshrynk. I came out of there with a dozen more resentments along
with Librium, Campral, Antabuse, and Lexapro along with the ‘repair’ bills. All of
which were designed to make me ‘less different.’ I tried for the next year and a
half to start stopping drinking. I drank on all of the drugs (do NOT try this at
home alone). I should be dead. I tried to stop. I tried everything to stop. I just
couldn’t stop starting.
By this time I couldn't get drunk anymore and I had given up. My internal
physical health was, quite literally, in the toilet. I didn’t eat because I couldn’t
hold down solid foods. My speech was deteriorating rapidly, my memory, eating
habits, rituals, everything, were entirely dependent on what and when I drank. I
had spiraled into suicidal depression because, as luck would have it, alcohol is a
depressant. Death began looking like an alternative and so I made sure my life
insurance was current and that my son knew where the policies were kept. I
was drinking so much that my survival systems were in danger mode and organs
were shutting down in self-defense. Blackouts were normal. It was my system’s
way of keeping the lights on while nobody was home. I couldn't get drunk
anymore and every part of me, including my eyesight and bodily functions, were
crashing due to the volume of alcohol I was using. My heart rate got more
irregular and my breathing became labored. I was, on two occasions, startled
from unconsciousness because I’d stopped breathing and I awoke gasping for
air, my heart having stopped and racing again—palpitations of abnormal rhythm.
I used to write myself notes and leave them in my wallet and I’d find them later,
toss ‘em, and go back for more. I never did listen to me. I was drinking myself to
death. I had nothing left to hold on to. I was sick and tired of being sick and
tired and simply was waiting to die. I sort of grudgingly figured I might try
talking to someone who’d gone to an AA meeting.
That AA meeting was not an epiphany of all that was my life, but it was sure
close to everything that was going on in my head! For at least an hour, it
drowned out the pounding, quieted the voices, and allowed me to hear. I was,
albeit without my approval, and without my acceptance, an alcoholic. No
adjectives, disclaimers, or excuses. No extra points for dual addictions, no
added titles in my introductions. I was relieved and, after all I had been through,
I saw a glimmer of hope. I might not have to die right away after all. I might not
have to die drinking.
I heard things I liked:
“Keep coming back”
“Acceptance Is the key”
“I Still have some yets”
“Alcohol is a depressant”
“There is a solution”
“Allergy that manifests as an
“First things first”
“Don’t quit five minutes before the
“We will love you until you can love
miracle happens”
“There’s a Higher Power in the
“Get a new God, because your God’s
“My God is a Loving God”
keeping you drunk”
I began to believe that if these people could come to this place and stay sober,
day after day, and it cost them nothing, then there maybe was HOPE that I could
quit drinking. I didn’t want to lose everything, but everything had failed, so why
not? I kept coming back to find out how many actually did, “keep coming back.”
I avoided The Steps for 6 months—and started addicting to other things all over
again—same patterns, different addictions. Basically, anything that altered my
mood and changed the way I felt was worth obsessing over. I wanted to fix
everybody, I was running 45 miles a week, I was eating sweets by the pound,
and I was simply transferring my addictions. I obsessed over sobriety chips. I
was told to get a sponsor by the guy who’d wind up being my sponsor. I was told
to do what I was told to do. I did The Twelve Steps. I started living.
Having a sponsor, working the steps, and working The Principles in all my affairs
continues to change me, my life, and how I view me today. I’m fairly comfortable
in my own skin; I smile for no apparent reason, and I can sense MY HP working
all around me. I have been allowed to develop my own understanding of a Power
Greater Than Myself that saved my ass and kept me safe until I could get sober
and let HP love me. I am finding my balance and my place. I am finding that if I
am on HP’s timetable, the rest of the world can just do as it pleases, because
nothing else matters. A sense of peace and serenity and gratefulness prevails.
I’m grateful rather than great-full.
I have found that I have received a reprieve—contingent upon my spiritual
condition—and I have ceased fighting anything and anyone. I’ve found serenity
and balance. I finally fit. Everywhere. I am not so different anymore unless you
consider spiritual health unique. The only one who is concerned with me being
worthy seems to me, too. I’m learning that not everyone cares as much as I
thought they should, either. I’m okay with that now, too.
I’m chem-free, drug-free, almost caffeine free, and nearly anger-free. I’m not
full of fear, I’m not dishonest, I’m not selfish or self-centered. I’m addiction free
for the first time since I was a child. I’m learning about right-sizing and spiritual
health. I’m learning how to enjoy the world around me rather than withdrawing
from it. Or screaming at it. Or hiding from it. Or challenging it. I’m at peace.
What my life is like now? I’m finding it more valuable to ‘tune in’ to my Higher
Power whom I call God today and listen to the silence. I’m finding more patience
with others who may not work The Program as hard as I have to; and I’m finding
serenity through gratitude—and acceptance. I’ve found that, while these
Spiritual Principles have been around for thousands of years, espoused greatly
by philosophers, thinkers and intellects, they’re a design for living MY life with
MY God. Inviting Him into me rather than struggling with some hugely vague all-
powerful being who doesn’t have time for me—or has been so ‘studied’ by Man
that He/She/It has lost meaning and confined to rooms in a church. To fit in a
world that I never fit in before. I finally realize that I’m not so different after all.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
What it’s like now? I’m sober. I’m not just dry. There’s a certain authenticity to
me now. I still have fleeting thoughts when someone shares that I somehow
haven’t hit THAT bottom yet, but it’s simply unimaginable that I’d go out again—
just for today. The obsession is lifted contingent upon my spiritual fitness. I’m
honest. Real. I’m a human. Being. And I’m becoming spiritual. I’m finding less
necessary to be the center of the room, the universe, the “FUN.” I am less
different now. I am an alcoholic.



First International Scientific Teleconference "New Technology in Medicine" Saint-Petersburg, Russia, March 2004 © P.K.Sodhi1, 2004. P.K.Sodhi1, J.L.Goyal 2, S.K.Ratan3 CURRENT PRESENTATIONS OF OCULAR MOTOR NERVES PALSIES 1Department of Ophthalmology, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India 2Maulana Azad Medical College and allied Guru Nanak Eye Centre, New Delhi,

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MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET SUPPLIER: PRODUITS CHIMIQUES ACP CHEMICALS INC *** SECTION 1. CHEMICAL IDENTIFICATION *** SUPPLIER/MANUFACTURER & PREPARATOR : CHEMICAL FAMILY : Tertiary aliphatic alcohol / tertiary TELEPHONE NO. IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: CANUTEC: (613) 996-6666 Colourless liquid or crystals with a camphor-like odour 47 ppm (method not specified); 72 ppm (219 mg/

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