A post I shared on a message board a few years back...
Though I've been sober for a number of years, I am most certainly new around here. I've left a few post's and have done a lot of reading. And I've enjoyed it all. MANY trips down memory lane. Whether here or at an AA meeting, I am thankful for newcomers. The one's who have a week or a month of sobriety. It is through their pain and inner-conflict that I am still sober. Now matter how different we all are, we all know those early days real well.
I used to be a maintenance manager at a church and school. Once a week, they open their doors in the evening for an AA meeting. One night, realizing that my life had to change, I decided to go. I was quite drunk at the time but I was welcomed. I began to have the desire, but I still didn't have the strength. So I sat and listened. A lot of what was said went in one ear and out the other, but it was a meeting on the first step. The person in charge of the meeting wanted to know what everyone's idea of alcoholism is and how we acquired it.
People talked about sciencetific (forgive my spelling) facts and spiritual beliefs. While still others said they inherited it from a parent. As the meeting neared an end, the man in charge, who was a college professor, gave his ideas. It was very simple and it hit home.
"Drinking was meant to be fun. It was meant to be social and relaxing. If you have ever drank and it cause an argument, you might be an alcoholic. But, if your drinking ever caused anyone to shed a tear, then you are an alcoholic. When someone cry's, drinking is no longer fun."
That was it! It all came home! No doubt about it, I was, I am an alcoholic. My drinking had shed so many tears, I could fill many five gallon buckets. Brothers, children, lovers, friends, no one was excluded. I hurt them all. That night, what I heard has stayed with me. "You are an alcoholic, if someone has shed a tear, because of your drinking." It has stayed with me, it has guided me, and it has lead me for ten plus years. And through those years, it has been the newcomers who have always refreshed this idea in my mind.