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The Gift

Hilda, Florida

Hi my name is Hilda, and I'm a grateful recovered alcoholic. I believe with my whole being in that statement today. And let me say, that it has taken a long time to get there.

My date of sobriety is Sep 14, 1992. When I got here I was broken physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I had no clue what was to be in my future. I don't believe I wanted a future, because all I could even fathom was dark and void of any kind of love.

But, my God had other ideas, and I was brought to the AA fellowship. I was given a sponsor who focused on the steps. I was told in order to not drink again I would have to work these steps.

So my journey began. We all have life experiences that seem only heavy and sad. It has been my experience that without those I might not be where I am today.

I remember coming back into the program two days before my daughter's twelfth birthday. There were no words or feelings that I could have offered to change her world and perception. She absolutely hated me and didn't believe me -- and wasn't going to. My older daughter had married to get away from me.

I remember saying if I made it to my sixteenth anniversary of sobriety, that this then-12 year old would get my medallion because she deserved it. You see, her birthday was on the 16th.

When I reached that anniversary, I went to visit her on that birthday, her 28th, my 16th celebration of sobriety. I intended this to be her celebration. She turned it around -- she'd bought me a special, recovery medallion and put it in a wooden frame for me.

You see, she loved me and trusted me and accepted me again. Healing is precious and in God's time. We just take the steps and live a better way, one day at a time. My feeling low was changed to feeling love because I chose to begin my journey of loving me so that I could love you.

This lovely daughter said to me then, "Mom, it's time to quit being guilty about me and my sister's life. We are grown, the choices are ours and so also the responsibility of them.

And today, I have to let go of a granddaughter, who lives with her other grandmother. The legal system didn't go the way I wanted, and she and we leave the results to God.

You see, each of us, me, my daughter, and granddaughter all have our own journeys. I'm still learning to stay in my sandbox. When feeling low, my mind tells me it would be different, IF I had lived different. But my heart tells me to let go and let God and live life today.

I have family issues, financial issues, relationship issues, living issues and with God I overcome myself, not others. I am far from being able to have this attitude all the time, but I have humbled myself to accept that God will always carrying through, no matter what.

I was also introduced to the precious traditions, which today I hold so dear to my heart. Tradition 1 reads: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity. The experiences of everyone who shares in AA touch my heart. The way I keep this gift today is working with others. The gift isn't mine.

My life is no longer lost, dark, void. I found love in a God that had always been there, and I was willing to go to any length to stay sober and have been given love, forgiveness, compassion, and still remain teachable because I am not cured.

What I know today is that I'm no longer under the bondage of the physical allergy and the mental obsession of the drink controlling my mind. That has been removed by God's love and grace through my willingness to do his will.

I have been given the fulfillment of a spiritual awakening as a result of working the steps. I am completely aware that this gift of love is only there today if my spiritual connection to this power is in fit condition.

This daughter recently told me, "You are not the person before, or after you drank. You are entirely different." Is that so bad? I asked myself. No. I am who God sees. I hope I always will be.

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