By Daniel C.

My name is Daniel and I’m an alcoholic.

Acceptance to me is one of the most important parts of life.

Life happens whether we like it or not. For me acceptance was learned as a child after I was molested. No matter how hard I tried I could not make the trauma go away. I eventually learned that no matter how hard I wished it didn’t happen it happened and I had to accept that. But I never shared it with anyone. I suffered quietly. It was in my mid twenties I finally broke down and told my mother.

I had to accept the dysfunctional family life. I couldn’t do what friends were doing because money was an issue. I also had a severely depressed father. And it was routine that he always threatened suicide. My school days ended by walking in the house to a frantic mother who made us go to the nearby train yard to search the box cars for my suicidal father. The anxiety was terrible. This went on for two years and then he did complete suicide. I was filled with shame. Both for being molested and for my father’s suicide. It was when I finally accepted these events in my life that the shame was lifted and I was able to talk about them. Going so far as face to face I forgave my molester. I no longer let anyone live rent free in my mind.

In my thirties my best friend called one night, he was heavily addicted to drugs, he was crying and asked me to go be with him. I didn’t go and explained I was watching a movie with my two young children but I’d see him tomorrow. Soon after the call I got another call. He’d been killed on his motorcycle 20 minutes after we hung up. I couldn’t accept this. I blamed myself for not going over. I couldn’t accept that he took out life insurance for me. I couldn’t accept I inherited everything.

Acceptance was now a stranger. So I started my drinking to deal with the guilt. And I was blind to the fact I became an alcoholic. Nothing washed away the guilt, nothing washed away the shame though I tried to by constantly drinking. All my loved ones told me I was an alcoholic but I  did nothing. It was at Homewood Health Centre that I finally accepted I was an alcoholic. And I accepted I could never drink again. I had step one nailed. And I had no reservations.

I now had to accept life as it happened. After 19 months sober and having serenity and peace. I was wrongfully dismissed from a job of 22 years. “There must be a mistake, I’ve been sober almost two years.”

I now had no escape.

I have to accept all that happens to me in sobriety. My sober life has been much harder than my drinking years. It is so important to accept help, advice and that my first sip of alcohol will kill me. It’s just that simple. Like a lady at an AA meeting told me, “Stop wishing or praying for a different past.”

I now accept life on life’s terms. And learn from both the good and bad. And most important, I accept I am an alcoholic and know that I can’t take a sip or entertain the thought that I will one day drink again.

Daniel C. had his last drink on March 22, 2010. He found AA because it was a requirement of the treatment centre that saved his life. Back then he thought he had better follow the same Higher Power as the rest in AA. They were sober. But he couldn’t do it. Today he is proud to report that his home town of Windsor finally has an agnostic meeting. And just in time: he was going to a lot less meetings and caring a lot less for his fellows. It’s all been rebooted. Today Daniel is a painter and sculptor. And he sponsors people of all beliefs.

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