I picked up a drink at 16 years of age, and I remember thinking WOW what is this stuff, it’s like magic. After that I broke all of the rules my parents set. One night I was at basketball and had to be home at 10 pm, but I got home at 12 pm, becasue I was drinking. My parents were worried sick. I woke to a terrific hangover, and my mother said we will not punish you, because you look like you have punished yourself enough. I thought WOW I got away with it.

It was around this age, that I left school and got a job.

I was tall and skinny and a face full of acne. Being tall had it’s advantages, it got me into pubs and clubs, where I could get drunk. I couldn’t wait till the week-ends. Parties, boys, drinking, playing pool & dancing.

I was 18 years of age, when I got into a relationship and he ended up moving into Townsville. 6 months later I followed. It was in Townsville, that I learned to become a bar-maid. When I wasn’t working, I was drinking, it was just what you did. There were lots of fun times, but when I look back now, I was lucky I didn’t kill somebody or myself, drink driving, swimming drunk etc.

Some years and a few relationships later I moved back to Sydney and found employment working in bars. After a while I became the manageress, working 6 days a week, 14 hours a day. It was then that I fell in love with the publican and ended up marrying him. Two months into this relationship I became pregnant, it was the happiest time of my life. I had a beautiful baby girl. I had a water frontage home, a nice car, boat down on the pier, antique furniture, and I remember looking down at my daughter, thinking is this what life is all about?

It was then that my drinking escalated. I lived in fantasy, and those fairy lights were beginning to flicker.

I remember one night sitting on the edge of the bed saying: “ I can’t do this anymore.” It was then that I admitted that I had a problem with alcohol. I was taken to William Booth Institute ran by the Salvation Army. I was told that it was a 12 month program. I just broke down crying saying what about my little girl, and the man who interviewed me said didn’t you put drink and drugs before that little girl. It was here that I had to say yes, I did put drink and drugs before her.

This was in 1988, I detoxed and I stayed for 12 months.

After that I went to a farm through the Bridge Program. I did the 24 hour a day, steps, chapel, cleaned chicken eggs, milked a cows, and an AA meeting once a week. It was here that I did a Steps 4 and 5, though all through that time, I had never read the Big Book. I worked there for 4 years.

In this time I went through Court Cases, and Custody Battles. But lost custody of my beutiful baby girl due to my alcoholism.

After 4 years I moved back to Sydney. I worked, got a little flat, car and did meetings in the inner suburbs of Sydney.

I then decided to do a course. I couldn’t believe it I passed with flying colours. I left working in the Bridge Program, and started working with women and children. Working in this field really effected me, and I had to leave. I got very sick. I slept for 2 weeks, and wasn’t even aware of it.

It was here that my mother placed me in a Mental Institution, and I stayed for 1 month. I was medicated for severe depression. I began to look for doctors who would give me sleepers, and began to abuse them. I was always looking for something outside of me to fix things.

I had 8 years of sobriety when my dad died. Everything around me collapsed. I picked up a drink and things got worse. Within a month I was back to where I started, before entering William Booth. Things began to decline at a drastic rate. I did things that I didn’t do before, and worse.

I needed alcohol.

I remember one New Years Eve sitting on my backdoor step, and I thought I haven’t got a friend in the world, so I decided to go to church.

I was an hour early, and there was a club next door, so I thought I will go there to kill an hour, to have something to eat. As you would guess, I didn’t make it to church, and it was here that I met my next boyfriend.

He drank just like I did. I stayed in this relationship for 9 years. The bills were not getting paid, there was never enough food in the fridge, though I always knew how to get a cask of wine. The fights were getting more frequent, and now the physical abuse was happening, and on numerous occasions I would physically attack him. The police were beginning called, taking me away. My spirit began to get smaller and smaller, and the degredation, I couldn’t believe.

I had found escape in the bottle, but it had stopped working, I needed more.

We moved to the country, and things were ok for a while, though it all starting again, and very quickly. I needed 2 casks of wine a day at this stage.

It was Christmas 2005 in Sydney, when I woke from a night I would never forget, and I believe that this was my turning point, the alcohol wasn’t working anymore.

I was at the point of desperation. I said to my drinking friend, I am going back AA. This was the last time I saw her and the last I had a drink.

It was a Thursday night and I looked up a meeting. I don’t remember much, all I could do was cry, and pray to God to get me home. I said to my partner, if you do not give up alcohol we have to split. We both went to the next meeting the following week. I then went to the Salvation Army Chapel on the Sunday, and it was then again I could not stop crying. It was here that I spoke to a Salvationist and said that I was an Alcoholic.

Amazingly enough there was a lady there who was also an alcoholic and she took me aside and we talked for about an hour, and we swapped phone numbers, and I was offered a sponsor.

Unfortunately my sponsor died shortly after. For 6 months I did not have a sponsor, but once again a friend from AA and the Chapel put me onto another sponsor.

It was here that I was finally introduced to the “Big Book” the Basic Text of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I sat with my new sponsor once a week at McDonalds, and he would take me through the “Big Book”. I also had to ring him at 7 pm in the evening and he would give me things to read and highlight as to things I would relate to from the basic text.

My partner didn’t like what I was doing. I was beginning to change. It was around this time that I split with my partner and we separated for 2 to 3 weeks. He moved out, and I went back for the wrong reasons. Everything came to an end, and boy I hit a rock bottom quickly.

My mother put me into a mental institution and I was there for 2 weeks.

I then went to women’s refugees in Sydney and thank God we have these places, though I must say it was one of the most frightening times of my life. I come home, to be placed in a mental institution for 3 months.

All I could do was hold onto my medication, while I was being taken away by the police, and I was like a caged tiger pacing back and forward.

It was at this this time I met my new sponsor and my sponsor today. My sponsor would visit me, with her sponsor, and they would take me out. I joined a group in my home town, and I became involved.

My sponsor introduced me to a prayer called “The set aside Prayer”, and asked me what I was willing to do.

I remember that I couldn’t take that much in, but she said I want you to remember this prayer, so I did.

I went to her home when possible, and she took me through the “Big Book”, and we got so far and I got sick again. She did not give up on me and we started agian, this time, there was a real deepening. I believe through the “Grace of God” that I did the most honest and through Step 4 and 5 possible, and it was here that I began to experience God. I had a wonderful spiritual experience making amends to my dad, whom had passed away, and my mother and daughter in whom I had harmed.

Today my mother likes me to come for a visit, and my daughter who is on the other side of the world emails or we Skype. I also now talk to my sister.

Amazingly enough I do 12 step work at the hospital I was once admitted too, once a month.

I have to say that sometimes I don’t know what Gods will is for me, though I do know what it isn’t, and that surrender is the key to happiness.

I have to say that thanks to God, AA, the steps and my sponsor, that I am now trudging the Road to Happy Destiny, and I hope to any new comer who enters the rooms of AA that they join the first promise of Hope of many Thousands of men and women, of unity, recovery and service. One Day at a time!! God Bless!!

My name is Zac and I have not found it necessary to pick up a drink since Dec 2nd 2014. I am in Australia to visit my sponsor. Sponsorship can work across oceans. The meetings in MacArthur district are great. The AA fellowship is warm and welcoming from Campbell town and Tahmoor to Nowra.
I was a black out drinker at age 25. I started going to psychiatrists, therapists, church & doctors, because I thought the thing wrong with me was being Gay. I would never tell the truth when I was asked how much I drank. A co-worker suggested I go to an AA meeting. I needed a few drinks before the meeting. I don’t remember much about that meeting, but I do remember them saying – Keep coming back! No one had said that to me for a long time. I was banned from my watering holes, I had no money or a job, I was lonely and my relationship at the time was on the rocks.
I thought AA would help me stop drinking, to get a job & money and help me to drink like normal people. I went to meetings and was always obsessed with thinking about drinking or keeping myself from drinking. My will power kept me dry for 14 years. My will power was strong or so I thought. Moving across the country was the answer. But my life was unmanageable. The time came when my life was unhappy, restless, ill-tempered and discontent, but didn’t know it. Once again I thought of a drink and that spree lasted 2 years.
I crawled back to AA. I thought I had surrendered, but nothing changed. I continued to do the same things; go to meetings, get a sponsor but did not work with him and do the steps. Most of all I could not and would not trust in God. No, God abandoned me years ago. My will power would allow me to get better jobs, get married, and buy a beautiful home and 3 cars in the garage. Money was my higher power. Nine more years of untreated alcoholism in AA.
Once again the thought of a drink. This time I would know hopelessness like no other. I lost my job, and my drinking now was around the clock. My spouse was ready to file for a divorce. I was at the jumping off point where I could not go on. I knew this would kill me and I wanted to die. I was hospitalised and received the gift of desperation. I knew AA worked for others, but had no hope for me. I became honest with my doctors and I was willing to take direction and go to any lengths to get and stay sober. I got a home group and worked the twelve steps (all of them) with my sponsor. Most of all I started relying on God. I believe God brought me to AA and the 12 steps brought me to God. Now my days are filled serenity and peace of mind. I’m no longer ashamed, I look others in the face and walk this earth knowing I am a child of God. I try to be of service and help AA and Alcoholics everywhere I go. I no longer think of drinking, the obsession to drink has been removed. My primary purpose in life now is to stay sober and help others. Life is good with my partner of 19 years. I am blessed and now rely on God’s power rather than my own.

My name is Jetta & have been given a sobriety date of 2 January 1991. I was given that date as I did try to stop drinking on my own for a long time but just couldn’t stop. I was a business woman owning a beautiful florist & nursery. Had a big family of wonderful kids, I was married to a professional man and had built a very nice home in Sydney with a weekender on the Central Coast. I had it all great holidays new cars plenty of money coming in. I just couldn’t stop drinking.

I started going to health farms, church & doctors, but not telling them the truth about the amount I was drinking, as was just so ashamed. I couldn’t understand why I was drinking so much always making promises to stop, begging God to stop me buying it. My head just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

My kids started to leave home one by one as I was always fighting with the husband & them for accusing me of drinking too much and now violence was happening in the beautiful home we had built. Arguments screaming & lashing out with the husband. I even took to him with a knife one night when I was so drunk & thanks be to God he locked himself in our bedroom till I passed out. Awakening to find a few of his brothers standing over me stating I was a disgrace & a wino. The shame I felt – I just wanted to die. Where was my strong will to stop? I just couldn’t.

My business started to go down, the kids had all gone, I couldn’t stop shaking & was itchy all over like I had fleas.

I started to go to a psychologist who suggested I go to AA meetings which I did. I was always drunk as I couldn’t seem to leave the house unless I was topped up with Mosel. I stunk as well, even after having a couple of showers.

I was sitting in a meeting one day when I heard a woman share that alcoholics aren’t bad people, but that we are sick people; spiritually, mentally & physically.  She presided to share that when we take a glass of grog something happens in our body [A physically craving] & we need to have more, the body has this craving. Wow, I related to that! My head with the thinking was taking me to have a drink & once I started I couldn’t stop. The woman said we have to surrender. Well how do I do that?

I started going to AA meetings every day as I felt some relief & made a decision to stop on the 1st January 91, making a NY’s resolution to stop, but got drunk again the next morning. Passed out waking up some hours later just saying to God just do with me what you want to do with me God as I can’t stop drinking. Well, laying on the floor I was so very desperate, ashamed & sick asking my Creator to help me. I felt like a butterfly deep in my gut & from that day I haven’t had another drink.

It was very hard, but I was told to go one day at a time, watching the clock & asking God to help me. I was told to get a sponsor in AA, to buy a Big Book, and join a home group where I had support from others, that I could ring & go have coffee with every day. So what has happened, my sponsor showed me how to go through the 12 steps. I had a new experience deep down within where the alcohol used to hit & felt a new Power within me. It took a long time for me to get sick and a long time to get well.  I now sponsor others & take them through the 12 steps.  i have started a group where I now live.

I was married for 27 & half years, the alcohol took that away with mostly everything else. My new life has given me a new partner, and as a result of amends in the 9th steps I have beautiful relationships with my kids Grandchildren & Gt. Grandee’s.  I’am now retired living in a beautiful village in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

I travel every year to the USA & stay with friends I have met in Sobriety, I also travel all over different states of Australia staying with AA friends or family.

I give thanks to God every day for the wonderful blessings I have been given, & not to be living in the bondage of self that alcohol had me doing. Today my life is having a quite mind & a peaceful heart, know who I am and what my purpose is here on this earth. To be of use to God & all about me.

So if you are a woman that drank like me, there is a solution for a new and wonderful sober life. It’s all on offer at Alcoholics Anonymous.

I gave my life to serve in alcoholics Anonymous & now can live at peace within the world. I live a full life of abundance and can be totally honest with others and not use people as I did in the past.