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At 12 years old I was a young woman.
I was given beer and liquor.
I was known as a slut.
I was willing to lie, cheat and steal from those closest to me.
I compromised my reputation, my family's reputation, their property and bank accounts.
I had such guilt.
I took all of my relationships and opportunities for granted.
I abused my body and put myself in life threatening situations over and over and over again.
I was in so much pain.
I wanted to die.
Why did I pick up when I was so young? Why did I keep drinking and smoking if I didn't like the taste of alcohol or cigarettes? Why did I hook up with guys I didn't feel attracted to?
In my own mind, my own perception of reality, I believed, I thought to myself that, finally, these others understand how special and great I am and I am now being included and part of and accepted.
I perceived that if they approved of me, then I now had the proof, the validation, that I was worthy of belonging and being accepted. The joint attention, togetherness and bonding meant something when alcohol, drugs and cigarettes were involved.
Until it didn't.
After 16 years of a pack a day of cigarettes and weed smoking, regular binge black out drinking with frequent drug abuse I stopped after attending several AA meetings after a judges order.
I felt like the loser I have to admit that I know I felt like when I was 12 before I was offered the invitation to join others in their contraband. Except I was not only a loser, I was also a scum bag and a dirty whore and lonely and pathetic and desperate with debt, a record and no friends or family to turn to.
I heard that alcoholism is a disease of perception..... I also heard that isolation is a spiritual disease and community is the solution. AA has been there for me. I don't always like what I hear, or the people I meet or the rooms or the words in the books or the shares but I appreciate that I am part of a community That at any time I have someone, something, somewhere to turn to who gets me.
I always appreciated the line in the movie Almost Famous when Philip Seymour Hoffman's character, Lester Bangs, tells the kid, "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool"
That's what AA feels like to me....
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