Feelings of being different were part of my life for years-and that feeling kept me “different” from others-or so I thought-for a very long time. What worked for others would surely not work for me, I’m different. The program of recovery may work for others, but not for me-I’m different. It was only when I reached my bottom and opened my mind to the idea of not only having the same disease as others, but being able to share the solution – the Program of A.A., and I was finally able to begin to heal from the disease of alcoholism. When a member told me to listen for the similarities, and not the differences, that was the beginning of having an “open mind.” I heard others talk about their lives and much to my surprise there were similarities-and not just a few. I learned then that my life had been a series of isolated living, even in the fullest bars. There were times when I never felt so alone as I did in bars full of noisy drinkers. There was always this feeling of missing something that others had-or so I thought. It was this elusive “something” that it seemed to me, that others had-and I did not.

Since coming to the Program those old feelings of isolation and being “different” have not returned. I am grateful for that. I am simply just another woman alcoholic-nothing more, nothing less. I hear others tell parts of my story, and I know that others share my feelings, my history and my solution to this malady that we all share. Introducing myself as “Bonnie, alcoholic” reminds me that I am in the rooms of A.A. for one reason, and one reason only-to maintain my sobriety through the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I may do that in a variety of ways, but the similarities I share with others is mapped out for me in the Steps, in the Program and in the rooms of A.A. I am grateful to be part of a group, part of a Fellowship, and to have the beautiful friends I do. Our common problem has a common solution-thanks to A.A!