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It’s A We Program

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Monday, 05 November 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News


That’s right, Alcoholics Anonymous is a “we” program. We get clean and sober together, one day at a time. I never really understood that until now.

The first step of our glorious twelve step program is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Today, I had an “aha” moment of sorts, particularly because I have been an isolator and an extremely independent person all my life, or so I thought.

I have a friend and sponsee who reminds me a lot of myself. He is from out of state as well. For the last two months he has been focusing on treating his alcoholism. During his time in Los Angeles, California I have watched him evolve, mature and develop as a person. He has an amazing future ahead of him. I am so happy that I have been a part of the process.

Back to my “aha” moment….in preparation of his trip to return home in a couple of weeks, we traveled out of town to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to obtain an identification card so that he can board a plane back to his home state. Oh my gosh, what an adventure it was. It literally felt like a mission!

Both of us have been up since about 5:30 a.m. this morning. We left at 8:30 a.m. and we just recently got back.

We got lost on the way there, had to ask person after person for accurate direction despite the fact that we printed googlemap directions. We traveled through desolate towns and I lost internet reception on my phone. We felt like we were not in civilization.

Once there, we had to wait in line after line… line was incredibly long. On the way back, through a series of events, it seemed as if we would never get back home as we traveled through the hot, remote town of Glendale. We made it through.

This was an example of living life on life’s terms and also an example of how problems are cut in half when they are tackled together. Together we walked through the problem clean and sober.

The point that I am making is that when you are an alcoholic or addict, two minds are better than one, even if you don’t think so. It is about taking contrary action. Life trudged through together is never as bad as it seems alone.

We both joked that if one of us had to do alone what we did together today, neither one of us would have completed the task.

In fact, if one of us had attempted to complete this particular task when either of us was using prescription pills, drugs, or alcohol, we more than like would not have accomplished it. Additionally, we would have used to deal with the frustration of not being able to do it. Thank God that is not our life today.

Despite all the obstacles that we faced today, we accomplished what we set out to accomplishe. We laughed and discussed the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, not to mention our goals for the future and even the lessons of the past.

This “mission” shifted my perception of my place in this world and how I relate to people. I no longer feel alone. Just when I think I have figured something out, my higher power surprises me.

I feel blessed to have my God in my life, and I feel grateful to have my sponsee(s) in my life. By focusing on helping another person I get out of myself, and because he received help he is more likely to help another person. That is the circle of life, huh?! It is beautiful!!

Ironically, I met him through Alcoholics Anonymous. If you had asked my rational/logical mind if I would find one of my best friends in the world in a twelve step program I would have said it would never happen.

To be honest, today was such a difficult day, but it was such a worthwhile day. I will never forget it. I truly feel blessed to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are wonderful people in these rooms.

Even more, what I realize is that I am typically self-absorbed. I no longer have to be that way. I am finally finding people I relate to, people that I want to trudge not only the road of sobriety with, but the road of life with.

Thank you Alcoholics Anonymous!

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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