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That was my biggest fear when I was drinking: That I wasn’t drunk enough to handle basic life events. I didn’t need to be falling down or slurring words, but there was no way I was doing anything without at least a little something.

Step 1: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Going “out there” was the problem. Being among people, interacting, seemed to require more than I naturally had. I drank to look natural, to fit in. Not that others saw me drink; I kept that to myself. Drinking became prep work, a routine that needed to be followed before I was ready to engage with the public, or coworkers, or neighbors, or friends, or family. Eventually, it was all I knew.

And my alcoholism looked at my situation in two different ways, depending on what it thought I needed that day.

First off, we’d go with the unworthy approach. I needed to numb myself so as not to draw attention to the fact that I’m a giant fraud: a fraud that needs to drink just to sit in this room.

If that didn’t work, we’d go with plan B. I needed to numb myself so as not to draw attention the fact that I’m better than everyone in this room, and I need to drink just to put up with your nonsense.

Today, and thanks to this program, I realize that we’re all just people sitting in a room. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t need to be bigger than or less than.  I don’t need to choose higher or lower, and for that I’m grateful.

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