One of my earliest memories in sobriety was hearing an old-timer say, “If you’re an addict or and alcoholic, you need to work a program, which means practicing the 12 steps.” I remember being upset, and thinking that it isn’t fair that I cannot drink. How come I have to work these steps and so-called “normal” people can just take the edge off? I had to accept that I have a disease, one that kills in an insidious and often brutal manner. How lucky I am to have the disease of alcoholism instead of cancer. Rather than radiation and chemotherapy, I get to go to meetings, meet some wonderful people, create the family I lost to this disease, and to my surprise, discover there is a point and purpose to my life.
We are different, and we admit that in Step One. We have a life threatening disease. If we don’t work the Steps, it could cost us our lives. In this life, people suffer with different illnesses. In each case, they must accept the limitations and the treatment that their disease requires. Our disease requires that we abstain from using drugs and alcohol, and that we work a very honest and thorough program of recovery. I thank God that my disease is treatable and that this program is now giving me the tools to stay clean and sober.