I sobered up on Sept 3rd, 1979 at the age of 21. While learning to live sober was tough I was very glad to have a new way to live. My sponsors led me thru Steps 4 & 5 and the rest of the time we spent hanging out, going to meetings, and many nights having coffee with lots of social events. No one really talked about the other Steps, I had no idea there was so much missing in my life.

My first 13 years were spent enjoying some moments but as time went on I became increasingly more angry and began to act out with socially unacceptable behavior. I would wake up mad, go to work mad, get mad because people would ask me about being mad and then go to an AA meeting throw on a smile and act like I was happy. In all honesty I did find relief in the meetings but the relief passed as soon as the meeting was over.

In February of 1993 Joe Hawk brought a Big Book Workshop to my hometown. As Joe was explaining page 62 I had an experience that changed my life, as he spoke I saw my behavior as it was, blaming everyone, and I knew in that moment I had never taken responsibility for a single thing in my life. Within two days I asked a man to sponsor me and he introduced me to the Big Book Awakening style of life (I had never heard of it till then). After the steps began to work in my life, the anger inside diminished, the inappropriate behavior left, the suicidal thoughts vanished and I began to sense the presence of God in my life. I am so grateful for the message my sponsor brought to me and the new life I have today. It is as though I have lived in two different AA worlds, one prior to February 1993 and the time after February 1993.

—Bryan S.

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