working the steps
For thirty years my Vietnam experiences were like wearing a stinky dirty shirt and not being able to take it off. Everywhere I went I had this aweful dirty smell about me that interupted my social life. Some guys came back from nam all right, some came back emotionaly wounded and scared. Like many others I turned to the bottle for relief. From 1974 to 1996 I was in and out of AA never honestly working the steps. I also was in and out of the VA going to rehab and treatment programs for PTSD. While doing time in 1983 I became a Christian which gave me strength, but I still could not stay clean and sober. In 1998 at what I considered to be the end of my life. Broken and beat by life's terms, I crawled back into AA for another try at life. This time I became honest and worked the steps, having been humiliated by life. I had beat my "self" up pretty good this time.
Here's the kicker............the 12 steps allowed me to get and stay sober one day at a time, and the first nine steps cleaned away some of the trash I had brought home from Vietnam and gave me relief for the first time in my life from my Vietnam experiences. As I ride on PGR missions weekly with other Vietnam vets, I see many that are not alcoholic, but could use the benefits of a thorough house cleaning for relief of the bondage of the past. I am so grateful to be alcoholic. Not only have I been able to get and stay sober through the 12 steps, but the nighmare of Vietnam has been eased considerably.
I am truly grateful.
"That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. That God could and would if He were sought." (Alcoholics Anonymous, How it works, page 60)
"We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it."
(Alcoholics Anonymous, page 83)
"We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves."
(Alcoholics Anonymous, page 84)
Toad thank you for your service...Glad you made it home
Welcome home toad and thanks for serving. Thanks for sharing as well!
Thanks for serving Toad. I have the freedoms I do today because of people like you, and again I thank you!!! :You_Rock_
Going to Ft. Campbell Ky. this weekend, the home of the 101st Screaming Eagles. Having a reunion with guys from my platoon in Vietnam. Several I have not seen since 1968. I praise God that I am sober and alive to meet with my brothers in arms again.
Pray for me please.............toad
Prayers coming your way Toad...and thanks to all of you who served. You will be a wonderful inspiration to those guys and I am sure there will be many tears and much laughter as you find some of your brothers again.
I returned home this evening from three days at Ft. Campbell Kentucky. What an experience. I went through the 101st Airborne Division museum and visited my old barracks where I spent my last night before going to Nam which changed my life forever. I think that going back to where I was stationed and most of my training took place has been a positive experience in my emotional healing from the delayed stress of combat. As long as I was drinking and using I could have never made the trip without having an emotional breakdown and the resulting binge full of self-pity and remorse. I am truly grateful for the grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that has given me the power to overcome more than just drinking, but has given power to my life to overcome things that I cannot change.
"Having had a spiritual awakening as THE result of these steps."
Tet Vet over and out......................amen.
Read it all, stay till the end, ect.
Remember when we were told don't leave 5 minutes before the miracle happens?
That the program is in the literature and that recovery is in the fellowship?
Here's another, look for what you need in the meetings, not for what you don't.
For me as well Toad, God and 12-step have done more than given me clean time.
I have been graced with a (progressively) cleaner life. Not just the Serenity to accept, I'm talking the (Higher) power to overcome the adverse feelings surrounding those things and events of the past and present that I cannot change.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your service.
Thanks for reminding me this morning and assisting in my recovery.:ghug3
share this with me..............
"As I look back on that period, I realize how true it is that one of the primary diffferences between alcoholics and nonalcoholics is that nonalcoholics change their behavior to meet their goals and alcoholics change their goals to meet their behavior."
big book page 423
"One definition of a bottom is the point when the last thing you lost or the next thing you are about to loose is more important to you than booze."
big book page 425
We read this tonight at my homegroup. Struck a note with me........toad
Love in the fellowship!
Thank you for your service ! My uncle is a Vietnam vet too. He was a mechanic on a swift boat and patrolled between Cambodia and Vietnam. He came back, disappeared into Mexico, and stayed drunk for about 20 years. He too found AA and has been cleaned up for quite some time.
Share this with me.................
Stepping into the first footprint that led from the dismal swamp of alcoholism toward the sunlight of sobriety would not take me far enough. Would I muddle along some little trail of my own in the weeds, vaguely paralleling the clearly marked AA road? Or would I choose to follow in the exact footsteps of the AAs who had preceded? The choice was up to me. . .Since I had already taken Step One, I could decide to stop right there. I could just dry up, period. I could survive like a raisin the rest of my life.
AA Grapevine, January 1970
Gotta work Step One daily............gotta work Step three daily.........gotta work Step Six and Seven daily........gotta work Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve daily.
I don't want to go back to the way it was. God has done and is doing for me what I could not do for myself.
Thank you for your service, Toad! I have the deepest respect for you veterans!
And, thanks for all that you add to this here website. It's always great to read what you have written. Experience, strength, and hope. We appreciate it! -tabfan
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