From Pain to Peace: With AA, I’m Not Alone

Courtney P. story of hope

Courtney P. found peace, healing, recovery, and community through AA

By Courtney P.

November 5, 2020

I am a recovering alcoholic named Courtney. My sobriety date is June 12, 2007.

As far back as I can remember, I felt different and less than everyone around me. I was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was adopted by my family in Ohio when I was 6 months old. I told myself for many years that if my biological mother rejected me and gave me up for adoption, then something had to be really wrong with me. My adoptive family is Caucasian, and because I looked different from them, my brain told me I did not fit in.

Until I found recovery, I did not have any healthy ways to process my thoughts and feelings. I constantly felt anxious, scared and alone. I was consumed with self. My brain constantly raced, and I always felt empty on the inside. I spent years being depressed and wanting to die. I was not living, but merely existing. I drank, drugged, cut and shopped to ease the pain.

Because I am an alcoholic, once I start to drink, I cannot control the quantity that I consume. I abuse myself and other people. I drive drunk. I put my life—and yours—in jeopardy. Despite these horrific, dehumanizing consequences, my alcoholic mind tells me to do it again. My alcoholic mind says, This time will be different.

AA eliminates my need, or desire, for a drink. AA provides me with tools to deal with absolutely anything that happens in my life on a daily basis.”

I tried everything that I could think of to look good on the outside so that no one would suspect how empty and miserable I was on the inside. Time and again, my best thinking and plans got me nowhere.

In AA, I found out that I am not alone. Today, with the help of my fellow recovering alcoholics, I attend regular meetings, continually work the 12 steps with the guidance of a sponsor and practice service to others. As a result of working my program, I am connected to a power greater than myself that grants me a daily reprieve from alcohol, drugs, cutting and shopping. The steps allow me to discover and address the feelings, thoughts and ideas inside myself that kept me wanting to drink and prevented me from living a productive and purposeful life.

AA eliminates my need, or desire, for a drink. AA provides me with tools to deal with absolutely anything that happens in my life on a daily basis. I have people who understand me and accept me—warts and all. I feel comfortable in my own skin. My heart is full of love, and my mind is relatively calm most days. I am at peace with my past. I have a purpose in life, which is to be of service to the people on my path.

In AA I learned that I am not broken or less than, but I am sick. My disease of alcoholism may not be curable, but it is treatable.

Today, I am grateful to be alive and in recovery.