ACTION

This translation is one of three new stories that the members of the fellowship in the Arabian Gulf region have been able to get inserted into the Arabic Language versions of the Big Book. It has taken us 6 years but we have finally made it

Each time I write or tell my story in recovery, I see new things and feel new feelings. When the Big Book Committee said I could submit my story for publication, I thought – no way, are you crazy? Who would want to get to know an alcoholic like me? I am a simple man, a very simple man. I am not a famous writer. All that I have is today – the right here, the right now. I do not regret anything in the past; absolutely every event was necessary in order to get me to Alcoholics Anonymous.

I was born in a small Bedouin Village in the Arabian Gulf. Although I was originally born in Dubai I am not a native, so from the beginning I was without a real home. I lived in my birth country at the grace of the country. I never saw or even heard of alcohol or drugs in my home village. No one in my family ever drank. I felt like I was born on earth, as a Martian, for I was the green alien from a distant planet. I did not fit in – not one little bit.

My best friends were make-believe. I created imaginary kind, smart, loving, fun, exciting friends in my head and shared them with no one. I did not relate to real people my own age. Loneliness became my constant companion. I did not need to rely on a drinking parent or a using family to facilitate my excuse for drinking and using. I could drink and use for all of them. I made my way to hell easily. I was good at finding my own way - my own way to killing myself with alcohol.

I was always extreme in everything I did. I tried out for the school talent show and was amazed that I got in. I was playing in every single act. I was the whole show myself. I was the writer and the director and the star and the backup music. I loved being center stage. The only thing that was missing was for me to be the audience.

At a very young age, I could handle my father’s punches. Physical punishment was a common form of rearing children in my village. At the time, I did not consider the hitting to be abuse. It seemed like I was always in trouble. I thought I was too much to handle and that my behavior was too bad. It was normal to me. I never knew any different. It seemed like everything was always against me.

As a small child I believed that God had chosen me, that I was special, that I was to be a Prophet or a messenger of God. Then when I was a young teen, I was kidnapped, tortured, raped, and left for dead in the middle of the desert. I walked all the way back to my home, but I could not let anyone see me or know what had happened. I was in the shower crying and asking God: “Why did you do this to me?” At that time I believed that whatever happened in my life was my fault. My life was destroyed. I resented God for what he did to me. My parents did not know what to do with me. They put me on medication, more and more medication, more and more doctors. They thought I was crazy. I was in a mental hospital for one year.

The first day I was introduced to alcohol, it was horrible. I was puking and lost consciousness. The second day I drank, I loved it. Partying worked for me. Then I was thinking how the idiots that don’t drink or use drugs were really missing out. I moved quickly to alcohol and whatever drugs were offered. I got through grade twelve in school and picked up the road to failure from then on out. I was in a gang. It seemed like the right thing to do, for my own safety. In the Gulf I had nothing to use but the intoxicants that were available.

I could not handle reality. Not one second of reality was bearable. I could not handle life without intoxicants. I was doing everything I could to manage my habit and not look like a junky. I eventually got arrested and spent forty-five days in jail. The government took my passport as they do to all criminals. When I got my passport back, I took a geographical cure by moving to Romania. I remember getting lost in the borders of Romania and Moldava. Military guards were asking me: “Where is your visa?” All that I could answer was: “I am fine.” Because I knew that I had my stuff on me. My fix is soon.

Religion did not work for me then. All is could see was a punishing God. I did not know how to be honest with myself. My head was my enemy. It was normal to be abnormal. I have been treated like a crazy man since I was fifteen years of age. I had been given a whole pharmacy of drugs. No one knew what to do with me other than medicate me. Looking at mirrors was the hardest thing you could ask me to do. I would tilt the mirror so that I could see what I was wearing, but not my face. I could never look at my own face.

I always wore a suit to go score drugs. You know you have to look your best to get down. I was always using one thing to get away from the effects of the last thing. Eventually the drugs stopped working. I felt most normal when I was drunk. My wife left me and took my daughter with her. I had the money and was going to visit my child, but had to have something to calm me down. I wished I had my meds in the car. I made u-turn after u-turn after u-turn. Tears were rolling down my face. I cried out loud: “Why me? Why the hell me? I did not ask for this. I did not deserve this.” I got my fix and stopped crying, but I forgot to go see my daughter.

Another time when I lived on a floor in a villa with no belongings other than a laptop and a speaker, I remember walking out of the villa and there was my daughter with her mother. My daughter pointed to me and said: “Look at daddy.” Then my heart stopped. I went back inside the villa and told my friend and he said there was no one there, that I was seeing things. I knew then deep in my soul that I was sick, but I did not know what to do about it. Toward the end of my drinking I did not sleep for two weeks. All I wished for was the end of my life. I did not want even one more day on this earth.

I went to the mosque, got on my knees, and prayed to Allah, honest this time: “Please let me go. Please. I cannot live this life any more. Please, with all my heart, I do not want to live one more day.” I was at my bottom. I had had enough. I was powerless.

 I woke up the second day in a mental hospital. When I actually realized where I was, I had the biggest grin on my face. No one over here thinks that being crazy is so bad, so I am happy. I lived in the mental institution for one year and three months. I could understand being crazy, but not being alcoholic. I accepted the fact that I am not normal. I made amends to my parents over two years ago. I was the hardest amends ever. The amends went all right with my mother, but not my father. I just could not talk to my father because the resentments and anger kept coming back.

But the program and the steps changed that. We can sit together and visit today. One sort of cool thing is that when my family needs to know something about a medication today, they come to me rather than asking their doctor. My short journey to recovery is full of miracles.

My real miracle is that I have not taken a drink or used any drugs for a long time now. I did not need a pill to live. I am a happy man. Even though I am going through a divorce and lost a job and have none of the things I think I want, I know deep inside that I have what I need. I only get filled from the inside. Nothing outside of me can make me happy.

When I shared my fourth step with my beloved sponsor and told him I was kidnaped and raped. I was ashamed and very uncomfortable. I had never talked to anyone about what had happened to me. When I looked up I saw tears in my sponsor’s eyes. He was not angry. He was not ashamed of me. He was not condemning me. He still cared for me. It was such a relief to me to know that bad things do happen to good people, that I was not at fault, that I could look my sponsor in his eyes and feel whole.

How blessed am I now to have had that experience of the rape. I can now help others that have suffered from a life trauma like that one. I need to go now and do my meditation and then leave to go to my home group AA meeting. If you want to meet me, you will see me in the rooms. If you do not meet me in the rooms, we will probably not meet. I only contact those who have the desire to grow up and change their lives, as I did. I do not like drunks. I love drunks. I am one. Freedom is loving the pain because I know I will learn from the hurt.

Acceptance is key because I know I will understand me. Helping others is the miracle of recovery. Being useful to others is the best job I could ever have. As my sponsor suggested I stopped relationships for six months and spent more time on myself. I now have a honest learning loving relationship with a lady I plan to marry. I am more of a man than I ever was drinking.

If you give me one of any drink or drug it is too many. A million is never enough.

My former sponsor, Zeno, who died in recovery, was like a real father to me, bless his soul. He told me: “Amin, do what makes you happy, not what makes others happy.” Seeking other peoples’ approval makes me the saddest of all.

Today I apply my principals only, what I know it takes for me to live a happy sober productive life. I do not care if people like me, want me, love me, or what they think about me. I only need self-acceptance. I only need to love myself. I do not need to be perfect at any given point. All that matters is that I do not stop growing one day at a time. This is the real me.

My life only started at the end of my drinking and using. This was the secret. I go to a meeting almost every day, good or bad. I do service work every week, like it or not. I take sponsees’ calls whether or not I have the time. I am a simple man.

Very simply it does not matter how I feel or what I think today. I just do it. I have a new life of action. Action makes it happen. Peace to you.

This translation is one of three new stories that the members of the fellowship in the Arabian Gulf region have been able to get inserted into the Arabic Language versions of the Big Book. It has taken us 6 years but we have finally made it

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