Fixing the White Book

An issue that was nagging at me for the past few years was the state of my White Book. Pages were falling out and it was frayed in places. This was due mostly because it comes with me everywhere. Even though I have another White Book, my frayed copy has been with me to meetings in eight different countries on three continents, and to many countries without SA meetings. It is always in my backpack.

When I got my White Book as a newcomer, I read it all in a short time and put it down. I didn’t like it, didn’t “get it.” It was too complicated for me. It wasn’t intellectual enough for me. It was too simple for me. It was too religious for me. It wasn’t religious enough for me. I have since learned that when I have a negative reaction against something, there is usually something wrong with me – in my case, I was so deep in denial that I could not see that the White Book describes me perfectly.

So, I decided to repair my White Book. I bought some bookbinder’s glue, and on a quiet Sunday afternoon I sat down and got to work on this brief repair job. I thought it would be a simple task. It was not. As I worked on the book, I started to get emotional. Gratitude welled up. Sadness, too. Memories. What was going on? Emotion and I don’t usually go together.

I realized as I was fixing my White Book, it was almost exactly 10 years since I attended my first meeting. I’ve been sober the past 8 years and a half by the grace of God, but have been in the program for a decade. The memories came back – of my isolated first few months in the program, of finally buying the White Book and getting a sponsor after a few months, of the first year and a half of successive relapses as I tried desperately to use half measures, of friends I have gained and lost, of the Step Zero experience of fellowship, and of the enormous relief of the gift of sobriety in May 2011, and the miracle of each and every day sober.

My White Book has been with me all that time. “The road was up and down, smooth and rocky… At times we experienced great joy; at other times doubt, uncertainty, depression, and fear… But we found that once on this road, something deep within told us it was the right path for us” (SA, 78). I don’t think I’ll be replacing my White Book any time soon – or at least as long as the glue holds.

A Sexaholic in the UK

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