Such is the paradox of A.A. regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one’s old life as a condition for finding a new one.
A thousand beatings by John Barleycorn did not encourage me to admit defeat. I believed it was my moral obligation to conquer my “enemy-friend.” At my first A.A. meeting I was blessed with a feeling that it was all right to admit defeat to a disease which had nothing to do with my “moral fiber.” I knew instinctively that I was in the presence of a great love when I entered the doors of A.A. With no effort on my part, I became aware that to love myself was good and right, as God had intended. My feelings set me free, where my thoughts had held me in bondage. I am grateful.