Scary, isn’t it?
It can be pretty frightening to walk into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for the first time. Or for the second or third time, for that matter.
At the very first meeting I attended, there were all sorts of scary creatures. Weary-eyed old men. Worn-out women. Sullen 20-somethings. Holy-roller housewives. Flip-flop-wearing frat boys.
Equally scary were the stories I heard. Tales of arrests, violence, drug addiction, neglected children, lost jobs, broken homes…you name it.
The thought of standing up and telling these people I was an alcoholic (which would mean admitting I was just like them) and then sharing some bit of my true self was fearful beyond words.
I didn’t go back to another AA meeting for a year. When I finally did venture out again, I only attended two meetings before I decided, yet again, that I had nothing in common with these alcoholic creatures and there was nothing at AA for me.
I wasn’t down on my luck. I hadn’t “hit bottom.” I wasn’t haggard and in bad health. I wasn’t religious. Heck, I wasn’t even really an alcoholic. After all, plenty of my friends told me I didn’t have a drinking problem – I just went a little overboard sometimes.
I talked myself out of it. Again. And again. And again. I could control this thing. I was a successful career woman. I was a mom. I was a multitasker. I could manage.
Until I couldn’t.
Two weeks ago, feeling nervous and very afraid, I walked into yet another AA meeting — about 13 years after I sat through that very first one, the one where I saw all those frightening creatures.
And there they were. Again.
The old men. The weary women. The young ones. The housewives.
But something was different.
I had come to realize that I was just like them. I was an alcoholic. I was out of control. I wanted what they had. I would do anything to get it – even if it scared me beyond belief.
And so I went to that meeting, holding within me the one requirement for AA membership: a desire to stop drinking. I was welcomed with open arms and hearts.
Turns out it wasn’t so scary, after all.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 7 Comments
Tags: 12 steps, 12-Step Program, AA, AA meeting, alcoholic, alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, fear, Halloween, life, people, promises, recovery, scary, sober, sobriety, Step One, Third Tradition