Nothing like some newcomers to a meeting with several old-timers that opened a window through which blew memories, igniting gratitude!
The sharing that day brought memories of walking into my first meeting — 1:00 PM at what was then a Catholic retreat center.
Which was a huge building perched on hill overlooking a river —no modest room in a church basement!*
It seemed like I had to walk through an endless corridor to get to that oh-so huge meeting room.
Some arguments Newcomers may Have
During that walk I had so many arguments with myself:
- You are overreacting; you are just not that bad.
- Just turn around and try really try not drinking . . . too much.
- How on earth will you live with never, ever drinking ever again for the rest of your life?
- You are too young to be an alcoholic.
- This is just crazy — you are not like those people!
The mercy is I did not turn around, but walked into a room with a large circle of friendly people.
What I heard, way back when
When I introduced myself and described a wee bit of myself, I kinda thought they would tell me I was overreacting — that I was really not that bad. (So try some more controlled drinking ?! — the 12&12, page 23)
But, no . . . they said Welcome — keep coming back.
(Another AA once remarked that was the first time they’d been invited to come back, anywhere!)
At that and subsequent meetings, I heard:
If your life is unmanageable to any degree, due to the use of alcohol— then you might have a problem with alcohol.
It was the to any degree that got me —
Howsomeever, it took me awhile to become honest about where my drinking took me— was taking me.
And to be honest, it has taken me longer to have the courage to look at the “issues” that kept me using alcohol for a fix.
My sponsor suggested I learn to identify with people in the rooms and not compare myself out.
It’s been a daily adventure —
In my own case, coming to terms with the past took some time. But today, I can truly say that I am deeply grateful. By seeking help I not only gained insight into my former problems, but I also was led into an infinitely more rewarding way of living.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Yesterday’s liabilities can become today’s assets. (A New Day, page 232)
I am not sure what the newcomers’ take-away was from the meeting, as we read and discussed Step One in the Twelve and Twelve.
But the time refreshed me as I remembered what it was like . . . knowing even then that something had to change, and it just might be me not taking the next drink, getting to the next meeting, and praying.
One thing I heard at that meeting was how valuable were sponsors, and I hope all the newcomers heard too.
Hope this is a day of new beginnings for you reader — whether you are one of the newcomers to meetings, or old-timers — we each have the same 24 hours to spend well!
Love in Christ,
Sober & Grateful