Don't Give Up Before The Magic Happens
Today I made myself go to an AA meeting. It's been way too long since I've gone and after all the madness lately, it was essential for me to get there. Carter had to come but nobody cared, and she was happy playing on the ground at my feet. When I first got sober, I was going to a meeting every day and gradually as the years have gone by they have slowly tapered off. This is not necessarily the right approach, and admittedly I need meetings now more than ever. I chose a lunchtime meeting here in Atlanta, and overall my experience was great. However, I was a little disappointed by a few comments, and sadly they turned me off a bit. Thankfully, I have some experience and history to know that one off meeting doesn't mean a whole lot. It reminds me of some advice I received early on, and for anyone who is contemplating getting sober by going to AA, I'd like to pass it along to you.
Not every meeting is for everybody. Not everyone who is sober always acts soberly - myself included. If you don't find anything or anyone at a meeting you're attending keep trying until you find one that works. AA, on the whole, functions beautifully and has helped so many people recover and get their life back. It's important advice because initially when my feelings were so raw, many meetings could have turned me off from the whole process. I remember right around my three month anniversary a woman (with many years sober) said in front of me that she didn't want me coming to a party her friend invited me to. That was neither friendly or sober, and it really hurt my feelings. As much as I wanted to use it as an excuse to get drunk and feel sorry for myself, I found a different meeting where that woman didn't attend, and the people were open and friendly. I ended up going to the new meeting for the next five years of my sobriety, and when I go back to NYC I go to that meeting, and the room feels like home.
AA is unique because you can go anywhere in the world and there will be some form of a meeting to attend. It doesn't mean it's any good, but it does show how committed people are about getting and staying sober. I know a woman who was visiting rural India and found a meeting with two people in attendance - it's just incredible. Alcoholism is so prevalent (as I discovered when I went into the program) and this network of individuals dedicated to improving their lives and helping others is truly unparalleled in my experience. As I have said before AA isn't for everyone, but it worked for me - my suggestion, if you do decide to go into the program don't give up before the magic happens.