How Weird Was That?
With no real idea where the thought came from, no feelings of doubt or reservation and with my former serious scepticism mysteriously absent, the decision came to me to go to my first ever Alcoholic Anonymous meeting.
I am still trying to get my head around exactly how and why (now) this happened but today I just want and need, to recount how my first meeting went.
It was important to me that I went with an open mind and being generally the open-minded type, I had no problem with this – although I had still surprised myself!
No. What was weird was the fact that the pride, the feeling that I have the ability to solve this alcohol problem myself and on my own, was gone.
I arrived a little early and met Jane, who was chairing the meeting and who was the first one there. I introduced myself and asked if there was a meeting today and if so, could I attend.
I was very warmly welcomed and spent the next wonderful hour and a half being fascinated by the true stories and recollections of my fellow members as they illuminated upon their previous alcoholic lives with frankness and what I intuitively understood to be honesty – and often with humour too! It was a revelation to me and I thought, reward for and vindication of my decision not only to attend, but to do so with a completely open mind. The people were normal, intelligent, genuine, open and very friendly and helpful without being in any way pushy, sanctimonious, or aloof.
An extremely positive experience and I feel now that I have overcome already perhaps the biggest hurdle which has undermined my countless attempts to stop drinking in the past. My pride. My pride that I could do it on my own. I have realised for many years that I could not. Now I know that in addition to that fact is the wonderful realization that I don’t have to! I have found here a support group which I feel very comfortable to be a part of and which I also feel will be critical in putting me firmly on the path to recovery.
I have had a good week. I have been looking after myself, eating well, getting plenty of rest, keeping busy, reading up on some of the Alcoholic Anonymous literature I have and gently changing my thinking and my habits to accommodate this new process of recovery. I have not felt any urge to drink at all but experience tells me that temptation could come at any time.
The advice I have read and continue to re-read will, I am sure, prepare me well for those times when they do come. And now I am not alone. One phone call will put me in touch with a chap I met at my first meet last Saturday. He will help me if I feel like I might slide. Also, I have embraced the concept of the 24 hour plan, in which I resolve to literally take each day at a time, try to stay in the ‘Now’ and focus on not drinking for just that period of time, without worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month. I can do nothing about the future – I can only influence the present, so that is where my focus and my energy has been this week. In the Now.
I shall be keeping a weekly diary of my experiences at the AA meetings. At this point I will continue with the Saturday meet and will report on progress there. I expect I shall also attend other meets at other times and in other locations, so I will post my thoughts on those here as well.
I feel so happy and optimistic!!!! How weird was that?