Walking in I am nervous, but not scared. I bring along a dear friend for moral support, so I know someone in the room. We are early, I usually am. We are pulled into helping set up coffee and chairs. It feels good to be useful. I like to be helpful.
Slowly, then more steadily women walk in, scan the room, acknowledge new faces and sit down. Some greet us with handshakes and first names. As the moment to start arrives a few stragglers enter, clearly surprised by the larger than normal gathering of familiar and unfamiliar faces.
The meeting’s leader begins. I listen. I want to take notes, but no one else is so I do not. I like to write down things I hear that resonate with me so I can remember them. I cannot remember exactly what she says, but maybe that does not matter. What’s important is she says to each of us – You Can Do This! The leader ends her thoughts and invites sharing. I listen. Then suddenly it is time for announcements and other business. Have I missed my chance to share? No, and in a few moments, after my presence is acknowledged at the table, the sharing resumes. Soon it is my turn to share. My story is my own. I seldom hear it or see it written although I know it is being lived by many. I’ve shared some of it here. I will more in the days ahead.
I’m glad I went, but I am scared now of the future and how I am going to cope without my beloved wine. I have to remind myself that the only thing that matters is right now. This moment. I go to the grocery store after the Meeting. I had confessed in my sharing that one of the reasons I finally decided to attend a Meeting in the community where I live is that I hope to find some accountability. Grocery stores in our area sell alcohol. I’m hoping, in the days, weeks, months and years ahead, I will see familiar faces who will smile, greet me kindly and reinforce my strength as I go about my day.
One day. Today. I can do this. One day, or even moment at a time. So let me introduce myself, I am an alcoholic.