The time I went to AA

I feel a bit emotionally exhausted.  I tossed up all afternoon about going or not going and then I sat out front in the car literally quaking with anxiety. I think the hardest thing I have ever done was get out of the car, cross the road and walk into the church hall. I had to force myself for every step. 

I listened for a while and had pretty much convinced myself I was in the wrong place. One guy had been to jail 17 times. SEVENTEEN! I don’t have so much as a speeding fine on my rap sheet. He was hilarious, though, and used “fuck” for punctuation, which is something that I always like in a person. Another guy came out of a blackout sometime a long time ago (because he has been sober as long as I have been alive) holding a shotgun in a city street. Anyway, I was invited to share and next thing I was a crying mess and all the scary dudes who weren’t actually very scary at all were handing me tissues and assuring me I was in totally the right place. 

I don’t know if this is some kind of epiphanic, life-changing thing for me or not. What I mainly felt was an enormous sense of relief for taking a bigger step than I have ever taken before towards admitting that I’m not handling this very well on my own.

I don’t want to be sitting in a church hall in 20 years time, telling people about how I lost my family, or started drinking in the morning, or blacked out and hurt somebody. I know it doesn’t have to get that bad. I just don’t know whether I belong now or not. 

It’s day 4, anyway. I had a nice weekend. Spent quality, outdoor time with the kids. Slept blissfully. Taught a dance class and then stayed afterwards to work on some choreography with more energy and creativity than I have felt in a long time. These are all the nice things I get to have when I am not drinking.

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15 thoughts on “The time I went to AA

  1. I went to AA for about 6 months and then decided it wasn’t for me anymore. BUT those 6 months were so helpful for my sobriety and I met some great people and heard some inspiring, tragic, funny and relatable stories. Don’t put pressure on yourself on what you should or shouldn’t do. Something is drawing you to it and tonight it seems a really good thing you went. So go again, if you feel like it.
    In early days I think these stories of recognition and solidarity are huge – in person.
    But maybe you don’t want to go back straight away. It’s all about what’s best for you. You don’t need to look at the bigger picture – the steps – will you be there in 20 years… take it each day/meeting at a time.
    Xx

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  2. I used to compare my story to other AA members, but then I realized I was on the path to be in a worse place than I was…just like you said. I also found quite a few people who were at the place I was with my drinking.
    I am really glad you went, and it’s not all I do to stay sober, but it does provide me with real life support.
    All I know is, sober is better.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done you. It’s a brave thing to do and even the process, as part of the journey of wellness, no matter how big or small has to be a good sign. Has to be a good thing. It sounds as though you had a good day today. Day 4 and still going here. The best Sunday I can remember (usually because I can’t) with my gorgeous children. Hang on to hope and the strength within you. MP x

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  4. I always find it interesting how much some meeting share.
    I know so little about the drinking stories of the people in the meeting I go to sometimes…
    I know much more about their successes and tribulations in sobriety.

    Bravo. Going to a meeting is a brave action of self love and open Mindedness!
    Anne

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  5. Glad you got something out of the meeting with the potty-mouthed non-scary dudes….

    I don’t have any experience of AA but in particular I know FitFatFood who started going to AA and found it made a huge difference to her recovery. Can’t link as am on phone but if you go to her WordPress blog she has posts tagged AA which might strike a chord with you. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done on being sober today…. that’s all that matters.

    As others say above “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking”. Doesn’t matter if you’re 70 or 20 whether you were in prison or not or lost this or didn’t lose that.

    Btw one of my greatest friends via recovery is a huge guy – looks like a heavyweight boxer – went to prison so many times he can’t remember and the charges got more and more serious. In the end it was a “life” sentence for him. He is the most loving, gentle, kindly, caring human you could ever meet. Judge the book by the contents not the cover or the history.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not sure if I felt like I fully belonged while I went to meetings, but I got something out of them I didn’t get anywhere else. The stories (oh the stories), the compassion and camaraderie, even the safe place just to be for awhile outside the usual routine and my own head. It sounds like your first meeting was a powerful experience and hope you’ll go back and check out some more and see what develops. My favorite saying and bit of advice is take what you need and leave the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So brave, well done. I think it takes such courage to go to your first meeting. I was a nervous wreck my fist time. (Dec last year) I was shaking, crying – I barely spoke my name but I felt amazing afterwards. Do what feels right. It’s good to have a diverse mix of tools in your sober toolbox. X

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It sounds like we are on a similar path at the moment…..I just went to my first meeting the other day. No scary people, but an older and very male crowd at this particular meeting. It’s good to know that someone else is out there – just starting the journey, like me.

    Liked by 1 person

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