A Place to Belong

Dear Readers,
I went to one of my favorite AA meetings yesterday.
It was one of the first ones I went to after I finally decided I needed to stop drinking.
Although I have far from perfect attendance, I know many of the people.
When the leader asked if someone had some sober time they’d like to celebrate, I raised my hand to celebrate my 9 months.
I shared the story of my last humiliating drinking time, along with my cochlear implant operation and healing, because both of these things affected me greatly.

I learn something every time I step into this room. This time was no different.
I was humbled, when the people who have seen me over these last 9 months, made some lovely comments on my growth.
The most touching comment came from a man who I had not even known had seen me that much.
He said that when I first came down the stairs, I was in such pain. That I was “in a mess”. (Not his exact words, but as I can’t hear everything it was something like that.)
He said, now every time he sees me, I have a beautiful smile on my face. 
That it brings him joy.
I almost cried.
I had no idea.

Another lady at the meeting shared how she had killed someone in an accident. Although the accident had not been totally her fault, she had been drinking and so she was sentenced to prison. She said she will never be able to forget what she had done. Gone from the top of her career to nothing. 
The room was so quiet.
This could have been me, as I did drive after drinking many, many times.
One time, I even blacked out while driving and have no memories of how I got from one place to another in my car.

This is why I think it is so important not to judge or compare other stories as worse or better than our stories. They are just different stories. All having to do with the pain caused by this drug of alcohol.

After the meeting, we stayed and talked. I hugged the lady who shared her story. I hugged the man who gave me the gift of his comment.
I hugged everyone I could.
Because this is what we have; a place where we can come and share our shame as well as our light, and everyone will understand.

I have the same feeling connecting to all of you sober bloggers and readers. It is the light you all shine for me, your stories, your whole self that helps heal me. I will always need this. I also want to one day, be able to give the gift of words to someone like was given to me in this meeting.

We all need a place to belong. Not just in a place of recovery, but in many areas of our lives.
It is my deepest wish for all those who suffer with drinking problems, that you can find a place to share and get strength. Whether it is here on-line, or a meeting, or a therapist.
A safe place, where you can start to heal.

With Gratitude on Day 279

18 thoughts on “A Place to Belong

  1. That brings tears to my eyes. You are so right. We are all the same. When we recognize this we can extend compassion and love to anyone. Even those who have done things we think we never would have. Because so many of us could have. And still could, if we don't take care of ourselves.


  2. What a wonderful post Wendy. Your meetings are obviously very special. I have been thinking of going to one but have not got there yet. Still thinking.To feel that you belong somewhere, I'd really like that.A x


  3. Hi Wendy. i am so pleased that you have that support. they sound like awesome people. AA meetings are very powerful arent they, they always nearly, or do – bring tears to your eyes! they are just so REAL.well donelove from Lisa


  4. Lovely post. I could feel the love and acceptance you felt coming through your words. I had a not so pleasant experience with AA when I was living in a city but have toyed with the idea of trying a meeting in a town nearby and I might just do it.


  5. This is a great post! I agree that it is soo important not to compare stories…the comparison leads to nothing but \”stinking thinking\”…I'm not an alcoholic because I never ______\” This is something that I have struggled with…I need to think, \”there but for the Grace of God, go I\”


  6. What a beautiful moment to share. I hope I can find an AA meeting like that. Congrats on your 9 months Jenn


  7. What a fantastic story.There are rooms all over the world like this. I know I go to them in my little community where I live. This week a couple who came in to sobriety together – now that is setting a challenge isn't it? Getting sober on your own is hard enough, to be doing it at the same time with your partner… that is hugely impressive. They celebrated their 9 months. Already they are part of the community and the group – the smiles, applause, cheers and hugs just said it all.Congrats to you


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