More threads by Into The Light

Grant Me Serenity
posted by Karli

Ever since Ammon filed for divorce (although he has since filed to stop the divorce petition) I have been low. Very very low. I am so overwhelmed by all of the stress and emotional trauma of the last few weeks. I have no idea how to deal with all of this, how to make the right decisions for myself and my daughters, how to just make it through each day. I feel lost. I feel powerless. So I’ve started going to AA meetings again.

It has been about five years since my last AA meeting, six or seven years since I’ve gone to meetings regularly. I basically used church to replace the need for support, and that worked well for awhile. The meetings I went to before were all full of young people, most very new in the program. It seemed like a pick-up scene, people showing up just to be seen and to meet up with friends or flirt with each other. I wasn’t getting very much out of the meetings that I went to, so it wasn’t hard to stop going. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much. But when my marriage started to rapidly fall apart I looked up and realized how utterly alone I was. No church, no network of supportive friends, just a few wonderful people smattered here and there who reached out in the ways they could. They have been helpful, absolutely priceless people to have in my life, but I needed something more. I needed to feel safe somewhere. I wanted to feel like there was somewhere I could go where I would belong and be accepted unconditionally. So I looked up the meeting schedule online, found one nearby, and showed up.

It. Was. Amazing.

The meetings I have found in the town where I live now are so different from the meetings I went to before. The people come from everywhere and the rooms are filled with a bizarre mishmash of folks who, under normal circumstances, would never have crossed paths. The focus isn’t on the social scene of AA, but on recovery. On solutions. And the openness and honesty that is spoken in those rooms splits my heart wide open. The moment I walked through the doors of that first meeting, I felt like I belonged there. Like I was wanted there. Good lord, what an amazing feeling, to feel wanted. And not only wanted, but admired- I’m coming back to meetings with a good chunk of sobriety under my belt. This month it was eight years. And these people who I’ve never met before are proud of me for that. The support I have received has been immeasurable, pouring in from all sides from people who tell me, “You’ll be ok. You’ll get through this. I’ve been there.” And I believe them, because I hear their stories of heartbreak and failure and desolation, and of how they made it through to the other side.

I even got a sponsor- a beautiful woman with an unbelievable story of recovery. I’m meeting with her for the first time this morning, and I am so eager for her to lead me through the twelve steps. I’m so incredibly relieved to be around people who understand me, who don’t judge me, and who are a source of endless support and encouragement. And I have to tell you- all you non-alcoholics out there? I feel really sad that you don’t have this in your life. Everyone should have the amazing gift of being able to walk into a room full of strangers any day, any time, anywhere in the world and feel unconditionally accepted. I feel so very lucky.
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