I know I need at least one meeting a week. I need to be connected to the program, in some meaningful way, in order for me to keep my head on straight. I accept that as it is, there’s no sense trying to fight or change it. It’s just not worth the risk.
At a meeting yesterday friend of mine, whose got 18 years now and who my wife and I drove to a meeting once a week for a year-and-a-half until he got his license back, said, “I know I need one meeting a week, but I go to five because I don’t know which one it is.”
I went to three last week, which is rare for me. Surprisingly, last week was a bit of a tough one for me. In terms of a “rough life”, it doesn’t even register on the scale, but when you’re used to gentle rollers, you still feel the downhill – it’s just not enough to make you queasy. Without those meetings, my drive to work this morning would have been a whole lot less grateful. I’m thinking I might do three more again this week, just to see if I did it right last week.
So why do I still need meetings after 9,930 days without a drink or drug?
The way I see it today, my life of recovery is best lived in contact with other people in recovery. When I’m helping others to stay on the path, when I’m an active part of the recovery fellowship, a friendly association, good things happen. My gratitude for being on the right side of the grass increases. My enthusiasm to be a better me increases. I’m able to take life’s little problems in stride. I’m able to forgive freely.
And most important, the more active I am in the community the easier it is to see the path in front of me so I don’t go crashing off into the woods.
One of the meetings I went to last week, I hadn’t been to in more than 17 years. To see many of the same people, older and happier, and a lot of new faces as well, and to be welcomed back as an old friend… it’s good times and noodle salad, folks. It’s as good as it gets.
There’s a line in the Big Book that states, “We are not a glum lot”. Too often, newcomers think they’re giving something up by going to meetings and living a life of recovery. For those who stick around long enough for the miracle, they quickly find that we indeed are anything but glum. We continue to go to meetings because it’s the best fun there is (with clothes on) once we put the plug in the jug.
A roomful of old-timers laughing and yukking it up about their old exploits and troubles can be a little disconcerting to a newcomer to the group. It can be hard to handle people laughing about emotions and nerves that are still raw or exposed. Fear not. Keep coming back and before you know it you’ll be relieved of the pain of your past, if you work for it, and you’ll be laughing too… and showing others how you did it – and more important, why.
And then you too will understand why we keep going to meetings.