The First Meeting.
Your first AA meeting is almost always scary. I felt, and most of us feel, humiliated. We’re in one of the darkest places of our lives, usually the darkest of them all. We’ve fucked everything up, and we don’t know how to fix it. We’re lost, terrified, ashamed, and befuddled. In my case, I was taken to my first meeting by a rehab. Some are ordered there by a judge. Most find their own way in.
We had a man in my men’s meeting Wednesday evening who was at his first ever meeting. He’d had a personal loss, and gone off the rails. For nearly a year, he’d been drinking and gambling as hard as he could. He came to his first meeting and was obviously humiliated and afraid. I hope we did right by him. We all gave him our numbers, and I talked to him after the meeting a bit. Told him to call. He hasn’t. But he might.
No matter what you’ve done when you walk into your first AA meeting, someone there has done something you think is worse. In my meetings, I’ve known rapists and thieves and murderers, batterers, embezzlers, child abusers, and child molesters. All of us just trying to find a way to stay sober and improve ourselves. We are the worst people in the world, until we find our way into the rooms.
Then we change. If we do the work, we change. Slowly. One step at a time. Never finished. But we change. Alcohol fuels our darkest impulses, and it fuels our entitlement. We simply take and do whatever we want, and we allow ourselves to ignore, diminish, deny, or simply not care about the consequences to other people. When we take out the alcohol, and address the issues underneath it, we recover and make make amends.
It’s not easy. But luckily it’s very simple. And it works, if you do the work. Go to meetings, don’t drink in between. Get a sponsor, do the steps. Come find what I’ve got. You can have it too. Even if you think you’re the lowest of the low, the worst of the worst. That there’s no way up. There’s a way up. We’ve got the ladder.