At our table last night, we had a newcomer. Look at me, talking about newcomers! Having been in recovery for one year now has changed my life and I'm willing to share that with anyone who allows me the opportunity.
The table decided to do a Step One table for the benefit of Ms. Newbie's first time at an Al-Anon meeting. As different members took their turn to speak, Ms. Newbie listened and seemed to be trying to absorb all that was being said. The underlying theme was to "keep coming back". All the while I tried to stay completely focused but must admit that my mind went back in time to different seasons of my life when I tried Al-Anon without success. I was so desperate to make a connection and get some healing but nothing came to me at the time. Caring attenders would say, "try another group", but I guess I wasn't ready.
When it was my turn to share, I recalled how much sanity had been restored to my life this past year and that I didn't realize just how crazy my thinking had become. Flashback to trying to out think Cliff the junkie. That's like trying to out think a terrorist. If you aren't a junkie or a terrorist, which in my mind can be interchangeable, how can you possibly out think them and try to determine their next step? I approached things as if I were John Wayne and that my posse of three, (me, myself and I) was going to head him off at the next pass and stop the insanity. Oh, Thank You Lord for clearing my head!! Woo Hoo!!
Finally when Ms. Newbie spoke up she said, "I get the feeling that I'm not going to get my answers to my questions from this table tonight. For instance, if my son who's an alcoholic says he wants to borrow my car to go to a meeting and then instead takes it to buy alcohol, what do I do? Is there someone who will tell me the guidelines or do I just listen to everyone else and something will come to me?"
Most of the longtimers had "all-knowing" smiles on their faces and said "keep coming back. Get a sponsor and you will find through time and daily meditations in your books how to find your answers. Pay attention to the longtimers who you will see here regularly and you can ask one of them to be your sponsor." One of the longtimers at my table must be in her upper 70's and I just love sitting near her and hearing what she has to say. Her Courage to Change book is well worn and falling apart. I so appreciate all the regular attendees that come and give reassuring words, smiles and hugs that all will be better than it is at this moment.
It felt so good to have one year behind me and I'm looking forward to two, three, four and more years ahead of me. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Living a Twelve Step way of life is just plain good living. I'm so grateful to God that several years after my first time, He led me back again and I just "keep coming back!"