I was in a sober meeting today and as I looked around at the lovely faces of the women on the call a thought hit me. They are all so normal. Ok, a lot of them are more than normal and really are high achievers but mostly, they are just average human beings. They are all people with one thing in common, they have escaped or are trying to escape from a horrible demon that has kept them captive and forced them to lead secret lives for huge amounts of their life.
First impressions of an AA meeting
I am not going to lie, my first AA meeting was terrifying. I had no idea what to expect. Would the people there be like the alcoholics we see on TV? Manipulative liars, trying to get money from me? Would they be extremely judgemental that I had just started my sobriety? Would they latch on to me, would they be drunk?
I, of course, had nothing to worry about, the people at the meeting were very kind and welcoming. My fears were very much unfounded. I can confirm that they were not aliens, they were just normal people who had become addicted to alcohol.
My sober group of choice now is http://www.holasober.com. In the beginning, I would look around at all of these amazing women and I honestly couldn’t imagine that they had ever really had an issue with alcohol. Whereas in AA I had worried that I had never gotten ‘bad enough’ to be part of that group, with Hola sober I couldn’t imagine that any of the women had ever been as bad as me!
I would sometimes really struggle with the idea that if they got to know how bad I had been, they would be repelled by me. I think this says a lot about where my head was at the time. I was still rather repelled by me so assumed everyone else would be too. And of course, as I have gotten to know the women more and learned more about others lives. My fears are unfounded.
People in recovery are just like you and me
In recovery, I have honestly met some of the kindest and most genuine people that I have ever known. We share an unbreakable bond, we share a secret that for years had rendered us helpless. And we shared the guilt and shame that the secret created, the secret kept us in the grip of alcohol for much longer than we wanted to be.
This has created a wonderful community of women (in my chosen community) who just care. We have pulled down a lot of the bullshit surrounding female friendship. We have done this because there is no competition. We all want each other to do well, because if we fail, in all honesty, we lose everything. Including our lives eventually.
Alcohol does not discriminate
Alcohol does not discriminate who it chooses to take hold of. It does not matter what race, religion, age, sex etc you are. And because of this, the people that I have met in sobriety have enriched my life so much.
There is a knowledge bank of experience that I would never have had access to, had I not joined the sober community and met these amazing people in recovery. And not just about sobriety, about parenting, business, life, health, new hobbies, all sorts!
We are people who would probably never have met up in real life, but here we are. All together and all working for the same goal. It’s a lucky club we are in really. We can only benefit from being in recovery together.
Enter recovery with no judgements
If you are thinking of taking the next step with your sobriety and entering the sober community. I would whole heartily encourage it. The people there are just like me and you, but we all share the same goal.
How ever, you chose to do it, try to do it without any preconceived judgements of the people who are attending. And also understand that there are many different paths to recovery. Just because one isn’t for you, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one that will be.
As a disclaimer, I would say that just like in all walks of life people are people and obviously not everyone has good intentions. But hopefully, your community should be strong enough to protect all members. Trust your intuition.