I attended my second Al-Anon meeting yesterday and today I decided to walk over to attend an Open Speaker AA meeting. I was nervous about going – but I was welcomed by what I was told after was the ‘grandfather’ of the group, Serge with 26 years of sobriety.
The meeting format is similar to that of Al-Anon – but listening to a speaker tell his story of how he came be an alcoholic was good to hear. After he spoke, they talked about their chip program and the first one she spoke of was the Desire Chip – which was for anyone who desired to make a change and I raised my hand to accept it. At the end of the meeting, another member came to me to give me the other chip … One Day at a Time with a psalm on the reverse side that reads “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
I walked to and from the meeting. I left the meeting feeling emotional. Many members came to me to congratulate me on coming forward to get my desire chip. I was also given material to read.
I guess I’ve always been on the fence with the word ‘alcoholism’ because it’s hard to admit or say that I am in fact an alcoholic… but there are signs that I definitely do have alcoholic tendencies by simple fact of my family history. One lady told me that to find out if you’re an alcoholic quit for six months … and see what happens. If it drives you nuts to have to quit, then chances are you are in fact an alcoholic and it definitely is a progressive illness. I also know that alcoholism is a family disease and that I’m susceptible to it because I was indeed raised around it and affected by it. I just don’t want the pattern to repeat with my own kids.
I know I’m ready for a change and I think attending in person meetings will help me on my path to healing – with all issues that surround me about alcohol. I need to practice sobriety for a good stretch to get a better perspective on where I stand with the issue. I will continue to attend meetings and read literature.
I was reminded that just for TODAY – I can do this. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here – I must live in and with the present. I will be mindful of not overwhelming myself and continue to seek support as I need it. I will say the fellowship that exists in these meetings is comforting and welcoming. I’m grateful to have had the courage to go. I plan on continuing to attend Al-Anon meetings for the minimum 6 weeks they require to be able to determine if I think it’s a good fit and I plan on attending a few other AA meetings as well. If nothing else, this is good information to hear and a great support system to be a part of – the fellowship in both groups is so warm and welcoming.