I said in a recent post that I would share my experience of attending a recovery meeting and so here it is.
Firstly I need to say that many of my sober blogging community really rate these meetings and there were people attending this meeting who had many many years of sobriety that they felt was only possible because of the fellowship. This was both inspiring and humbling to me.
The recovery meeting was not as well attended as usual as it happened to be at the same time as a World Cup England game, which we could hear the goings of because the meeting place was next to a pub!! There were a mixture of men and women and everyone was very kind and welcoming. I was given a welcome pack and some of the women attending gave me their contact details. I could see how valuable this was when there is so little else out there for those of us who find our relationship with alcohol problematic but was a little freaked out by it, if I’m honest, and they did acknowledge that they felt the same too when they first started going to meetings.
So how did I feel? Uncomfortable. I really struggled with the ‘I am an alcoholic’ as part of how you introduce yourself. Why? Because I don’t see myself as an alcoholic and don’t want to be defined by it. Is that ego? Maybe. Is that denial? Maybe. Yes I drank too much and yes it was getting out of hand but I stopped before I created total chaos in my life. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone that was there. I nursed alcoholics and so see alcoholics as those who were physically addicted and I never reached that point. I don’t connect with the feeling powerless and I really struggled with the God emphasis as I hold secular beliefs. Afterwards I really gave myself a hard time because I really wanted to feel like I was ‘coming home’ which is how another sober friend of mine described it, and so wanted to feel differently than I was.
Steps, sponsors, attending regularly? I’m having CBT and I felt that I was meeting all those needs in that setting. I think if I had not found the sober blogging community first then my experience would have been very different. But because I have the support of this community and have met people further along the path who have helped me with tricky moments I don’t feel that it added anything to what I already have in place. Will I go back? I don’t know but it was a valuable experience for me so it was not in vain and I know where they are should I need them in the future. The smell of beer as I walked past the pub on leaving was really appealing and yes I did want to drop in for a pint and to watch the game!
I think if you are wondering about AA you should go along yourself and make up your own mind. As for me the jury’s out and I don’t think it really matters if a recovery meeting isn’t for you. As long as you don’t drink and whatever works for you works for you then that’s all that really matters. There is no wrong or right way to ‘do’ recovery or that’s what I concluded anyway 😉
73 days to go