Third Time’s the Charm
Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. –Vince Lombardi
This has been an eventful weekend, and I am only halfway through it!
Many things to discuss, but I will focus on one topic so I don’t ramble more than blogging etiquette will allow: I shared my story, for the third time in my recovery, at an AA meeting this morning. This time was different from the first two in that I was sharing with a group of complete strangers. Long story short, I met a woman earlier in the week that was positively affected by what I had to say, so much that she asked me to share my story at a meeting she was chairing. That alone is both humbling and overwhelming, because I could not even tell you what I said that could have had so much impact.
I was pretty nervous about sharing today. The main reason for my nerves is that my story involves a lot more than alcohol, and the tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous is that sharing should be limited to issues that concern alcohol. I simply cannot do that when I am telling my story, and so my critical mind convinces me that no one will appreciate or value what I have to say. So, eventually, in order to get up in front of a room full of strangers with the express purpose of laying my soul bare, I have to (and did) talk back to my critical mind, take a deep breath, and say “screw it, I am who I am, I can only effectively tell my story my way…” and I just do it.
And, once again, the miracle happens. Much is written about the value of support groups, the power that lies in like-minded people coming together to share a common problem in the hopes of finding a solution. It is why Weight Watchers is the number one weight loss program, and why AA is the most successful in recovery from addiction. Because when you open up about yourself to a group of people who understand the way your mind works, have been where you’ve been and done what you’ve done, you feel validated in a way you can’t feel anywhere else. So you put yourself out there, and that very act frees you.
But it doesn’t stop there, and that is what I’m just starting to understand. Because when you share your deepest secrets, you give the people listening the security, and thus the power, to open up and share their deepest secrets. And they feel validated because they’ve just shared some of their pain. And so it goes, in that upward spiral I have spoken about in earlier posts. It is an amazing thing of which to be a part, and I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity.
More to follow about my action-packed weekend…
Posted on September 2, 2012, in Recovery and tagged Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, God, Health, Recovery, Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve-Step Program, Weight Watchers. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.