If I could drink like a normal person, I would be drunk every night. -Quote from a member at one of my meetings
I am involved in a therapy group, and the members are all people who struggle with the concept of a 12-step program. They go (or at least say they go) at least once a week, mostly because they are required to do so. But each one of them feels, for various reasons, that they “don’t belong” or they “get nothing out of it” or they “are too much of a loner” to really reap the benefits.
I believe that many are quick to dismiss the advantages of a 12-step program. They walk into a meeting, see a bunch of people who all seem to know each other, are laughing and having a good time before the meeting starts, and from there the disconnect begins. Then they sit and listen to horror stories and think, “wow, these people are so much worse than I am.” And they can’t leave fast enough to get back to their own lives.
Like most new things, it takes time to assimilate a 12-step program into a daily routine. Finding the right type of meeting, and the type of people with whom you can identify, takes trial and error, and it takes patience. There may be some who have had a lightning bolt strike the minute they walked into a meeting and realized that they are home, but they are in the minority. Most of us went to meetings because we had run out of options, and, as recovery took hold and our lives improved, realized that we wanted to go to meetings, rather than the other way around.
I can relate to the feelings of not belonging, I strongly felt that way in the beginning. I listened to the stories, and judged myself to be “not that bad.” Then I went home and allowed my addiction to progress, I continued the behaviors that had me searching for an answer in the rooms of AA, and as a result life got worse, not better. Finally, when I hit my personal bottom, and ran out of options, I gave the meetings a real try. It took time, and attending a lot of meetings when I didn’t want to, but I came to find out I am just like everyone there, and their simple 12 steps really could improve my life.
I also found out that “normal drinkers” never think about being normal drinkers, and the fact that I do, means I am not!
Back to school after a 4 day weekend… enough said!
Posted on February 19, 2013, in Recovery and tagged 12 step, 12 step program, 12 steps, AA, Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, Clean and Sober, fellowship, Meeting, Mental Health, Miracle, Philosophy, Recovery, self-development, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.