Those Full-Circle Moments
Today marked the one-year anniversary of the 12-step meeting I started. Really hard to believe it’s been a whole year! Last October, I had 3 attendees, today I had 12, so there’s been some growth for sure. At the heart of it, though, the meeting feels the same to me each week as it did the first… I feel humbled and grateful that I am able to give back in this way.
For the anniversary celebration, I decided to change the format. Instead of a reading from one of the pieces of literature we typically use, I invited a speaker to share his experience, strength and hope with us. The decision as to which speaker to ask was a simple one. While I have heard many inspiring messages in my 21 months of sobriety, there is one gentleman who has the perfect combination of inspiration, wisdom and humor. His name is Ed, I met him when I was six days sober, and have hung on his every word ever since.
Ed’s message is a simple one: as alcoholics and addicts we suffer from a progressive, fatal disease, and we get a daily reprieve from that disease in only one way: turning our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him. He believes strongly that a 12-step program is not about going to meetings, it is about making the 12 steps a part of our daily lives, and he does much to spread this message to the still sick and suffering alcoholics that he encounters. He is as strong an example of giving back what has been freely given to him as I have witnessed, and I am inspired by him each time we meet.
What was extra special about having Ed speak at my meeting was that it was a collision of worlds, in a manner of speaking. As I said, I met Ed with only 6 days sober. At the time I was living with my Mom and attending meetings in an area that is a bit of a hike from my current residence. Once I was back at home and life was improving for me, I began attending meetings that were geographically more convenient. As such, I lost regular contact with a great number of people that I grew close with in early sobriety. There is one meeting I kept constant, and that is why I still get to see Ed on a regular basis, but all the other meetings I used to attend have fallen to the wayside to make room for the new group of people I have come to know. So the regular attendees of my Monday meeting have never met the circle of people I met when I first got sober.
So today I was able to introduce my early sobriety inspiration to the people who follow my lead now, and it was such a heart-warming experience, like a circle completing itself. I watched the faces as Ed spoke, and I could see the impact he was having. And, as always, the discussion that followed was chock full of learning lessons.
Really, today’s meeting was the embodiment of any 12-step fellowship: we learn how to recover from those who have recovered before us, and we repay that kindness by helping others to recover. And in helping others, we live to get another sober day. It is the gift that keeps on giving!
Although I have heard Ed’s story a half-dozen times, I still found something new to which I could relate, and that could help me improve my recovery today, and THAT is the miracle of recovery!
Posted on October 28, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, God, Health, Meeting, Monday, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.