This is the place on the blog where you can learn a little about my recovery, get some basic information on attending meetings, working the steps, and getting a sponsor. There is also a fantastic page on debunking the myths of 12-step recovery, and it will give you a lot of perspective on what happens in, out and around the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs. Being newly sober is overwhelming. Not only have you (probably) just had the worst year of your life (otherwise why would you bother with us?) but you’re thrown into a room (or hopefully many rooms) full of people who you don’t know, may not like and aren’t sure you can trust. That would be grueling for a normal person (and I use that word lightly, because honestly, who is ‘normal’ anyway?) but for one of us, it can spawn a whole range of feelings that span the distance between suicidal and homicidal and everything in between.
I think the best advice I can give someone just getting started in recovery is to let yourself be new. Know that you don’t have to figure it all out in the next five minutes. If you’re not sure you like a meeting, go to another meeting. If someone you meet in the rooms creeps you out, talk to someone else. Likewise, if you chat with someone or hear someone share something you relate to, maybe it would be ok just to say hi to that person, or find out what other meetings they like and attend. If you’re new, I can almost guarantee that your life is a mess. Don’t try to fix it overnight. Just stay.
When I was new I asked a woman I met in a meeting, how long do I have to keep coming to these meetings?
Just keep coming until you want to come, was her reply.
And I hated that in July of 1998. But I have loved that answer many times since.
I want to personally welcome you to the fellowship of 12-step recovery. We are not perfect (the members.) But this thing we share is. We have found a common solution to problems that threatened to destroy our lives before. It’s an incredible thing you’ve stumbled into. It’s not a religion. It’s not a cult. It’s not a promise. It’s just a path to freedom from the obsession of drugs and alcohol and the ability to be one among others on the planet. I’m really really glad you’re here.