I went to my new Wednesday AA meeting last night; this was the second time. I was excited to go, and much less nervous than the first time, seeing as I knew what to expect. The meeting leader went through all of the typical rituals of an AA meeting, and I sat listening to all of the information he talked about. After completing his very inspiring story (the leader usually kicks off the "discussion/participation" part of the meeting with his/her own speech) he called on the first person to share. In this Wednesday meeting, nobody raises their hand. If you're called on by the person finishing, it is now your turn to talk. So, a few people shared what they wanted to talk about, and upon finishing, one lady said, "are there any newcomers here who want to share now?" This wasn't how it normally happened, but I gladly raised my hand, as I'd like to get this overwith, get mingled into the group, and start the process of making the most of this meeting.
So, I started rambling on about why I'm here. My story started with thinking drinking made me a more patient and fun mom, and ended with wanting to be a better parent to my kids. In between, I discussed the blog I read every.single.day and how learning about her story has changed my way of thinking. Here is a mom who lost her 18 month old daughter. She would do anything to get her back. Her heart aches to have her daughter cuddled in her arms again. I HAVE my kids, and they are the most amazing little people on this earth. I cannot take them for granted. I have them by my side, and I need to be here for them. In the present. Learning from them. Teaching them. I am done having kids, and as 2 and a 5 year old kids, they are not ever going to get younger. I need to appreciate this time I have with them, so that I can cherish it forever.
In speaking of all of this, I start to get a little choked up. My voice is trembling a bit. I am not crying, but if I'm not careful I could easily lose it in front of all of these people. That wouldn't be a bad thing, but wasn't really where I wanted to go last night. All of a sudden, the meeting leader starts walking toward me with a kleenex. As he gets near me, I reach out to grab the tissue, but he keeps walking past me! He was giving the tissue to the lady behind me!
Turns out, her story is identical to mine. She is my age, drank every day, and got to the point where she wanted to make a better life for herself, her kids, her husband. Oh, and her kids are 2 and 5. She came up to me after the meeting and introduced herself, hugged me, shared her story, and gave me her phone number. She lives down the street from me, and recommended a few other meetings she thinks are good ones.
During the time we talked after the meeting, several other people came up to us and said we must be twins. They all knew of her story, and her year and a half sobriety, and couldn't believe the similarities in our stories.
Year and a half here I come. If she can do it, so can I. Maybe I'll lean on her to help get me there. Since I know she gets it.