When I came to, metaphorically and literally, in my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, I knew I’d met my match. See, even at twenty years old, sitting in a musty room with people double and triple my age, I felt at home. Not at home like when I sank into my bed and spent the evening with a sexy little bottle of Evan Williams. At home like even though I knew nothing of AA, I knew I’d found my answer.
Now, let’s not get it twisted! I didn’t walk into my first AA meeting with birds chirping, rainbows shining, and friends cheering, “Hey Buddy! You’ve arrived! Welcome Home!” No, I walked in that damn door with the triangle because I was out of options.
See, my entire life I knew Alcoholics Anonymous existed. Growing up, I wasn’t the most well behaved child. Drugs and alcohol played a huge role in my poor behavior and AA was usually where I was sent as punishment. Not to mention, my best friend’s parents have been sober our entire lives. They’ve also been very active in the AA community in our town. Meanwhile, we were always in trouble. We were always caught doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time. We’d end up banished to AA meetings for several hours. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to relate. I’d spend the entire meeting thinking about how AA was such a cult. As I got older, my drinking and drugging got worse. I tried therapy, moderation, and different “maintenance plans.” I tried everything I could think of to piece my life together. Everything except going to meetings!
Finally, when I was ready for help, I knew where to go – Alcoholics Anonymous. When I was ready to accept help, to get honest about my addiction, my perception of AA changed. This wasn’t some creepy cult, this was a wonderful service that existed solely to provide help for an addict like me! I didn’t have to pay anything, there weren’t any crazy rituals, and there wasn’t anything too intellectually hard to swallow.
Here I am, four years later, twenty-four years old and sober! For years, I resisted going to AA for one reason or another. I have every excuse in the book. I was too young, I wasn’t an alcoholic, I could do those damn steps by myself, and so on. However, when I was all out of options, when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I knew I couldn’t live filled with addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous was there for me. They welcomed me. Alcoholics Anonymous provided the steps, the structure, and the support I desperately needed. Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life. Alcoholics Anonymous gave me a life far better than any I could have imagined.