Each spring as my sober anniversary looms on the calendar, I consider ways to mark the milestone. I don’t need a parade, but I think it is important to acknowledge the date in a way that is meaningful to me.
This year I am nervously considering going to a meeting, just so that I can be in the company of others who *get it* and also to push myself into an arena that I have not yet explored. In my (nearly) eight years of sobriety, I have ventured into exactly two meetings – both of them away from home.
I am open about my sobriety out in the world, but here in my hometown I am a recovery hermit. It is as if I am using a life preserver that is a few sizes too large. It works because I keep my arms out wide, reaching past the gap between my body and the sides for support.
I have made incredible friendships online and have life-changing adventures away from home, and plan to continue supporting my recovery by reaching afar. Yet filling in the gap closest to me is long overdue. It is time to dig into the established recovery community right here where I live and build relationships I can see and feel and touch everyday.
Even as I write this, anxiety builds in my chest. What am I afraid of? Rejection, plain and simple. I know this isn’t true but it feels true. I was not afraid of rejection in the other two meetings I attended because no one knew me, and perhaps because I wouldn’t have to live with it if they did reject me.
I feel extremely vulnerable as I write this, as if I should be wiser after so many years of learning, growing, and helping others. However if this blog is going to have any substance after eight years of chronicling sobriety, there had better be an ongoing commitment to truth telling.
I often encourage others to make use of the twelve step method. I tell them, sincerely, go and expect to feel welcomed. You don’t have to buy into every aspect of the program, I remind them, just go and take what you need.
Time to take my own advice.
It wouldn’t be right for me to write a followup, because what happens in the rooms stays in the rooms. But I predict it will go like this: I will feel the fear and do it anyway, be welcomed, and not regret the decision. Everything will be fine, my fears unfounded. I will wonder why I waited eight years to do something so simple.
P.S. I did buy myself a little something, you can see it on my Instagram page