Twenty-seven years ago today I stood in a church basement in Burlington, VT. My mind was dark as I walked through the door. I kept my head low and sat in the back of the room. I was the only female besides a motorcycle mamma. The men drank instant coffee from foam cups, and unlike in the bars, none of them looked at me as I sat down. Even so I did my best NYC don’t **** with me face and looked at my feet. I wanted the meeting to start so no one would try and talk to me. It was noon. The meeting chairman knocked on the metal chair next to him to signal the beginning.
“Welcome to the 12 and 12 meeting. My name is Eric and I’m an alcoholic.”
I noticed that everyone was holding a fat book with a dark blue cover and they started to take turns reading aloud from it. Bookless, I peeked upwards with my head facing down and saw a plump old man with a big Band-Aid across the bridge of his nose, looking grumpy, staring at me. He got up out of his seat, his chair making a high-pitched screech as the metal feet slid across the floor. I sunk a little lower in my chair and my heart raced. People continued to read. I looked away and played with my watch. There was a tap on my shoulder. I looked halfway up to see his finger pointing at the current paragraph, his other hand holding the book out to me. I accepted his offering and he gave a nod, his grimace became a semi-smile and he shuffled back to his seat.
At the end of the meeting everyone gathered in a circle, held hands, and said The Lord’s Prayer. That old man, who was a WWII vet and saved me from bolting the meeting, stood on my right and I held his hand as I felt myself rise a little taller. For the first time ever I HEARD and experienced the Lord’s Prayer. I felt a peace and light around me that I had not previously known nor believed was possible.
This post and my 27 years of sobriety are dedicated to my rescuers. Thank you!!!!!
For whom this applies: Be grateful for your sobriety, proud of what you do with it and thankful for those helping hands along the way.