First Trip to AA

So I finally decided to go to AA today after years of being a "Tough Guy " going it alone . Frankly , I'm not sure why I had so much anxiety about it .
Of course , it was far from what I expected . I had been to an AA meeting 30 years ago at the "Recommendation" of a judge . That meeting had close to 100 people at it and I was just a kid sitting in the back of the room . This meeting I chose based on proximity to my house was far from that . I was 1 of 8 people . In a group that small , you don't have to talk , but it will be very awkward if you don't . And I've concluded that is a good thing . I didn't need to be a shrinking violet in the back of the room . I was there to benefit from the group , and feel that I did . So much so , that they invited me to tonight's meeting which will literally be held on the Beach . AA on the Beach . Who'd of thought ? I wonder if I should carry a fishing pole . What do ya think @Tommy ?
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  • @TWSJ hey there! wow! that's awesome news! Glad to hear that you went and got some good things out of it! what a courageous step!

    i've always like meetings...i think many get tired of them over time, or ego gets in the way...or they simply move onto another source of support, but it has proven so helpful for so many!!!

    on the beach??? WOW! i'd think that would be so serene!!!!!!!! enjoy that ocean breeze for all of us, k?  :)
  • I hope there is a breeze . Summer has jumped on us with both feet . Still , an interesting concept for a meeting !
  • @Twsj. Yes to the fishing pole. And anyone who says anything negative about it clearly isn't living by Step (whatever): Live sober life to the fullest! That's a step right? Right?

    It's great that you are finding yourself benefiting the group. I am having a similar experience. As part of my mandated recovery program, I needed to go to meetings 3x weekly. I used the apparently now defunct recoveryrealm.com to accomplish that. Mostly lurking, a few comments here and there, and a whole lot of, "this was mandatory, so whatever" attitude. Four years later, at the end of the required participation period, I just stopped altogether.

    But, after a rash of DUIs at my organization, I realized I had experiences that might help, found this place, and so like Han Solo at the end of A New Hope (crap...spoiler alert...sorry), I came out of the sun guns blazing with a rebel yell to help out here. I don't know how much I've helped, but I feel like I've contributed and had meaningful impact. I hope you find the same feelings with your AA group, and meet some local new friends as opposed to this train of fools that you are a part of here (and have meaningful impact on).
  • Your update made me smile, @TWSJ. I'm glad you had a pleasant AA experience. Smaller meetings are my preference, for sure. I hope you have a great meeting on the beach tonight, too. Proud of you for the progress you're making! :)
  • Very cool. @TWSJ That is awesome. I have been in AA many years. And the FINEST people I have met are in the program. Good for you dude!! My group runs about 8 to 12 every week. And I like it. I sure hope you keep going. We can swap lingo!! LOL I have learned that the best way to stay sober is to give it away. I agree with you on pole. I would rather have it, and not need it. Than need it, not have it. I cannot go within 100 yards of water with no pole!! I am stoked for you.
  • I had dinner with my mom and Godmother that ran too late to make the beach meeting . But they do it a couple nights a week this time of year .
    One of the guys at the early meeting gave me some very simple words of wisdom though . "Don't think , don't drink , and keep coming" . I'll catch their late afternoon meeting tomorrow . Good group.
    Started reading the Big Book too . Me and Bill are similar guys .
  • Like I said earlier , not sure why I fought it so long . I had high anxiety walking in , but didn't want to leave when it was over . I guess an Old Dog can learn new tricks .
  • "I had high anxiety walking in, but didn't want to leave when it was over."

    I love that, @TWSJ. :)
  • That's amazing, DeanD! I remember my first NA meeting! We were driven there from the "rehab center" and all of us merely enjoyed the outing! Jim Henson had passed away earlier in the day and I was more involved in those tears than the feelings I was supposed to revolving around! LOL! Yes, my ego finally took over and I haven't been to ANY 12 Step program in several years. My nephew died of cirrhosis of the liver...I went with him to my last ever visited... 

    PS: I also threw my first Big Book out the car window on a highway in the Rocky Mountains! I still cherish the second one someone so graciously gave me the next day! 
  • @TWSJ hey you! how did it go?? 
  • My mom kept me from the beach last night . But moms are important . I'm going back to the same group in about an hour , but they only do the beach thing at sunsets . I'll catch the next sunset beach meeting and maybe update my profile pic with a Sunset photo . It'll be prettier than a fat guy holding a fish ! 
  • @TWSJ

    Thank you for the update. It will be perfect when you do attend. And I happen to love your profile pic!
  • @Dominica and Guys ,
    So I've now been to visit 2 groups . 4 meetings in 3 days .And frankly , I love it . I see so many people come here with AA anxiety . I had it myself , until I went  . But @Tommy is right . There is some damn fine people in there , all with a common goal .
    And while I am a believer , the spiritual aspect is not so "In your face " that it should scare people away from the program if they really need help , or just someone to talk to .
    Maybe I've just hit the right 2 groups . Or maybe I'm at an age where I can find comfort with strangers quicker than young folks . But I think I'm all in on this thing .
    I will still send @Dominica an update on the Wednesday Beach Sunset Meeting next week !
  • @TWSJ that's wonderful! so happy for you!  a great testimony to the support group and people in general. no need to throw the baby out with the bath water :)  some mighty good people in AA!! :)

    thanks for sharing!
  • Great update, @TWSJ! I'm proud of you for giving AA a chance and thrilled that you're liking it. That's terrific! :)
  • @twsj, that's great that you are enjoying the time in AA and getting something as well as giving back. A while ago there was a decent conversation about the meaning of life. I was in Home Goods with The Wife, "helping" her try and find some wall "decorations" when I stumbled on a surprisingly good quote, "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." -Pablo Picasso.

    If you found a path to freedom from your addiction, that to me counts as a gift. If you can share that path with someone else, and that helps them, it has to be a very enriching experience, I think.
  • You always come up with the best quotes . Though I'm not sure I possess any particular gift when it comes to the magic of recovery . I think the truth is , those of us in recovery , regardless of the path we take , realize that attempting to help others is crucial to helping ourselves .
    I was not aware Homegoods peddled Picaso's . But in all fairness , I'm more of a Home Depot / Bass Pro Shop guy . You can find some Hemingway stuff at Bass Pro if you look hard enough . He was one of my favorite drunks !
  • @TWSJ, between Hemmingway and Twain, one has "surly bastard with impressively deep outlooks on life" just about covered.

    I think there is a lot of truth in what you said about helping yourself by helping others. One learns more and better by teaching others (in theory). It forces the teacher to not only grasp the concept at a deeper level, but a lot of the side issues and answers to related questions. By explaining how one recovered, or fought addiction, or whatever, to someone else, they better understand their own process, reinforcing the lessons.

    Plus, the more people rambling about their recoveries, the greater the chance that someone will say something profound that helps someone else, right?
  • I must go on record to you and anyone else who reads this ....I am not Recovered . I am Fighting Addiction . I am sober today . I was sober yesterday . And I hold out great hope for tomorrow . I don't think there is any graduation from this thing .
    But you are 100% correct about more people rambling . A Big challenge we all face is finding someone who Truly understands the nature of our addiction . Only another addict "Really" knows .
    So enough of that shit . Let's talk about some important stuff . I spent several hours working on my boat last weekend , just put it in the water today , and the damn engine is still skipping . So I'm going to have to take my little boat fishing in a lake instead of fishing the river tomorrow . How do you think our Good Buddy @Tommy would deal with such a tragic turn of events ? The only good news is I ain't gonna drink over it !
    You running any marathons this weekend ? How bout @Dominica , @Dean , @Goodtr8s , and anyone else looking for love? Everybody up for a Big Sober Weekend ?
  • @twsj. Valid points, from a certain point of view. "Recovered" might not be a destination, but a continuous journey. I'd say I am recovered, but that doesn't mean I can go back to drinking, or even let my guard down. The monster is still there, and always will be. Waiting, looking for an opportunity to strike. I haven't drank in 5+ years, and tomorrow is looking good, and so are the next 5 years because alcohol isn't a part of my plan for my life, and I couldn't be happier for that! I'd say even another addict doesn't fully understand since everyone's situation, motivation, and outlook are slightly different. But a fellow addict, no matter where they are in their journey to freedom, has a great mix of empathy, sympathy, and experience to help.

    No marathon for me. Probably not even going to run. I have a business trip to Washington DC I leave for on Sunday, so I will probably just be lazy and enjoy the weekend.

    Bad news on the boat, but a good consolation prize, and you have the perfect mindset that drinking ain't gonna get the motor to stop skipping. @tommy would probably tell you to do whatever it takes to be the best fish slayer you possibly can be! 
  • Thanks for the inquiry, @TWSJ! I'm remembering where I was last weekend and have NO plans to return! It's gonna be a warm weekend here in Atlanta, GA, so I plan to stay in the shade as much as possible! Churn some ice cream with fresh peaches, too! I will check in here so as to see any updates from those who have reached out. Guess we ALL have something to give, no matter our personal place in recovery...
    @Leaker, please be safe on your trip to DC! I like the part about being lazy! 
  • Well the little boat worked , but the fish didn't co-operate and the temperature got up quick this morning . Reckon I'll hit a meeting and maybe cook some BBQ !
    Why did you have to mention Ice Cream ? I'm an ice cream junky . And as a GA Boy , I do love Peaches . But even better than peach ice cream is Peach Cobbler fresh out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top ! Any body else getting hungry ?
  • I had another wonderful, sober weekend. I hope everyone else had an enjoyable weekend, too. :)
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