August 20th, 2015 by Jan

I’ve spent many years in and out of AA.

The first 7 years of my sobriety, AA was a huge part of my life. I gave it a big go and it worked.

The next 10 years, I didn’t go to meetings, as I found my support in the Tai Chi circles I had joined. I learned more about myself and how to live in this world, in Tai Chi class and my practice than in any meeting I ever attended.

Then in 2003, I went back to AA. I began working at the Orchard Treatment Centre on Bowen Island, and it was good form to attend meetings.

I struggled with meetings though. As an atheist, being part of a spiritual group was just plain hard. Now, while everyone was really nice to me, I never felt like I fit in. It took me quite a while to realize I didn’t belong there. I didn’t want to invent a higher power, I didn’t like the language used, and while I made some friends at the meetings, the folks I tend to hang with, the ones that really love and support me, are not addicts. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to live in this world as a person in recovery.

So, I stopped going to meetings again.

Now today, I realize the one thing I really miss about meetings and being a member of AA, is the celebration that is offered for sobriety.

AA sets the bar pretty darn low, but they do celebrate. Don’t pee your pants, throw up, or go home with the wrong guy and someone will say “Well done!” They darn near stand up and cheer if you go a day without a drink, and if you stay sober for a full year, they give you a cake!

I really liked that part.

Today, I’ve gone 31 years without a drink, (my life is better for it) but if I want a cake, I’ll have to make my own.

I did get attention though, Ken gave me a card this morning. Allyson posted on the Today’s Step newsletter, and I’ll get another hole drilled into the silver dollar I’ve been hauling around with me now for three decades. I know Sandie will call later, and while I’m grateful, there is something about a cake meeting at AA that I am missing today.

I’m not going back to meetings just for cake, but it is tempting.

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