Iâ€™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 didnâ€™t belong there. I didnâ€™t want to invent a higher power, I didnâ€™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. Donâ€™t pee your pants, throw up, or go home with the wrong guy and someone will say â€œWell done!â€ 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, Iâ€™ve gone 31 years without a drink, (my life is better for it) but if I want a cake, Iâ€™ll have to make my own.
I did get attention though, Ken gave me a card this morning. Allyson posted on the Todayâ€™s Step newsletter, and Iâ€™ll get another hole drilled into the silver dollar Iâ€™ve been hauling around with me now for three decades. I know Sandie will call later, and while Iâ€™m grateful, there is something about a cake meeting at AA that I am missing today.
Iâ€™m not going back to meetings just for cake, but it is tempting.