Day 76 – Notes from an AA Convert

The topic of my Sunday morning meeting today was Service, and it allowed me to reflect upon and acknowledge all the service I’ve received since I became a part of the program.

And what I really wanted to come here to record, for myself and others, is the amazing community I’ve found in AA. As I’ve mentioned, I was very resistant to AA when I first tried to get sober, and I never imagined I would ever like anything about it. I also didn’t imagine that connection and community was something that was lacking in my life.

I’ve been amazed at how easy it is to make connections and friends in AA, and how good it feels. From the very first day, everyone has been so open and welcoming. And the Service topic today helped me to register that a big reason behind that is that, in part because of the 12th step, people in the program are service oriented. In society , we are all so focused on ourselves, and there’s a lot of judgment and competition, which make connection hard. AA doesn’t magically take those things away, but it reminds us to take our own inventories, not others’, and to always search for ways to be of service.

I was pretty shocked at myself yesterday. A girl I know from my regular Friday meeting called me out of the blue in the middle of the day. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do and let it go to voicemail. She said she was just calling to see how my day was going and mentioned that she would be at a “really great” meeting that night. It was a meeting I’ve never been to and it was in just a few hours.

Up until recently, there’s no way I would have spontaneously gone to any type of social event with only a few hours notice. I like to have time to prepare – which, I’ve learned since getting sober, is because I have anxiety. Spontaneity is not fun for me, as lame as that makes me feel.

But for some reason I felt I should go to this meeting, and I felt ok about it. I tried not to think too much, to avoid getting too worked up about the details. I just felt like it was really nice of her to reach out, and I’ve been wanting to try new meetings, and knowing a friend will be there makes it a lot easier than going alone. So I went! And it was great meeting. She was so happy and surprised that I made it and introduced me to several people (she’s a huge connector of people!) and I plan to go back to that meeting for sure. It was a different mix of people than the meetings I’ve tried so far and it was great to hear different perspectives.

So today in the Service meeting I was asked to share and I found myself sharing that story and how it shows me what a welcoming community AA is that I felt comfortable enough to go somewhere completely new on last minute notice. Yes, it was a roomful of strangers, but their behavior was predictable:  friendly and welcoming and warm. And that’s something I already know, just 2 months into the program.

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