Beats me. I don’t recall anyone saying much of anything to me when I showed up at my first meeting almost five years ago. I do recall the non-verbalized smug glances that passed around the room when I gave my lead for the first time. I had no idea it was going to count against me that I had never:
- slept under a bridge,
- gone for two weeks in the same clothes without a shower,
- quaffed the cheapest wine from a paper bag passed around as among the best of friends,
- slept behind a dumpster after finding my gourmet evening meal there,
- lost a wife and family (not to mention a home),
- totaled a car,
- lost a job, or even
- gone to jail on a DUI or D&D.
As an aside, I did go to jail once for having long hair, but that’s totally unrelated to this entry. Make no mistake, I know there are plenty of horror stories out there. I come in contact with them on a painfully regular basis. But I wonder if it’s important for the message to come across that you’re welcome here just as you are, rather than, “You know, I’m so much more fucked up than you are. This is what real alcoholism looks like. You haven’t even come close to hitting bottom yet. You just aren’t ready for this yet. You’re gonna treat this like some kind of revolving door. Come back when you just can’t take it anymore.”
Really? In addition to signing the court card, does the secretary need to sign-off on a card saying the below designated individual is hereby officially recognized as having hit proverbial shit fan and is welcomed into Alcoholics Anonymous?
Words of wisdom? I know what not to say.