My first meeting was difficult…right up until I walked through the door.

I knew that I needed to be attending meetings, because I knew I was an alcoholic. That being said, actually getting myself to a meeting door to walk through…well, that was the hard part. I was anxious, nervous, embarrassed, ashamed, and scared. I didn’t know what to expect. Would meetings be like I had thought they would be – from visions that I had mostly formulated from television & old movies? I sure hoped not – mostly because I didn’t think that was something I would be able to enjoy, or have any hope of sticking to.

What I found, was about the polar opposite. I heard people visiting, having fun, and joking around, not even talking about alcohol. I was greeted at the door with a smile and a big hug from a guy that would later become my sponsor.

The anxiety I had felt only minutes before seemed to melt away, and was slowly replaced by a calm sense of feeling like I belonged there. I listened closely, but did not share. I guess for me that was one step that I wasn’t ready to take in my first meeting.

The time passed really quickly, and before I knew it – the meeting was over. Afterwards, people went right back to visiting – some about the meeting, and others about completely unrelated topics. It became very apparent to me that these people were genuinely interested and invested in each other – and I wanted what they had. This all took place in August of 2014.

I’ve been coming to meetings ever since, and now I have what they had – a fellowship of people that I care about greatly, and that care about me. I wouldn’t trade my home group for anything, and I really believe this is how it’s “supposed” to be. If you are reading this and have reservations about coming to a meeting, I would encourage you to just try one. The experience is like nothing else, especially when compared to the state we wind up in if we never come to a meeting at all. I’ve heard it said in a meeting that everything that person had given to the meeting had been returned to them ten-fold, and I really believe that to be true in my case as well. If you’re thinking about coming, please do. Thanks for reading,

—Chuck G