…was a little bigger deal than I thought it would be.
I hugged the guy that gave it to me, and you know what? The applause felt good. I felt good. I accepted–without flinching more than a tiny bit–the guys and girls who came up to me after and congratulated me. I kept eye contact. I left with a friend’s number and plans to have coffee with another guy tomorrow. This isn’t normal behavior for me. Quite the opposite, actually. I had a rough day emotionally, and when I drove to the meeting this evening, I thought, I’m getting in there, biding my time, and then getting out.
Well, that didn’t go as planned. I saw a guy from rehab and we started talking, and then I saw another guy from rehab, and that made me feel even better. And damn if I didn’t go to the Newcomer’s Meeting after we split off and start feeling welcomed, at home, and like I was in the right place.
It was a powerful meeting, too. Two people recommitted to the program after some time away; another man talked about a great loss he had suffered, and he was still sober; another man said he was suicidal earlier and hung on until he could walk through the doors of AA.
I’m among brave men and women, some of us fighting for their lives. People who are healing and helping each other heal. They’re helping me, for sure.
I get cynical and depressed, and I know I’m still in post-acute withdrawal, so I have quite a road of ahead of me…but I don’t have to do it alone. I’m starting to not want to do it alone.
Progress, not perfection, as the director of my treatment program said the other day. I can most assuredly dig that.
(Also, for the musically curious, I made an EP called Terminal Exposure and posted it to Bandcamp. If you like ambient, dark music, check it out. Thanks.)