It took me a long time before I decided that I wanted to go to a meeting. Some people believe that you need to do 90 meetings in 90 days when you first attempt sobriety. I, clearly, do not subscribe to that belief as it took me 2 weeks to attend my first.
I don’t know why I was resistant to going, I suppose it was because I was terrified. I was scared that I’d have to talk. I was scared that people would ask me questions. Mostly I was scared of uttering the words ‘I’m an alcoholic’. Because saying it in your head is scary enough, let alone in a room full of strangers.
I decided that AA wasn’t the path for me (More on that later!) so I decided to try a SMART meeting. I knew little about this program, but the meeting was at a time that worked for me and was in a location that I was familiar with. The meeting was an hour and a half, where we spent most of the time going around the room and sharing who we were and why we were there. There were people with all kinds of addiction. They were kind and open and honest. I must admit, though, it was A LOT to digest in a room with bright lights, strangers and no booze.
I have been attending this same meeting every week since. Here is a pro and cons list based on MY experience.
- gathering with others who struggle with addiction
- being listened to
- being held accountable
- no set rules and regulations (this is both a positive and a negative)
- nice people
- location (bright lights, conference room)
- mostly men
- facilitator just listens
- minimal advice offered
- small amount of time to share due to large group
- no clear rules (what can I say? what can’t I say? what can I share? what shouldn’t I share? is this all confidential?)
Person at meeting: How much WERE you drinking a day? Me:
I, personally, would love a space filled with women and sage and flowers but for now this meeting does the job of keeping me accountable.