i walked in and immediately, a woman with a warm smile and had me sit with "me and the girls." i must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
a booklet with meeting dates and times was passed around and all ladies in attendance added their phone numbers to the back, in case i should wish to call them. in fact, the Open Arms Lady said i should call at least two of them this week, just to check in.
i sat and listened. i went in thinking maybe i didn't *need* to be there, that i am not *that* bad...the self-doubting, the devil whispering into my ear anything that would make me turn the car around and go home. prior to getting out of my car and walking toward the church and into the meeting, i said a quick arrow prayer: "God if i am to be here, keep it simple. let me know under no uncertain terms that this is for me."
i got out, walked toward the glow of the open doors and went in. that was when i was met by Open Arms.
it was a step meeting. there was *usual* business discussed and the first step was recited from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (which Open Arms lady purchased for me and gave to me as a gift before i left). they went around the room, each member reading a paragraph from the first step - 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
wow. as i sat and listened as they read aloud, the second to the last paragraph struck a chord in me:
Why all this insistence that every AA must hit bottom first? The answer is that few people will sincerely tried to practice the AA program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing AA's remaining eleven steps means the adoption of attitudes and actions that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking....Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant? Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done?...No, the average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn't care for this prospect--unless he has to do these things in order to stay alive himself.and there it was. my *sign* -- i may not have hit rock bottom -- but i find i am pulling myself up before i do and it is my desire to never pick up a drink again. i cannot believe this is coming out of me as i always said if i couldn't drink wine ever again, i did not know what i would do with myself. and yet, i mean it. i mean it for at least today, even though Open Arms suggested i attend 90 meetings in 90 days. a jump-start, if you will. and true to her warmth, she hugged me good-bye and said "keep coming back."
so many things that were cliches to me are now going to come to life. i rushed through the house and grabbed the first journal i could find and took it with me last night, but sat with it on my lap and simply listened. when i came home, that is when it poured out of me - all the thoughts, words. when i closed the book itself, i noticed what was imprinted on the front:
Nothing is worth more than this day -- Goethe