First AA Meeting Experience

The Pre-Meeting Fear

Throughout the day, I thought about attending my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.  I feared that if I attended, I would be looked down upon — by others…people at the meeting and people who may someday find out that I attended an AA meeting.

By around 5 pm, two things had happened: I was convinced that I was actually going to attend the AA meeting, and I had registered for a DUI/alcohol evaluation course.  I also reached out to the State Bar to see if I could be included in the program for lawyers who have had substance abuse issues.

The Rationale

As I discussed last night, becoming a better person does not stop at stopping to drink for 30 days.  It requires a commitment.  And my fear of commitment regarding AA seemed rather silly – I was afraid of what people would think about me:

The People at AA:  The people over at the AA were once in the same position as me.  They are no different than me.  They are wonderful people who have been impacted by alcohol.  And, therefore, they have the potential to be wonderful mentors.

People who Find Out I am in AA:  This scared me a little — what would people with whom I have shared a beer with previously think? What would my friends make of me? In the end, it’s simple.  If they are my true friends, they will understand that I am going through changes in my life that require me to be alcohol-free.  If they cannot accept that, well, then perhaps I should find better friends.

The Bigger Picture

Why am I doing all this when I could simply let the legal process work itself out?  I think there are a couple of reasons – one of them is obviously selfish.  First, I want to prove to myself, others around me, and even the legal process that I am truly serious about my reformation.  Second, I continue to believe that I owe a higher duty — if I ever get a chance to become a lawyer, people that place their trust in me must know and firmly believe that I can place their best interest ahead of anything and everything, and I won’t betray their trust by making awful decisions.  So beyond just “proving” anything to anyone else, I must rely on those who are willing to help me in avoiding the awfulness that surrounds alcohol.

The Meeting Itself

The meeting itself was an amazingly uplifting experience.  As I walked in, not knowing which room to go in, a gentleman introduced himself and told me that I should feel safe — that he had been in the same position as me many years ago.  Then when the meeting began, people shared their stories and their struggles.  And while I can’t go into the details of others’ stories, they all resonated with immensely.  For that, I am immensely thankful.

The Ending

As the meeting was coming to a close, I was asked a simple question — do I accept the path towards recovery?  And just like that, I got a hug and a white-chip.  Oh and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

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