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Raven: My First Meeting

Brian McCollom aa addiction alcoholics anonymous alcoholism gratitude keep coming meeting moving forward my frist raven recovery sober sobriety

December 21st 2011. This was the beginning of a new way of life. It was a cold Tuesday evening and I was sick because I hadn't had a drink. I walked into my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and I was greeted by a very tall lanky woman with a big smile. She extended her hand to me and said, "Welcome, I'm glad you're here!” I thought to myself, “Is this woman crazy? Does she know who I am? What I've done?” And then she guided me to my seat. After I sat down I listened to everyone introduce themselves as alcoholics.

“How did I get here?” And now it's finally my turn and I say “Hi, my name is Raven and I'm an alcoholic.” It's real now. I'm here! Alcohol who was once my best friend had turned its back on me. 

courtesy of www.wikihow.com

I felt lost and empty. I was twenty-eight years old, and I was depressed, angry, and alone. I spent my teenage, young adult, and early adult years chasing the bottle. I had many vices, but alcohol was my first love. I remember the day we first met.

I was fourteen years old and I was visiting my older sister. Her friend came over with a bag full of alcohol. My first drink was a Long Island Iced tea. And then, I took the drink and then the drink took me. I felt a warm sensation throughout my body and I knew from that day that as long as I had alcohol I could go on living.

You might be wondering how I ended up an alcoholic. It just so happens that I was a very anxious and depressed child. I felt like I never quite fit in anywhere. I have a large family but we're not close. I've always wanted to feel loved and connected to other human beings.

My childhood included a lot of trauma, and sexual and emotional abuse was the norm. I had all of the material possessions any kid could want. My parents provided a very nice living environment, but children don't need “things” as much as they need love and security. I've never felt safe or protected in the world. I had to learn how to defend myself early in life.

courtesy of ayearinaroom.com

I had to fight and I did a lot of it. Violence became my response to conflict. I walked around with the weight of the world on my back while I felt guilty and ashamed. I had secrets and in this room full of people, at the AA meeting, I felt alone.

I sat through the meeting and as it ended people came up to introduce themselves to me and told me to keep coming. I thought, “Keep coming, why? Nobody invited me anywhere and these people I barely know want me to come back.” I thought that these people were nuts but they touched me.

I went back week after week and I hit small milestones. Thirty days, sixty days, ninety, and one year. As I write this I am over four years sober and through the program I've found a connection with a higher power, I've built healthy friendships, and I'm learning who I am one day at a time. The road isn't always easy but it's always worth it. Keep moving forward. There aren't words to express my thanks and gratitude.

 

-Raven

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