Today at our early meeting everything seemed to being going along normally we have readings from “The Grapevine” which to me is like many devotional booklets that religious organizations share with their congregations. “The Grapevine” publication is dedicated to the same one thing everything else AA is dedicated to, “The desire to stop drinking.”
High Bottom – Low Bottom
The reading today discussed what everyone either in AA or never been to AA has heard at one point in their lives, the term “Rock Bottom.” It is kind of interesting to me that people that have no idea what the term really means seem to throw it around quite carelessly. Those of us that have experienced or seen someone close to us experience it, know how horrible that place really is. And everyone’s tolerance for “rock bottom” is their own.
We are all Unique
As we shared around the room it was evident. Each of us had our own personal place where we called “Rock Bottom.” Some folks have been in and out of the program and thought they had found the bottom before but in the end, went out and had to fall again further to know they needed to come back. But the good news I am learning that you always can come back. Folks that understand will help you in your struggle with alcohol are there.
A Voice in the Back
For the past week, there has been a man in the back of the room that has been very quiet. He introduces himself but passes on sharing and passed on reading each day. Each day we all repeated his name and welcomed him. He kept off to himself and no one pressured him. We just went about the meetings and since we are a small group, it is very easy to see how supportive we are of one another.
But Not Today
This morning, he came over to where most of us sat, still in the back, actually a couple chairs from where I sit. (It isn’t assigned seating by any means), but we all usually gravitate to the same seat or region of seat from day to day. When it came around to him reading – he read. When it came around to sharing – he shared. In fact a bit out of turn, but we were all happy (I was thrilled) that the cork finally blew – sorry, bad analogy but it is the best I got – he started talking and he opened up and as his thoughts flowed, he started to get quite emotional. His lip quivered as he told us his “Bottom” was right now. His little boy told him he didn’t want to see him ever again and his heart was broken. He said, “I am better than the drink.” He had been sober for over a year and then one day he went out again and he still didn’t know why. You could hear a pin drop in the room and I could feel the sense of warmth coming from all of us toward him as he kept on talking.
He needed to unload. We were all there with open ears and hearts listening.
The Best People on Earth
There isn’t a better more safe place than a room full of people that know where you are and have fought their own demon and had their hearts broken and have caused it all themselves. We have laid out our weaknesses and insecurities for everyone to hear, without reservation. Now there is a limit, we only have 3-5 minutes to do it each day but we can say whatever we want without fear.
In My Prayers
Our new friend is now in my prayers as I am sure he is in everyone else’s that heard his story today. After the meeting, people thanked him, I hugged him and some of the guys exchanged phone numbers. Tomorrow is my third week. But today is today and we gotta do this day first. But this is my first experience with looking in the mirror and seeing someone that is raw and broken, just like I felt. And the people in the room treated me the same way. Different story but same compassion, same love, to a complete stranger with the same goal.
Now my lip is quivering. Grateful.