By Christine R.
For years I kept hidden the very topics we share daily. A huge surprise to hear the men and women share their experience, strength, and hope on the topics I was sure “would go to the grave with me.”
With the passing of time and “constant contact with others,” not only was I given answers to my inner dilemmas, I was also shown the way through example. One such example came when I was newly sober – and not going to meetings.
I was resentful at my homegroup. I did not want to do the work. I could not find a sponsor. (Yeah, right!) Three years sober but not in recovery. When one gets into this position, one cannot take a drink, but suicide sure seems like a step up. Suicidal, resentful, and lonely. That’s where I was on a Thursday night.
On this particular Thursday night, I was putting up glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling. For the placement of these stars, I had to turn the lights off and on. Lights off to see the glowing stars. Lights on to put them up on the ceiling. Alone in the dark. Back and forth. Lights on. Lights off. Lights on. Lights off. That’s how they found me.
The “They” in this case, was a handsome dentist and two attractive women who came knocking on my door at 9:15 p.m. The Thursday Night Chip Meeting ended at 9:00 and my visitors came directly from that meeting. Several people from my home group, worried about my state of mind, decided to mount up a posse. The dentist I knew. The two women he brought with him, I did not. Eager to put on a good face (especially for the handsome doctor), I welcomed them in.
Within a very short period of time, the dentist left. What? He left me in the care of the two women. This was a guy who knew how to care for the woman in trouble. He brought women to help. A worker among workers. A woman among women. I did not know how to be a woman among women. But that night – I learned.
Never had I met these two women. Yet, they let me drop my “face” and allow the tears to flow. Patiently, they heard my tales of death. My loneliness. My isolation. With chamomile tea and their attention, they formed a loving bridge to bring me back to humanity and, again, to a place in the world.
These women tucked me into my bed. Like angels, they stayed on either side of me until I drifted off to sleep. Before nodding off, they insisted I meet with them at the 7:00 a.m. Fairfax meeting the following morning. At 6:30 in the morning, going against morning commuter traffic, a pain in the ass to drive, and I said, “Yes!” I’d be there. Who was I to say “no” having loved back to health by two strangers all night long?
Sure enough. They were there waiting in the doorway for me. Later, we went to the “Coffee Klatch.” Aptly named for us A.A. folk who gathered immediately after the meeting.
You see, it’s the meeting before the meeting and the meeting after the meeting that encourages the growth and maintenance of the sisterhood/brotherhood I found that night and the following morning. These women lead by example. The dentist lead by example. To this day, when I understand one of us is in trouble, thanks to the lessons from these three, I mount up a posse and head out to help. If it’s a guy, I call a guy in the program. Get him to make the calls. If it’s a woman, I take another woman with me, and we show up.
Many an AA has told the story of showing up unexpectedly and the amazing grace that occurs when they do. By working the Steps, attending meetings on a daily basis and by sharing my experience, strength, and hope with another human being, I recall that night. A night of being rescued from the flickering darkness into unimaginable Light.