Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finding Friendship in A.A.

I walked into the meeting hall and took a seat. There was only me and three others. Men. I sat and read my Big Book as two men talked quietly across the room. We were waiting for the meeting to start.

"I never knew I could have a friend," one man said. "I stayed so drunk that no one wanted to be around me."

"Do you have friends now?" the other asked.

"Yeah, I have some friends in A.A.," he replied.

I closed my Big Book and just listened. I so wanted to be this man's friend. Just someone to share my days with. Good friends. Friends in A.A. The kind of friends I could take home to my parent's unlike the gang and George -- people my parents would never approve of.

"I thought when I started going to A.A. that friends would just come out of the woodwork," the man said. "It didn't happen that way. It took time and building trust. Showing to others that I was willing to work the steps and stay sober."

I, too, thought this. That when I started going, I thought I would be overrun with close A.A. friends -- us drunks sticking together. I was sorely disappointed when I realized those that had gone to these meetings for years segregated themselves from the newcomers -- a guarded and reserved distance.

"Yeah, I have some friends now," the man continued. "I have people I could go to with my life and soul. To tell all my darkest secrets and worst failings. I am lucky."

"Yes you are," I thought as I turned to the front of the meeting hall to start the meeting. They say if you put yourself in these rooms you will always hear what you need, and I did hear something I needed to hear tonight and it was before the meeting. In that simple conversation between to gruff A.A. meeting goers. Yes, I will eventually get some friends in A.A. It is going to take time to build up a report with others and to build up a trust. I am so impetuous and want it now. I WANT IT NOW! "Good things come to those that wait," I just told myself as I was writing this. Good things come to those that wait.

15 comments:

Kelly Jene said...

Dear friend, if you want that now, then start now. Make that move of conversing with those men or asking someone for a phone number for those times you feel out of control. Reach out to others. I just bet that person you reach will have needed you just as badly as you need them.

Cheryl said...

I imagine that you'd find a wide range of people at your meeting if you lived nearer to a big town. That you'd find the camaraderie you crave. I don't know much about A.A.--what I do know I learned from you. Aren't you supposed to have a sponsor? I know you've talked about it before, but you had one you couldn't relate to. Is it possible to get matched with someone new? I hope that between your meetings and your volunteer endeavors you find that companionship you crave.

Moacha said...

As a person who has delt with raging alcoholic it takes time and belief in yourself. if you are always looking for the approval of others you won't find it. it takes time, and hard work believe in yourself and be proud that you are taking the steps to be a better person...do what makes you happy, and kno that even if you can't find the approval its out there, and i am one to say it when i see it.... i am very proud of what you are doing...... be true to yourself, be happy everyone at the least deserves that........ Good Luck, although you probly won't need it.....:)

PipeTobacco said...

Sir:

Moderation in all things.

Just because you want and will likely eventually get new friends in AA, does not mean you should cast off your other friends. In my opinion, George and the rest are good friends of yours and that is nothing to sneeze at. The people at the animal shelter will also become your friends and they too are nothing to sneeze at. Rosa is your friend, and although she is less available right now, she is still your friend. Your internet friends are also your friends.

So, you HAVE a myriad of friends of all walks of life. You need not think because your father may not approve of many of us, that we are not your friends.

Moderation in ALL things is the key to life.

PipeTobacco

CRUSTYBEEF said...

You will get it, Just like we said to you that you'd have love for Rosa a few months back..we have no doubt that happiness is there for you at the rainbow..without a doubt you deserve it!!
Always,
Crusty~

Anonymous Boxer said...

and as my coach says to me,

"not everything that's good for you, feels good at first."

I have to remember that all the time.

Brad in Seattle said...

Andrew,
I just want you too know that I read your blog daily and am learning and growing from it. I'm an alcoholic that is trying to get my head in the right space to seek help. Your blog is helping me in a way I can't really explain. But Thanks Buddy. It is helping.

Brad

LORD MANILA STONE said...

you seem to be a quiet reserved man, that might hinder your desire of meeting new friends, i hope you can get by andrew, happy to hear you are patient enough to wait and that you religiously attend the sessions at A.A

mapiprincesa! said...

One need not be an alcoholic to crave the need to feel accompanied, accepted and alive. As you have found, I suppose, the trick is the appropriate environment. Do not mess up your life, however, by trying to make the kinds of friends that will please your parents...that can introduce you to a myriad of other issues, believe me! You must do what is right by you, by your own heart...and trust that you can discern right from wrong within those contexts. Again, as always, I wish you peace!

mhr said...

Thank you very much

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Concerned2 said...

This morning while walking my dog, something it is impossible to do and be unhappy as he takes such joy in sniffing stuff and well, peeing on it, I thought to myself, I hope Andrew is okay. Now I find out you didn't just make it through another night sober but you also drove a good ways to a meeting. Congratulations, you should be proud of yourself.

Josie Two Shoes said...

It does take a bit of time to build friendships, Andrew... but you are doing that, at the Humane Society, at AA, and certainly here! Just keep reaching out, remember that the other folks at those meetings are probably just as lonely as you are. Make the first move - you are awesome... let them see that! :-)

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Yeah!! What Josie said!!
Good thursday morning! Brusk and chilly up in chitown..and by you?
Always,
Crusty~ :)

Portia said...

I'm glad you went, even if only to have heard that conversation. I hope today is a good one!