I was talking with a friend today. Though we’ve known each other a long time, she’s new to recovery. It’s an honor to be welcoming her aboard the USS Recovery.
When we talked I asked her what her recovery looks like, and you’ll not be surprised to hear that she’s fallen in love with the program—the meetings, and the humor, and what people talk about, and the slogans and sayings—they are all fresh and new and surprising to her.
But when I asked how she was building her support team, and did she have a sponsor yet and a home group, and was she gathering a team of sober woman around her? she said, “No, not yet, but I’m going to a ton of meetings.”
I remember that time of surprise and wonderment—all these people and all this recovery, and all this language and lingo and new concepts. And the thrill of being in meetings where people share such intimate details and –mostly—let go of pretending.
But I also found myself saying to her, “If you like that part of recovery, come on in to the deeper end.”
I told her that meetings are great and going out for coffee is great but really being a member comes from moving to the center.
What I wanted to say was, “Sitting on the edge of the pool with your feet in the water is cool—and even refreshing --but jump in—all the way in—and swim with us.”
What I mean is: get a sponsor, sign up to do service, go to at least 3 or four meetings a week, make one of them your home group, and read the Grapevine Magazine, the Big Book, As Bill Sees It, and other literature about recovery and about AA. And go to regional round-ups, and conferences. These are your people now. Show up where they are, make sure they get to notice you and to know you.
The same advice applies if later in recovery you move to a new town. Even after many years of recovery you have to start over in a sense and dive into the center of your new recovery community.
The water’s great. Jump in!