In early recovery I went shopping to buy new clothes just for meetings. It was going to be a new part of my life and I needed to have the right stuff. I had an idea that AA was kind of like Rotary or the Kiwanis: one dressed up, met folks, did service—got sober—and that there was probably an awards banquet at the end of the year. Being ambitious and self-serving I thought I needed to look good to be a member—I also figured that pretty quickly I’d figure out the hierarchy of this organization and become an officer. I knew that I couldn’t be quite that direct and out—that whole humility thing to master and be really good at—but I’d work that out.
The dressing part has come and gone over the years. By the end of year two my pendulum had swung the other way and I stopped coloring my hair and wearing make-up. Then a new sponsor said, “Recovery does not mean wearing sackcloth an ashes—go get some highlights.” And I was back.
Today, it’s true that when I am shopping and trying on clothes, I’ll think, “Where will I wear this?” Sometimes the answer is: “On weekends, for casual and to go to meetings.” AA is part of my life and part of my wardrobe.