Dec. 26, 2015

The Fellowship

“I’ll shut myself off from everyone to the point of insensibility.  Make an enemy of everyone, speak to no one.”  Franz Kafka (Diaries)

This is how I handled my alcoholism.  I didn’t want to be with other people with problems.  In 2004 when I reached out for help I was asked what would it mean to me if I were an alcoholic.  My answer was “It means that I am weak.”  After all these years of going in and out of my 12 Step recovery program I still didn’t understand the importance of the fellowship of other alcoholics.  I attended meetings, I somewhat worked the steps, I was friendly to the people at the meetings, I shared, I listened, but I kept my life and my recovery separate.  I thought they were mutually exclusive.  I didn’t want to get to know my fellow alcoholics and I didn’t want to rely on the fellowship.  During holidays I would not attend meetings because I didn’t think I needed to be with my fellow alcoholics.  I had always been taught how important the fellowship is, but I thought I was different.  Over the years I have shut myself off to others.  This is a dangerous place for me to be.  When I don’t listen and learn from those who have gone before me I get drunk.  Today, Christmas Day, I attended two meetings.  I went to a 5:30 p.m. meeting and stayed afterward to talk to the group and then we all stayed for the 8:00 p.m.  We laughed, we were honest about the struggle we face over the holidays and we shared our experience, strength and hope.  I believe experience, strength and hope is the lifeblood of a recovery program.  This is where this alcoholic can identify and see that I too can live a contented life.  I have done the research and I know that I cannot stay sober without my higher power and without relying on other alcoholics.  These other alcoholics are the fellowship.  I need this fellowship; tonight I enjoyed it and being a true part of it.