Sunday, April 15, 2007

Home Group

This is a cell-phone photo from my run yesterday. I headed off in a different direction because the day was so beautiful. I ended up a little past this photo, 4 miles from home, realizing that I had a cold, felt crappy, and still had at least 4 miles to go. It ended up being a 10.5 mile run, and it was NOT fun, but I am glad it is done.

This morning I went to my home group. I have been calling it my "old home group", but I realize again this morning why it IS and probably always will be My Home Group. It is 20 miles from my house, but it is where I belong. I can sit with people who I have known since I got sober and who have known me. Today was my friend Eileen's 20th AA Birthday. When she first got sober, she came to noon meetings, in her suits, heels, and pearls. We were definitely people who normally would not mix! But over the years, we have become much more similar and we absolutely love each other.

It was so comforting to be with the people who know me AND love me. I know them AND love them. It is good. I seldom hear people talk about a home group anymore, but I think it is so very important. We get into a group where we let people know us. We get to know them. We go to their homes. We get to meet their families. When we don't show up at a meeting, people wonder where we are. When we show up and are full of crap, they tell us that. When we show up with our celebrations, sadnesses, heartbreaks, challenges, and victories, they celebrate and mourn with us. There is no other feeling of belonging like this. It is such a huge part of staying sober.

Back to Eileen... her husband, son, and granddaughter came to the meeting. At the end of the hour, she called on her son to share. He is a man in his 30s, and he cried. He shared that when he was in high school his mom's drinking was so bad. He didn't want to come home. And before he got home each day, he would pray that his mom was asleep. He finished by saying it is no longer like that, and thanking all of us. It was so moving. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

We affect so many people with our drinking and then with our sobriety. A grown man, 20 years later, still crying because of the horror he lived through with an alcoholic mom. Oh, Lord, help us all.

"The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, 'Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grant the wind stopped blowin?" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 82


Sober Chick said...

Your cell phone sure takes some beautiful pictures -- with you behind the camera too that is.

Thanks for sharing this real experience of others that have been affected by alcoholism and the result of healing and hope. Perhaps some of those tears were remembering that pain he experienced, and perhaps some were because of how proud he is of his mom, and how full of life she is today because of her sobriety.

recoveryroad said...

The damage done is incredible. And awful. All the same I liked your post, I really did. I got some real warmth from how you described your Home Group.

I'd like to run down a road like that. We don't have em quite like that over here. :)

Syd said...

The description of your home group is touching. I think that you described a real family in which people care about each other and are able to express how they feel. That to me is what a home group means. As for the man who shared about his mom, I think that it illustrates that alcoholism is a family disease.

Pam said...

I too, love sitting in my old home group with women who have known me for many years...we share a special kind of acceptance and love. What a beautiful program we belong to.

Trudging said...

Wow, thanks for the picture and thanks for sharing about Eileen and her son. Wow!