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