Christine asked me if I have moved - because I refer to old meetings and new meetings, old people and new people. I guess I have never really explained that, so I will this morning!
I got sober in July 1984, having just moved to the northern suburbs of Denver. I moved a lot for a lot of years in my early sobriety, but aside from my time in British Columbia and Washington in 1990 and 1991, I always stayed on the north side of Denver and could go to the same groups I always had. That continuity meant the world to me, and still does.
In 1994, I got a job on the south side of Denver. I started attending an AA meeting at 6:30 a.m. on my way to work and really fell in love with that group. I stayed up north for my first couple of years there, and kept going to meetings there, but in 1998, I bought a townhouse on the south side of Denver. It is amazing how traumatic it was to move just 20 miles away. It was like moving to an entirely new city, except that I could still drive across town to get to meetings up north when I felt the need. In 2001, I bought the house that I am still living in - on the south-west side of town.
I essentially have three different groups of AA fellowship. 1. The people I knew in my first 10 years, who are more dear to me with each passing day. 2. The people from the 6:30 a.m. meeting I have been attending since 1994. 3. A whole new batch of people from the 5:30 p.m. meeting I just started attending last July. I really love all of these people. I say I get annoyed from time to time with the people from the "new" groups. I am seeing a man, I have deliberately tried to avoid talking about him here, but I will usually refer to him without referring to him - when I am annoyed with him. Hence Friday's post about people who criticize me... that would be him. Now, today, I think he is swell, so I won't be complaining. But I digress....
What I find difficult about the people who haven't known me for a long time is that they see me as someone I *am* today, but someone I truly *wasn't* before. So, to them, I am an educated, successful, church-goin' woman, which is fine, because that IS who I am today. However, I got here from being an angry, unemployable, promiscuous, very difficult person - and I am talking sobriety years here. When one of these "new" people chastises me for cussing in meetings, I can't even believe it! If he only knew! But I can continue to grow, I don't need to limit my growth because of some warped sense of proportion with my past.
I think it is interesting that I consider a group I have been attending since 1994 a new group. Indeed, most of the people there have gotten sober after 1994, so to them I am just one of the old people.
So this morning, I will take my newly blonde (I love it!!) self to church and then try to lounge today. Sorry for writing such a long-ass post. I sometimes do that on the weekends, I feel more free to write a lot because the readership is usually pretty low.
"Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164