Issue 9 – Anonymous



For twenty three years and counting, one of the most important things I do with my life is fully participate in AA: service, steps, fellowship. I say one of the most important things, because there are other equally important endeavors such as meditation which is step 11 anyway, sustaining a relationship with my husband, and being a member of an (unhealthy) family of origin to the best of my ability.

I went to a family reunion for the week of August 2 last year. I didn’t want to go, but decided to keep my word with the promise to myself that I would not agree to reunions in the future. I went to meetings every day of the reunion except for the travel time to and from it. I shared about how difficult the week was.

When I got home Sunday afternoon, there was pot and a pipe at my door. Since I have only lived in S.C. for less than two years, I know no one here from my “active” days in N.J. Ever since moving to this current home, I could smell the familiar smoke of the people in the condo below us. It was probably delivered to our door for them by mistake. I don’t know.

I was vulnerable despite having done EVERYTHING right. I had even previously told on myself that the fact that the substance was becoming legal in some places was bothering me. However, in that one moment, I took three puffs, realized it was not good for me, and took it all to the dumpster.

I’ve recently shared about it in a meeting. I sense that many people see me as having slipped.

In the program, it’s considered a slip if you drink or drug even for a minute. Twenty three years down the drain with a new sobriety date of 2014? I don’t think so, and it’s painful losing the esteem of people who do. The last twenty-three years and the rest of my life in AA mean everything to me. I do need the group support, camaraderie, structure. It has generally served me well.

Being highly regarded by others in A.A., increasingly so as time accumulated, has been very good for my sense of self worth. This recent experience has been a journey from here to there to back again. I may literally have to move to somewhere else, unless I can learn the current lesson that people are not gods, and are often not even friends, but as someone said, love them anyway.