I shared my story for the first time as the speaker at a meeting last night. I was nervous at first. Who wouldn’t be? When you share your story, you’re bearing your soul — to a room full of people that you don’t know.
But there’s magic in those rooms. The people who fill them understand each other in ways that those on the outside simply do not. Once I got started, I fell into an easy cadence and was able to speak with clarity and confidence.
The response from the group was phenomenal. People heard messages that I didn’t even realize I was communicating. They heard that I am a family man, and that I got sober in part for the benefit of my son and my wife. They heard that alcoholism is a slow burning, progressive illness that overtakes us slowly but surely. They heard that I’d found freedom and had gotten the monkey off my back.
I didn’t actually say any of those things, but looking back on my story and my words, those messages ring true.
I was delighted that several members of my home group came to see me share, including my sponsor. Their presence helped put me at ease and I was truly grateful that they were there.
I also made some new connections last night — for those, I’m truly grateful. See, we’re all in this together in recovery. We need each other. We can’t do it alone.
If there was one word that defined my alcoholism, it is isolation. In my recovery, I’ve started to break through those walls and rejoin the human race.
Some say that suffering is the human condition. And that is certainly part of it, but I also believe that connection is part of the human condition. Connections with others make us human and help us deal with the suffering.
We all need connections. We cannot live a joyful life alone.