Grateful Sunday #6: Reprieve

I recently attended a pretty emotionally intensive meeting.  It is standard procedure to do a sort of check-in at the start of meetings, and the room at large has a chance to share if they are new to A.A., visiting from out of town, recently come back from a relapse, etc.  At this particular meeting, a young man spoke up and informed us that he was a recovering addict, who had fallen back into old habits.

I won’t share too many precise details because the program’s integrity relies on its uncompromising anonymity, but the man had previously enjoyed several years of sobriety.  He was on his way to a happy life and a happy marriage, and became complacent – thinking that he could control his use, that it would be different now.

It was kind of a shock, to hear in person the story of someone who had been living sober and happy, and had it all come crashing down on them.  So many lives have been ruined or irreparably altered because of this disease.  It made me consider my own future – the fact that I am an alcoholic will no doubt play a part in whom I choose to spend my life with in matrimony.  I could foresee myself with another recovering alcoholic, who has gone through the program and understands the disease.


“Moonrise Kingdom.” I love Wes Anderson films.

Who knows?  I can only live for today.  Which is what I try to take away from these meetings.  My self-motivation has been at a low the past week or two, but meetings like this one tend to snap me back from my existential funk.  If nothing else productive occurred during my day, I at least have the fellowship and social interaction in the real world, at a meeting.


You are what you eat, but honestly, I haven’t had fast food in months. Feels good, man.

Which I’ve come to really appreciate.  I (mostly) do not check my phone during meetings.  At any given moment during any given day, I can see what random information is being passed through Facebook, what snarky updates are flitting through Twitter, what meals are being filtered on Instagram, what deals and upcoming events I don’t have money for are in my Gmail inbox.  Spending an hour a day away from all that is something of a luxury these days.

But not only are these meetings a luxury in that sense, I am actually getting the benefit of hearing real people share real stories…in real life.  Sometimes I become over-saturated with the goings-on of the internet; they mostly have no real value to or effect on me.  Spending time reflecting at meetings gives me a minute to think and feel and process life.  The subject matter may be intense, but I’d rather learn from that than some arbitrary stream flickering at me from the pallid glow of laptop or phone screen.

“Always on some ill shit /
Around good people I could build with /
Champion the ones that I’m near most /
Fellow outcast and weirdos /
I do it all without a co-sign /
My fucking mind is a gold mine.”

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