My Home Group, My Sanctuary
On 3rd June 2006, I walked into the Friday meeting of the Plymouth Road to Recovery Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had not had a drink for 3 days. I was nervous, tearful, anxious, completely and utterly broken by my inability to stop or control my drinking. Life had become unbearable and I needed help!
The welcome I received on that night, and every other night since, was warm, sincere and so full of understanding that I immediately felt ‘at home’. For the first time in my life, here were people who knew me – the real me, not the persona that I wanted people to see, and it touched me massively. The meeting was well organised with structure and purpose. Here were attractive, confident, lively people who talked about their desperation in the face of progressive alcoholism. They talked about sponsorship, the Twelve Steps and spiritual awakenings as though these were everyday occurrences! As indeed they proved to be!
I was given gentle reassurance and told that I needn’t say or do anything throughout the meeting, just listen for the similarities and not the differences. During that first meeting I was given a further gift of hope – that if I did what these people had done, I could have what they had, if I wanted it!
By asking another alcoholic to sponsor me and being taken through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have had a spiritual awakening which has fundamentally changed my perception of the world and the people in it. I have a way of living which revolves around what I can do for others, rather than what I can get for myself. It is a life full of gratitude and love for my family, friends, work colleagues, and newcomers looking for a way out.
But to attain and maintain this, I need to get into service in my home group, help it run smoothly and efficiently, help it grow and flourish so that the same welcome is present when the new man or woman walks through the door – just as it was for me on 3rd June 2006 – that’s when I found my sanctuary and nothing has tempted me to look anywhere else.
To say that I am proud of my home group would be a huge understatement. The people who inspire me to work harder for my group and help it be successful are the people who keep active in their home group in the long term. They are constantly looking for ways to better carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the still suffering alcoholic, because that has to be our primary purpose.
Alison S., Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth