Time to move back into the mosh pit of AA.
I went to my first AA meeting this past Thursday night to a popular speaker meeting in Brentwood. Gosh it was good to be there with all those drunks. I mean it was like I was set free after an extended stint in the Klink for still unknown charges. The room was just buzzing with conversation and a genuine feeling that we in the fellowship are blessed beyond belief to have this robust support system that is there when we need it.
I am not the most type A person, and generally I would go sit and scribble in my sketchbook rather than try to make conversation with strangers. However, that was the “old me” and this is the new me. I walked around and found a gentleman sitting alone and said hello my name is… he seemed glad someone approached him. We AAs are such isolators. As terminally unique in our brilliance as our general self-loathing – a truly mystifying combination. After chatting with Chad (or Chaz, or Devon? I forgot), I looked around for an empty seat with some friendly faces adjacent. Before I even got to this meeting, I decided to be the person I always wanted to be and struck up convos with the young ladies behind me. I have learned, however slowly, that when you go forth into the world each day, you have a choice to be self-absorbed or to be of service to whomever you encounter. This action, being of service, is the most powerful idea to come out of the program imho. It lifts you out of yourself and reframes your experience and purpose that day to see how you can help your fellow humans. When you string those experiences together with some consistency, it changes you in every way. When I was new, I didn’t feel I had anything to offer so I kept to myself. I trust the process now. The whole concept of “acting as if” is no joke. It is one of the secret ingredients of AA. And the beauty of it is, nobody knows you are doing it! Ha-ha! This is the way to “test” out your social chops without having to disclose how terrified you are. And the cumulative effect that experience has on your perspective is transformative. You see that everyone, for the most part is terrified and just wants to connect, be heard, and to love and be loved. They are as afraid of rejection as you are. This fact is universal. Use this to fuel your new improved self.
So, my point is, get out there and pretend! Smile at strangers. Compliment people on something personal. Get out of yourself and into the moving breathing world! It will change your life. The pretending part will be our little secret.