Recovery work is not a solitary business. Only in a community context will the hard work of breaking the cycle of addiction be available. We need each other. I balked at this notion early on in recovery and admit that I don’t fully understand its implication for my life. I do, however, believe that staying sober is more than having accountability partners. They are important but the primary reason that recovery in community is crucial is that my own journey narrative intersects in many ways with the stories of other addicts.
I get glimpses of hope when I attend meetings and hear others talk about their experiences. I understand my own journey more deeply as I share it. We must talk about our deepest struggles to be healed of the darkness that comes from our own self-hatred. I can learn to love myself when I see love in the eyes of other pilgrims. We must keep gathering together even when we don’t feel like it, because when we do, we are able to honest with ourselves. At the beginning of the meeting I mimic what others say, “Hi, I’m an addict.” By the end of the meeting I am able to accept those words, breathed into me with each shared statement from others like me.
So I will continue to go to meetings. I long for the time when it will be more natural to attend. But in the mean time, I will simply and willfully, just go. As a result, I believe I will grasp more fully the healing process and join my comrades in the journey of recovery.