Attending a new meeting is a great way to kick any 12-Step complacency I may have in the buttocks. Gone is familiarity and comfort. Strange faces and strange coffee. I got to raise my hand and introduce myself and received a warm round of applause.

Step 3: made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

Meetings, like life, change. They ebb and flow. My home group has become ninety percent women over the past six months. And two of my favorite regulars have moved. Two years ago the room was twice as full. Last year it was half what it is now. And next week there could be a whole new batch of First Steppers clamoring for sobriety and fellowship. I’ll keep attending; I love my home group, but I felt I should branch out and hit an extra meeting to gear up for the impending holiday.

So I sat down among about twenty-five people who all knew each other, and the saying, “we are not a glum lot” came to mind. I did a lot of nodding and smiling. Did I feel self-conscious? A little, but also, in a weird way, I was free. Nobody in that room knew if I had twenty years or twenty minutes of sobriety. I was simply another in the program that needed a meeting, and that was enough for acceptance.

Did I make any new life-long friends at the new meeting last night? No, and I didn’t really try. But I did engage in two or three friendly conversations outside the meeting rooms. I shook some hands and went on my merry way, having felt better for being the one who, on this rare occasion, actively and positively created a change in the dynamic.

For Today: That’s Step 3 in action.

One thought on “new guy.

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