Every consistent 12-stepper admits that “it is easy to recover — one only needs to change one thing… everything.” The most difficult part is getting to that first meeting. Change starts before one ever gets through those doors. It begins in your heart when you know you need to get help. The stories told in recovery rooms about people’s first meeting experiences often cause laughter:
“I parked ten blocks away and used a false name when I first showed up…”
“I sat outside three meetings before I managed to open my car door and then at least once, I got out and couldn’t make it to the gate and so I went home…”
“I traveled 120 miles one way to go to a meeting where I knew no one would possibly know me, and then when I got there, I found out that someone from my church had exactly the same idea…”
A couple of things stand out:
What she didn’t say is that often the way He chooses to do so is through 12-step / 12-tradition meetings. It is a tool of the Evil One that these meetings appear to be so ominous to the pharisaical addict who has not yet discovered recovery. Part of the process of crossing out the “I” is walking through the doors of a meeting for the very first time.
If you have not attended a meeting for one of the reasons listed here, you are not alone. We’ve all faced that seemingly insurmountable fear. Please, have courage. Take steps and make an attempt to attend a meeting either near you or 120 miles away. You may sit in your car and not go in the first time, but at least, go, sit in your vehicle, and pray, asking for the strength you need to to open the door and take a step toward the meeting room. I can assure you that God likes those prayers. You should try Him.
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