Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1731348-THE-ROOMS-OF-ALCOHOLICS-ANONYMOUS
by Ambush
Rated: E · Fiction · Personal · #1731348
This is a fictional account of a person going to their first AA meeting.

    What was I doing, walking into a room full of drunks? What was I thinking? Alcoholics? Who was in there? The down and outs, last gaspers, skid row derelicts, bums, dirty stinking smelly drunks and I was going in there? Yes I had to go in for I was in big trouble with my wife, family and my boss. My boss told me,” sober up or I will have to let you go” My wife said go or else, or else what?

I had to look up AA in the phone book, call them and ask where was there a meeting tonight I had to do this to save my marriage and my job. I didn’t want to go maybe I can quit myself I thought, no I already tried that I lasted two months and when I went back to drinking it was worst then before, now I was drinking in the morning.

I got some old man with a gruff voice he cleared his throat and said, “Hello this is Alcoholics Anonymous can I help you?” “Aha..Aha.. do you have meetings to night?” “Yes we do where do you live and we can direct to a meeting”. I told him the area I lived in I wasn’t going to give him my address I didn’t want a bunch of old men coming to see me with all that God stuff because that’s what I herd about AA. It seemed like an hour before he said yes there is a meeting tonight in your town it meets at 8 0’clock at the first Presbyterian church on Main street do you know where that is he asked? Ah.. yes I do. Good he says do you need a lift to the meeting I could have someone swing by your house and pick you up? Oh my God he wants to send some drunk to pick me up, I muttered that’s Ok I have a car I can find it. What’s your name I can have some one meet you at the door. No…ah no.. I’ll be alright!

So here I stand outside the church across the street in case some one I know sees me waiting till just exactly 8 O’clock so I can sneak in. I parked my car around the corner so no one would spot it.

Oh God! Its 8 O’clock I have to go in, my stomach is doing twists, my hands are shaking uncontrollably I put them in my pockets. I get up to the door hand on the handle, I froze, can’t do it! Just then the crowd of people that were smoking in the parking walks up to the door, the first one puts his hand out, Hi I’m so and so haven’t seen your around you new to the program? Some how I manage to answer him, ah…yeah I’m new. I’m stuck now I go with them through the door down a long corridor and down the stairs to the basement and enter a brightly lit hall with chairs set up in rows, people milling about talking, laughing drinking coffee. Ah coffee do I dare with my hands shaking the way they are.

Some one walks up to me he is nicely dressed in a business suit tie and all his hair all combed I think to myself he must be the head guy. With a big smile on his face he sticks out his hand and says, hi I’m John I’m an alcoholic, I grasp his hand and shake it. First time he asks? Ah.. Yeah, first time. His voice is kind he speaks in low tones which I’m grateful for and asks do I want a cup of coffee? Ah, yes maybe a little, stay here I’ll get it for you. I look around the room and see a bunch of people all shapes and sizes men women some young some older all seem to be happy and smiling. I don’t find anything to smile about I’m so scared I don’t want to sit down I just want to leave, just then John comes back with my coffee, I reach out my hands shaking, my voice cracking I’m on the verge of leaving, thank you I mumble. John takes the lead why don’t you sit by me so I can try to explain things to you. Oh no! The head guys is asking me to sit by him, we take our seats the meeting is starting. John says try to relax this is a speaker meeting you won’t have to do anything but sit there, drink your coffee and listen we can talk after the meeting. Oh I get it I pay him for all of this later. There are thirty or forty people at the meeting I wonder how much his cut is.

An older man well dressed comes to the podium, “Welcome everyone, lets have a meeting” the room goes deadly quite you could hear the cars go by outside, I think, that’s were I would like to be outside. “This is the Wednesday night meeting of the  Second Chance Group  of Alcoholics Anonymous I’m Steve and I am an alcoholic, Hi Steve they all say almost in unison we meet here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 O’clock, tonight is our speaker meeting and we have a great treat for you tonight” Oh I wonder what he makes for his pitch? The man goes on and starts reading what he calls the AA preamble my eyes wonder to the white shade hanging behind him just to the left it’s titled the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I read down and there it is there is that word, GOD, I knew it, this is not going to be fun I’m going to have to listen to this guy talk about Jesus Christ all night. John must of heard me sigh because he says don’t worry yourself about that God stuff just yet, lets just chat after the meeting I nod my head.

Next they read something out of a book called Alcoholics Anonymous, this is how it works, I think here it comes the pitch for money. ”Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. He lost me right there, fail? You can fail the test and what, they kick you out? The reading went on for several more minutes which included the twelve steps they even repeated the numbers before the steps. I sat there just staring at the speaker numb, not hearing anything just lost in my own thoughts. The reading was over and they all said,” thanks for reading” he sat down. Some one else gets up and reads the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous with the numbers, he finishes and  he sits down they all say thanks for reading. I hear almost nothing although I though I heard the words, GOD and money. The well dressed man gets up I can’t remember his name just as he gets to the podium he says I’m Steve and I’m still an Alcoholic tonight we have as our speaker a man with ten years of sobriety his name is John and he is from the Friday night Just Drunks Group. Applause goes up from the crowd he steps to the podium another well dressed man about forty I figure, and he says, Hi my name is John and I’m an alcoholic, this guy is an alcoholic he sure doesn’t look like one. He thanks the group for having him and goes into his story right away. So now the money pitch is coming, but no, he starts talking about how thankful he is for AA and what God and AA has done for him. Ten years ago he lived under the bridge on Second Street then to a nice apartment, job and a car and a little money in his pocket. Under the bridge, did he say under the bridge holy cow what have I gotten myself into here this is some bunch of people. I come back to what the speaker is saying, I finish my coffee, my hands are still shaking, and I sit on them.  Steve Talks about being in jail off and on for a long time before he got sober.  Drinking one or two quarts  of Vodka a day, jail, cops, beatings, divorce, can’t work no income, He had to panhandle and collect bottles and that fatal day when he thought all hope was lost, he was beaten down to a shell of a man not even recognizable to himself anymore he was approached by a outreach counselor in this town who told him that he could help him because he had the same problem and he was sober for a long time.

Steve spoke for a while longer he talked about his recovery, having a sponsor, reading the AA big book, and God, he thanked God for his recovery, his life and the blessings he has now. He seemed to speak at ease and from the heart I felt a little less scared if he could do it maybe there was help for me. After he finished speaking he thanked the group again and sat down to rounding applause and he never did a pitch for money.

Steve came back to the podium and said we will now pass the basket for our seventh tradition to help to pay for rent, coffee and literature. He asked for announcements and said the pamphlets were free and you could buy a hard cover book at cost if you couldn’t afford it they would make arrangements for you to pay. Some one got up and gave out poker chips for different lengths of sobriety, one day, a white chip if you would like to join us, John next to me said go on and get up there and get one. I stalled a little then got up and walked to the front applause broke out people said welcome home, some one said keep coming back I was scared but went through with it and the young girl gave me a hug and said welcome. They asked my name and I said I’m Fred an I’m an alcoholic again applause broke out I walked back to my seat John shook my hand and said welcome home Fred. I felt strange but some how a little relieve these people were so kind to me not knowing me at all but welcoming me to their meeting. Afterwards John and I spoke for some time about different things and again he was kind with that quiet voice that I found almost soothing.  He gave me his number and said I could call him any time if I needed him incase I wanted to drink. He offered me a ride to a meeting the next night and I said yes and gave him my number, we went outside and John introduced me to some of the other people we talked for some time there was laughter and playful banter and some how that night I did feel at home with these Alcoholics.

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