Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published September 2011.

Web Exclusive: My Big Book of Many Colors

"I change the color of my highlighter with each anniversary date of my sobriety."

I recall the first time I set foot in an AA meeting and the utter fear that swept through me as I pushed open the door. Many know the feeling: the tightness in your throat as you say "Hello," sweaty palms when you attempt a handshake, trying to muster a smile, and looking for a vacant seat where you might not be noticed.

Thank goodness, I didn't go unnoticed or I may never have had the experience to learn and grow in sobriety. Instead, these strangers welcomed me much like you would greet a life-long friend: with cheerfulness, that "great to see you" look on their faces, and a helping hand finding me a seat and placing a book in front of me. The people seated on my left and right gently showed me the ropes: what page we were on, whispering that I could donate money or not, and handing me a list of first names and contact numbers of the women in the group.

-- Barbara


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