From the September 2013 magazine.

September 2013: Welcome

Once we find a meeting, it feels good to be included

This week, while on a visit to a new city, I was feeling upset over a disturbing situation in my family. I really needed a meeting, so I drove to one expecting to feel welcomed and nurtured. When I arrived, the group was already reading the rather lengthy Fifth Step from the “Twelve and Twelve.” Since there were no open seats at the tables, I sat in a chair against the wall, along with about 10 other women. As the women around the table read aloud, I noticed that, while all of them were holding books, they did not offer to share them with the women outside the circle, even though we didn’t have a single copy among us.

The reading went on, but I couldn’t hear well and I had no book to read from to get some healthy AA thoughts into my head. In my fragile state, I started feeling angry that the nurturing and care I had come to expect was not being extended to me. This meeting was starting to feel suspiciously like that alcoholic family I had grown up in: it was as if I were not even there!

-- Gigi L.

Ypsilanti, Michigan

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