Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published October 2019.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Finding peace and serenity wherever life takes you

At seven and a half years sober I moved from the comfortable rural setting in which I sobered up to suburban Detroit. AA in Leelanau County, in northern Michigan some 200 miles from my new home, had saved my life. The friends I made there and the fellowship fostered by the members of my groups were central to my sobriety. The thought of leaving the surety of my meetings and the regular gatherings and social activities which had become my world was intimidating, but as I had come back to life as a result of staying sober, my life had evolved and expanded in wonderful ways I could not have envisioned. I knew that I owed my life to AA and sobriety, so when I decided to move, maintaining my sobriety had to be my number one priority.

Even though I knew this fact intellectually, taking actions to make it happen was far harder than staying with what had become familiar and comfortable. I got a meeting guide for AA in southeast Michigan and began highlighting meetings that sounded promising. Shortly after the physical busy-ness of moving, I began fishing these different meetings for ones which would feed me. They were very different than what I was used to. In the small communities where I got sober, a meeting of more than 20 people is a large group. The format is universally a single table. Many of the meetings I found near my new home were huge and broken up into multiple tables. Even when I sat at a table with solid sharing, the noise of the surrounding tables distracted me. They also had their own twists which were peculiar to me.

-- Chuck V.

Troy, Mich.

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