From the March 2013 magazine.

March 2013: Healing Tears

With a loving sponsor, she learned to cry, a gift she gladly passes on to others

For the first two months of my sobriety I went to AA meetings wearing a baseball cap, and I kept my head hanging down so no one could see my face. I don’t know what exactly I was so ashamed of, but I couldn’t look anyone in the eye the way I can today. My sponsor noticed that and she asked me to start sitting up at the table. She explained to me that the ones who sit at the table, and not in the farthest back rows, are the ones who usually stay sober. To this day, I only sit in the back row when there’s no other place to sit.

My sponsor also told me to keep listening for at least three months, and then she’d tell me when it would be OK for me to share. She said if I were called on, I could say my name and add that I just wanted to listen. And that was all there was to it. Almost from my first meeting I knew that I was somewhere I didn’t have to worry about drinking. I was safe for an hour. Quite often, someone would extend their hand to me or give me a hug. That, in and of itself, was enough to make me feel as if I might belong there.

-- Britt O’H.

Palo Cedro, California

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