By Jeff Hewitt
When I came to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting I was confused to say the least. I picked a seat in the back of the room to avoid any confrontation that might occur. At the time, I wanted to sit in my misery because I felt that I was unique, that my story was different. I scoured the room in judgment of the types of people who attended these meetings. It seemed that everyone was different. All different races, creeds, genders and religions were spread across the room. I thought to myself, “what could I possibly have in common with all these people?” The meeting started and gave way to the first speaker, who was a woman. The thought entered my mind once again, “what could I possibly have in common with this woman?”
Then she began to speak. Though her story was different from mine, she shared about how she had hurt the most important people in her life. About how in the depth of her addiction, she would stare out her bedroom window and wonder why she couldn’t just be a normal member of society. Most important, she shared about when the day finally came where her wreckage had beat her into a state of incomprehensible demoralization.
This woman who I had never met spoke words that had pulled at my heart and finally I related to someone. I didn’t know that drugs had starved my soul, that my spirit was just looking for a way to be fed. Bill W., one of the founders of Alcoholic Anonymous, called this relation ‘The language of the heart.’ I had been told my whole life that the disease of addiction doesn’t discriminate, what I found that day is that recovery from this hopeless state does not discriminate either. That all the different people in that room had gone through the same pain I had gone through and we all had a common bond. With the help of one another and the program of AA, we could take back our souls and breathe hope and faith into the broken relationships that affected our friends and loved ones. Most important of all, help the stranded spirits that addiction had thrown overboard.