Finding my place in meetings

Yesterday marked a month since I have been out of treatment. A whole month!!! Wtf. It’s crazy how quickly time passes. I feel nothing of significance has occurred yet – except my little lapse which I’ll talk about another time (17 days clean currently though and feeling better for it!!!! As they say, relapse is a part of recovery most of the time). I’ve just been settling back home, trying to get to a meeting everyday like is suggested. I’m taking things slow, I have to, which can be frustrating as I just want to be fixed and well into this whole recovery thing NOW lol.

My first meeting was on a Thursday after I came out on the Tuesday. I walked into the room and it was a small women’s meeting. Honestly I wanted to turn and walk the other way, I was used to big meetings where you could just sit there, absorb other peoples stories/advice/words of hope while sinking into the background and contributing nothing back. But there were literally 3 other females and we had an hour of time to kill.

So they did the reading and I took a plunge and shared – nervously- about my current situation, fresh out of treatment, a bit lost etc. They all shared back reminiscing about their first meetings, their experience with settling into this new world. They were all quite a bit older so I tried to take their words to heart, sure their words must carry a lot of wisdom between the 3 of them and the years they amassed in recovery. Well, I tried but the reality was I was sitting there with tears flooding down my face. I’m still not sure why the emotions come to the forefront so prominently like this in meetings – it happened in a few more after as well. I’ve been told a lot of times this reaction to first going to the rooms is not unusual, e.g. for Helen’s first few meetings she similarly expressed that she couldn’t get any words out and also sat there an emotional mess. I guess it’s just the fear, I felt so incredibly lost at the start of going to these meetings, overwhelmed, it was all up to me now. They don’t really prepare you while you’re in treatment. Everything is a lot easier there.

I remember one of my first meetings while in the rehab and remember listening to people talk about how amazing their lives were now and that really struck a chord with me. I guess it was just incredible to listen to and I couldn’t yet picture my life going that way, so all I could do was cry lol.

I’m glad my first opportunity to share was in front of a small, cute group of women. In later meetings I tried to share but it FELT disastrous. I thought of what I wanted to say in my head – I had so much going on in my head – but when I offered myself to speak only like 5% of it came out, then I would nervously laugh, say thanks for holding the meeting, and look down because I was too anxious to make eye contact with anyone.

I felt a bit disappointed with this situation. In rehab I really got to learn to be myself, and with that came a lot of confidence and being comfortable in my own skin and around other people. It was a really nice feeling. Then I come out and this seems to be all taken away again and I’ve regressed – my low self esteem, anxiety, self obsessed fear is all back x10. Already I feel it slowly building up though, things like this take time and, again, I just have to accept that fact.

But yeah I’ve just been floating around in what feels like limbo. I’ve met a few people here and there that I’ve really taken a liking and everyone else has been really friendly and welcoming even though I haven’t offered anything in return yet and just tend to turn up to meetings, not say a lot, and run out straight after. I just see everyone interacting like they’re one big family, one that I’m not YET part of. It’s heartwarming, it reminds me of the atmosphere in rehab.

The most recent meeting I went to this lady came up to me at the end with a copy of the Narcotics Anonymous basic text. She’d written a lovely message inside and got a couple of the other girls to add their phone numbers too. It was so endearing!! I felt bad for accepting this gift when I didn’t know this lady at all, and already have a copy of the book. Still, the small gesture meant a lot.

I’m slowly feeling more and more at home in the rooms each week.

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