This is a powerful story of one of the best women AA speakers, Gloria D. She details her journey to recovery and how she was able to find the support she needed to make positive changes in her life.
The power of fellowship and a new start
I do not recall what exactly was said that night, but I do remember the way that it felt. It felt safe, warm, gentle and loving. I didn’t have those labels to put on it that night, but I knew that’s what it was. I just knew that it felt good to be there. So I kept going back to those meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous for exactly the same reason that I kept going back to alcohol, because I like the way that it felt. Eventually I began to hear some things in those meetings. I began to hear some things that I believe allowed me to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. One of them was when somebody told me that I was not a bad person, but that I was sick with an illness. They said that Alcoholics Anonymous is not a place where bad people come to get good; it is a place where sick people come to get well. They told me that I could get well if I wanted, and they told me I could get well if I did the things that were outlined in the Big Book. They told me that AA is not a place for people who need it; it is a place for people who want it. All I had to do was want it. Eventually, at some time during my stay in that hospital I developed a desire to stay sober. I don’t know when that happened either. I just know that when it got time for me to leave, I didn’t want to go.
It turned out the reason I didn’t want to leave treatment was that I knew I’d go out there and drink and do the things that I’d been doing before. I realized I didn’t want to do those things anymore. I received a gift, this desire for sobriety and God sent me the right people, just exactly the right people, to come in and bring this program to me. He took me to just the right places then and he does right now, to this day. He brings just the right people into my life. He takes me to just the right places. I’m just everywhere that I’m supposed to be. I believe that. I also believe that everybody in this room is going to run into just the right people in here, who will say just the right things and you all will go to just the right places. This goes for any group or meeting, if they practice the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. So back then, at the treatment center, a man who was secretary for one of the meetings I was going to told me about a woman’s recovery house. I had never heard of such a thing. He told me it was a bunch of women lived and they went to AA meetings and just kind of lived in this house until they got better. I knew that I was surrendered because I was willing to go live in that house full of women. I went over there for an interview.
I knew the woman was going to start asking me a bunch of questions and I wouldn’t have the right answers, so I just assumed that she wouldn’t let me move in there with all those nice girls. I was very pleasantly surprised because I got there and I sat across the room from this lady who just smiled all the time. After our talk she said, “Okay, you can move in tomorrow.” Just like that. Nobody asked me how much money I had, or where I’d been, or where I was going. Nobody asked me what my morals were, nothing. I didn’t even have to fill anything out. I just moved into that house, and the women there began to love me well. I began to see the program of Alcoholics Anonymous in action. I began to see people living the things that I’d heard about in these AA meetings in the hospital. I remember a lot of experiences in that house, and when I look back on them now they seem so amazingly simple. Living with others in recovery changed my life.