on booze & being kind


Jenna & I live close to an AA/NA house. they run dozens of meetings a week, so the street is usually jammed with cars on both sides. I pass it all the time– on the way to pick up that ingredient I forgot, as I’m headed to meet hannah for dinner, coming home from tutoring. lots of times I manage to walk run bike drive by as a meeting is ending & people are trickling from the doorway to their cars.

I love watching the people go in & out: people who look homeless, people in scrubs, people with fancy cars, people with no teeth, people who look like my parents & siblings. the smiley old man walking to his meeting & smoking his cigarette, the lady with careful blonde highlights & nervous eyes getting out of her clean white car. it’s strange because they don’t know me at all. & I don’t know them, but I know a tiny part of their story because I live in this neighborhood & I know what the big white house is for.

living here has taught me that addiction doesn’t always look like you might think. it makes me want to hug complete strangers, to hang up a big sign that says, “it’s going to be ok. keep on keeping on.” on any given day, it’s easy to stay in my head, to think mostly just about my life. it’s easy to think I have others figured out. but living by the AA house reminds me to be kind, to smile, to suspend judgement, to say “how are you doing?” & “thank you so much”… not just on my street, but in the world at large. because every single day–in the line at the post office, within the walls of my school–I’m blessed to hold tiny bits of the stories of people who are fighting hard battles & carrying heavy burdens. even when I never would have guessed.

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3 Responses to on booze & being kind

  1. Kathie Broom says:

    One of my favorite things about you is when you say “how are you doing ?” you really mean it :) love you!

  2. anonymous says:

    Awesome words and insight, Miss Broom! I’ve been sober 6 years through the help of God and AA. If you want to learn more, pick up a “Big Book of AA” at any bookstore. Or better, ask one of the people walking into a meeting if it is an “open meeting,” in which non-alcoholics are welcomed, especially if they are dealing with any other addiction (any compulsion which interferes with relationships/health/freedom). So long as you are not disruptive and respect anonymity, they will be happy to have you there. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only. Yana is the busiest meeting room in town, so there are probably open and closed meetings there every day. There are dozens of other meeting locations throughout the metro area.
    It warms my heart to think of a person absorbing the lessons of recovery, without having to first experience the loss and harm to others.
    Your happy, joyous, and free friend,

  3. anonymous says:

    oh, i didn’t intend to make it sound like the meetings have something to teach you that you don’t already have..
    The program helps people restore a right relationship with God, and your right relationship is so evident and inspiring to me.

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