This morning I went to an AA meeting. Actually, it was not just any AA meeting, it was my home group. Today was the quarterly speaker meeting: breakfast at 9:30, meeting at 10:00.
I arrived late (9:45) because my husband was late getting home from a side job this morning. One of my former sponsors was greeting, and she welcomed me as I walked in and we chatted for a few minutes before I went into the meeting. There was so much food! I’m back in a restricting phase though, so I grabbed a small muffin (the only thing I’ve eaten all day 😌). I went to find a seat, but none of the table had an empty one. Well, let me rephrase that: no one made the motion to move their belongings out of the empty chairs next to them so that I could sit down. So instead, I made my way to the only empty table, in a corner, by myself.
I sat down, took a deep breath in and out, and tried to let go of the feeling of not belonging. Just because I’ve been gone for five months doesn’t mean I’m not still an alcoholic or a homegroup member. Right about the time I felt the tears building up (rejection is hard for me, even if it’s just perceived rejection), my old sponsor who had greeted me walked in, picked up her belongings from another table, and came over to sit with me. She said, “I’m not going to let you sit alone,” and patted me on the back. She’s an older lady from New York with amazing sarcasm.
I got up and read the AA Purpose. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to other alcoholics. When I sat down, I realized how cold it was in the room. I put my winter coat back on and crossed my arms to keep my hands warm. A couple minutes later, my former sponsor tapped me on the shoulder. “Here; take my gloves,” she said. “You have raynaud’s; you should wear gloves all the time, even inside, when it’s this cold.” I gratefully took her brown leather gloves and slid my hands into them. I didn’t take them off until it was time to leave. She was right. Someone with Raynaud’s phenomenon, someone like me, will experience cold very differently than your average person. For me, my fingers turn bright red and I develop small blister-like sores on them. Eventually, the sores will go away but so will the tissue in that area; my fingers literally deteriorate.
Random Acts of Kindness sometimes looks like giving the shirt off your back to someone in need (or in today’s case: the gloves off your hands). However, it can also look like a smile, a hug, a pat on the back, or sitting with someone just so they won’t feel alone. Today, I am grateful for my sobriety and the kindness I encountered today. 💜