The middle of September is a very big week of memories and celebration for me. In 1997, my mother died on Sept 20, after a long experience of dementia and attendant poor health. Five years later, in 2002, my father died on Sept 15. As you may know if you read my memoir, my father and I were very close in the last years of his life and his death was a great emptiness for me. The following year, I did a shamanic soul retrieval in late August and made a decision to get a new kitten as part of the my healing. Nellie, in all her tuxedo sweetness, came to me on Sept 17, 2003, the date chosen on purpose. And as I mentioned last week, Sept 16 is my AA anniversary.
So that week is a big event in my life. It brings up lots of memories, lots of reflection.
Yesterday, I chaired one of my favorite AA meetings, a women's step study that I've been attending for 6 or 7 years. I was surprised at how emotional I felt, how much gratitude for the program and all the kind souls I've met there, for the philosophy of the 12 steps. When I got sober, I had no life philosophy other than vague Christian notions of right and wrong, kindness and integrity. In AA, I grew up and became an adult, willing to accept responsibility for my part in things and to live a sober life in all senses of the word.
I do not think I would be alive today if I had not taken that step of admitting I was powerless over alcohol and that my life, such as it was, was unmanageable.
One of the things I talked about yesterday was how grateful I am that AA allows us to be all of who we are in the meetings. I think that was probably the first place I ever experienced that--the acceptance of who I am. Now my challenge is to bring that full self out into the world, nothing held back, nothing hidden. I'm glad to have support on that journey.