At my home group there’s a guy who gets dropped off . He comes into the room, sometimes he uses the washroom. When he’s sure the car that dropped him off has gone, he takes off up the road. Several have tried to talk to him but he’s evasive and declines all invitations to stay and listen.
There’s often one. You know who it is. The one who sits at the back of the room. He comes and goes without regard for others. He doesn’t say much if anything at all. Sometimes he comes in with eyes glazed over and slight smirk.
It’s easy to feel sorry for folks like this. It seems that they just can’t get it. Or they don’t know where to begin. Sometimes we say they just ‘aren’t ready’, or if they would only sit down for a bit, they might hear something that they could use to help them stop.
Recovery is a slow process for us. Before it begins, most of us ‘hang around’ recovery a bit to see how it might fit us. Before I came into the rooms of a Twelve Step recovery program, I tried many other options: meditation, counselling, self control, medication, even acupuncture. None of these had lasting effects. I called the local hotline to hear about meeting locations and read the announcement about local groups in the paper. And finally, one Monday morning, I arrived, entered and began the process of recovery.
We can’t sell this stuff; it can’t be promoted. It has to be desired. I remember what I used to think when someone said I should ‘slow down’. In my insanity, I would take it as an insult and use it as an excuse to get fried. An full scale intervention probably would have just given me one more excuse to really ‘show them!’ I had a lot of preconceived ideas about recovery and meetings. I didn’t want to admit that I was ‘one of them’. I wasn’t ready until I was ready, until I had the desire.
It’s kind of like buying a car. We go to the lot when we know it’s closed and walk around and look at the selection of vehicles. Maybe we’ll come back to a particular lot and test drive one or two. Some people check out the reviews for the model. Some folks rent a similar model for a weekend. Many of us take time to make the final decision. Meanwhile we are still driving around in the old one and we’re used to it’s clunks and shimmies and maybe we think the price to pay for a new one is too much.
We arrive at recovery when we arrive and some never arrive. We aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. I am grateful that when I finally arrived I was greeted with a smile. I was welcomed and I was invited back. If you’re the guy who’s sitting at the back or who doesn’t stay for a meeting that’s fine. Take your time. Check things out. Kick the tires. One day, when you have the desire, please come in and listen. We’ll share what we’ve discovered.