AA Convention Part 4 – The Final Day

The final day of my trip to Atlanta, Georgia for the 2015 International AA Convention was by far the most interesting and challenging to my recovery for the entire weekend.

It began with my traveling companion being rushed to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning due to having massive pains in her stomach/intestinal region, which is precisely where she stayed for the remainder of the day with no visitors allowed. This of course greatly altered what I had planned to do with her for the day, which was a trip to Stone Mountain for some fireworks and a laser show, as well as hitting an AA meeting somewhere along the way.

I have to say that this immediately posed a big challenge to my recovery, but not for the one I was specifically down there for. If you’ve been following me for a while now through my blog then you already know I also suffered from a sex and love addiction for a very long time. Thankfully I have over three years now clean and sober from that disease, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still overly tempted at times to succumb back into its deadly grips. And in all actuality, Atlanta, Georgia was one of the many places I used to act out in with this very addiction, on three separate occasions in the past in fact. This is one of the big reasons why I hesitated even going to the convention at all because its location didn’t hold many great memories for me. But alas, through much prayer and meditation I felt I was guided to keep my plans to attend, which is why I made sure to keep myself busy with friends and activities the entire time I was there. That is until I hit the final day of my trip when my friend was rushed into the hospital, leaving me alone in the hotel room and in a city that was once one of my former addiction playgrounds.

At first it wasn’t so bad, as I spent a few hours at the hotel pool enjoying a good bask in the sun, while reading a book on my kindle. But at some point I starting feeling really alone inside and began having a slightly restless, irritable, and discontent attitude. I thought initially it was due to my not having eaten anything at that point in time, so I grabbed a burrito from Baja Fresh across the street. But after I consumed that, all of those feelings only intensified and my mind started wandering to places that weren’t healthy at all. One of them was the idea that I should head out to a suburb where I knew someone I once acted out with in my sex and love addiction, all under the pretext that I’d attend an AA meeting there. Thank God I didn’t listen to that notion or any of the other crazy ones that surfaced. Instead, I got in my rental car and headed to a young people’s AA meeting at a clubhouse a few miles outside the downtown Atlanta area.

Ironically the topic there was the 3rd Step, which is all about God’s will versus self-will. I thought it very apropos for where my mind was at with some of the insane thinking I was having. After sharing about my weekend and many of the struggles I had throughout, I actually felt a lot better. And as soon as that meeting ended, I decided to follow my SLAA sponsor’s advice and get myself to another meeting, specifically for that recovery. Twenty minutes later I was sitting amongst like-minded people and the topic there was once again quite fitting. It was about the spiritual tools we use to remain sober. After sharing in that meeting as well, but from a much more positive perspective, I felt incredibly healthier in mind and body. But, even better, once the meeting ended, several people wanted to have the URL of my blog’s website, and I was even allowed to join a few others for a great dinner afterwards at a fun place called Cowtippers.

An hour an a half later I had made three new friends from that recovery program and noticed those feelings of loneliness, restlessness, irritability, and discontent were totally gone. And in their place, was a renewed sense of peace and serenity. My evening ended not too much longer after that, but not before I had to drop off my traveling companion’s luggage and belongings to her at her hospital room. As I left it and her, I definitely felt some sadness about what she was going through, but what I felt so much greater inside was an immense amount of gratitude to my Higher Power for helping me go to such lengths to remain clean and sober on my final day in Atlanta, Georgia for the 2015 International AA Convention.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson