Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where I begin my week with a single piece of gratitude to start things off on a positive note, which for today is for the Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) recovery community in Massachusetts.
Last week, I got to return there, which is the very place where all my AA recovery work began. The AA recovery community there is quite unique and unlike any other recovery community I’ve ever visited or been a part of in this world.
The very thing that sets this AA recovery community apart from all the other AA recovery communities is the fact that most groups there are commitment-based, which simply means they each go out on a weekly basis to other groups, detoxes, and various other institutions to put on meetings simply to share their experience, strength, and hope with others. In doing this regularly within a home group, it generally bonds recovering individuals together a whole heck of a lot more.
I had a great reminder of this when I went to an AA men’s 12 Step meeting last Monday night and also a detox-based commitment on Tuesday night, as at both, I was welcomed in with open arms and placed in huge embraces with total strangers in recovery. It honestly felt like I was back to being part of a big family again and for that I was extremely grateful.
Another thing about the Massachusetts AA recovery community I’m grateful for is how they handle sobriety anniversaries. In most other recovering communities, when it’s time for someone to receive an annual milestone of sobriety, a person usually just quickly introduces the one who’s celebrating and congratulates them. And that tends to be followed by the person receiving their sobriety medallion saying they were able to reach that milestone by working the program one day at a time.
Yet, in Massachusetts, when they do a medallion presentation, a person usually speaks for a few minutes on behalf of the individual celebrating where they honor the hard work that went into achieving the milestone. And when that’s done, the celebratory person also gets a chance to speak for a few minutes about all the things that helped them to get there successfully. It’s the very reason why I used to look forward to receiving my annual milestones.
Lastly, there is a social fellowship in the AA Massachusetts recovery community that far exceeds anywhere else, at least from my perspective, and that’s something to be grateful for indeed. Case in point, my best friend coordinated a dinner for me on my very first evening back in his area and there seven other recovering individuals showed up after years of me not being around and there, they made me feel incredibly loved.
That’s why ultimately, I really just miss the AA community in the Massachusetts vicinity because I have so much to be grateful for when it comes to them. Their warm, loving, and sincere camaraderie has consistently made it very easy for me to feel welcomed and it’s something I continue to feel present any time I visit.
The bottom line is that I’m overly grateful for the AA recovery community in Massachusetts because it’s second to none, in my opinion, compared to the many other AA recovery communities in the world. From the commitment-based groups to the personal sobriety anniversary presentations to the fellowship, I have plenty of reasons why I’m grateful to this community. And it’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m still sober today and why I found a deeper relationship to God as well…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson