AA: My First Chair

8 May

Thanks to everyone who wished me good luck ahead of my first AA chair yesterday. 

As predicted, it was pretty terrifying but also a wonderful experience. Luckily, I’d been asked to do it at my home group where everyone had seen my come in 16 weeks ago and sob my little heart out. 
It’s hard for me to believe that it was that recently that I went to my first meeting and how much my life has changed since then. 
Until that day, AA was never an option. I didn’t truly believe I was an alcoholic, didn’t like the sound of what went on there, didn’t have a concept of God and didn’t think I’d fit in with the people I met there. 
How wrong I was. 
I’ve written about this before, but from the very moment I walked through the door into my first meeting I knew I was at home. Followers of this blog will know that I spent the whole of 2013 trying to get sober and failing repeatedly. I was desperate for something to change, as my life had to very small very quickly. I felt myself eroding away my insides and knew that if I wanted to have the life I desired, drinking had to stop. It was going to kill me, if not physically, certainly emotionally. 
Last night when I arrived at the meeting I got so many friendly words of encouragement from fellow members, took up my seat at the front of the room and talked for 13 minutes. It felt like no time at all! I hate speaking publicly and my voice was a bit wobbly with nerves, but I shared my story honestly.
It was important to me to convey that for years I had a very benevolent relationship with alcohol, that it was my friend when I wanted to let loose and have a bit of fun. I wanted to share this for the newcomer who was having the battle that I did of ‘am I an alcoholic?!’ which in part was difficult for me because alcohol turned on me so quickly I couldn’t quite get my head round the shift. 
I talked about the agony of trying to quit on my own. I spoke about this blog, and how when I started writing to work through my alcohol issues, the internet started to speak back to me. Women all over the world putting their hands up and saying ‘Don’t worry honey. I feel like that too.’ 
I didn’t want to tell any drinking horror stories, so focused on how hard it was to quit and how each time I relapsed, my drinking got worse. 
Finally, I spoke about how the programme has helped me. For me, AA has been utterly transformative. Alcoholism is just a symptom of something deeper for me that over the years has manifested itself in different ways. I am a chronic relief seeker, always wanting to change the way I feel. I’m a sensitive soul, wounded by others words and actions. The AA programme has not only helped me to stop drinking, but it’s given me the tools to treat what’s underneath. 
It was an amazing privilege to have people share back and tell me how they related with my story. There were a few newcomers there who were really encouraged to see someone only slightly ahead of them on the sober path being so content in their sobriety. It took me a long time to get here, but once I got some time under my belt the shift to happiness happened very quickly. 
I have so so far to go on my journey through sobriety, but at 114 days sober I know I simply cannot go back. I feel a real sense of calm acceptance that I didn’t feel even just a few weeks ago. I’m gaining SO much more through being sober than I’m losing through not drinking and that’s an amazing place to be.
It’s important to me that I don’t suggest that AA is the only answer, as I know many people get sober without it. But it is a very very special place and I’d recommend that everyone who’s struggling to get sober gives it a go. What is there to lose by trying something out before you rule it out? That’s the attitude I took, and here I am happy as happy can be to be a proud member of alcoholics anonymous. Who’da thunk it?

20 Responses to “AA: My First Chair”

  1. wheatism May 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Congratulations and thanks for such an honest post. I’ve been twice…. Still deciding if it’s for me but an open mind is a start to sobriety x

    • FitFatFood May 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      It is indeed 🙂 experiment with. Few meetings and see how you feel

  2. primrosep May 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Ack – just posted long comment and it has got eaten en route! Just to say then am sure you were inspirational – as you say seeing someone else content in their sobriety is really amazing. well done you! Btw check out mr sponsorpants reasons to attend meetings #24 – can’t do link on iPhone but saw it and thought of you and AA 🙂 xxx

    • FitFatFood May 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Ahhh I will! Thanks! I’ve never read his blog 🙂

  3. primrosep May 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    It’s ‘why I need meetings #24’ sorry!

  4. carrythemessage May 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    That’s awesome…love it. Full of gratitude! And yes, it’s all about what is underneath. Bottles are but a symptom of the underlying causes and conditions that urge us to seek comfort in alcohol. Getting to the root of it all…well, the want to drink just vanishes. We are distracting ourselves or buying ourselves gifts or trying to control it. It just ceases to be an issue when we confront what we need to confront.

    Great stuff and congrats!


  5. lucy2610 May 8, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Lovely FFF 🙂 So glad it went well xx

  6. 6yearhangover May 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Congratulations! I would be terrified!

  7. Lucy R May 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm #


  8. themiracleisaroundthecorner May 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    What a fantastic story, I truly wish I had been in the audience of that meeting. So happy for you, and proud of you! Thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope!

  9. carrieonsober May 8, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Three cheers for FFF!! You are a star. I am so pleased you found your path
    And you’re rocking it!!
    Really helpful to share such a positive AA experience too.
    Well done xx

    • FitFatFood May 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      Finally! Good things come to those who persist and listen to the wise bloggers ahead of them on the path 🙂

  10. afteralcohol May 9, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    Fit, you’ve been an inspiration to me the entire way along, and I’m so glad for you that you’re here. Thank you for relating this; as always, there was a line I needed to read at exactly the time that I read it, so, thanks and well done.

    • FitFatFood May 9, 2014 at 7:06 am #

      ThAnk you, and you me with your wonderful writing skillz 😉 x x x

  11. Rebecca A. Watson May 11, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Yay! Super happy you had a chance to chair. Well done lady 🙂


  1. Day 16 – Around the Web | Lucy's New Life - May 9, 2014

    […] read something on FitFatFood the other day that has stuck with me and I want to share her words here […]

  2. 5 months sober | FitFatFood- Blogging to Stay Sober - June 14, 2014

    […] go and sit in a room of other alcoholics, all of whom I relate to. I always giggle when I remember my first chair at AA, and how everyone nodded along. If there is any greater confirmation of your alcoholism than a […]

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