This past Saturday, we went to the meeting place in the town where we used to live. This place has been holding N.A. meetings since the very early 80s. Many of the original N.A. members from those days are no longer there. Some have died, some have moved, some started going to A.A., and some went back out.
There has been an explosion of growth in the area immediately surrounding the building, and the city bought the property so that they could tear it down and widen the roads. We went to help pack up all of the N.A. related stuff, and to rip into the walls looking for the old bricks that people had painted their names and clean dates on.
We found some of the bricks we were looking for, but the ones we really wanted to find had apparently been painted over years and years ago. An early member who died of AIDS, yet died clean. Sunshine's current sponsor. A member who moved to this area and joined N.A. because there were no meetings of his support group in the area, and has since moved on, all while maintaining the same clean date. Sunshine's sister, who died of an overdose. The member who flew to California in '79 to get N.A. literature from our service office so that they could start N.A. meetings here. The guy whose family donated that building to ensure that 12-step-fellowships always had a place to meet.
As all of this packing and demolition was occurring, there were several people in and out. Some of us have been around for a few cups of coffee, some are new to the fellowship. Some of the people, I love very deeply. Some of these people, well, let's just say that I love them from afar.
However, personalities were left outside the door of this little meeting place, and we all stood around and watched local N.A. history be unveiled. The newer members said that the afternoon made them feel a part of, connected.
It made me feel the same way. Connected. Part of something much greater, much larger than myself. It was such a huge moment, and I was in awe.
I was humbled by the history of the fellowship, both locally and globally. I was in awe of the spiritual principles that guide the lives of recovering addicts, making them (ok, me) put aside ego and act to serve the greater good. I was filled with a sense of unconditional love. We fellowshipped, we took pictures, and we tore down walls.
It was something I needed. I'm underemployed, so I don't get to make the trek to meetings as often as I would like. I also needed to be reminded of those who came before us, who paved the way for addicts like me to have a place to go to find recovery when we finally realized our disease was killing us.
While it is always sad when we have to end a chapter in our lives, we don't have to let the sadness be the thing we take into the next chapter. We take the lessons learned, and we let them feed our spirits.
This past Saturday was a good day. It has set the stage for a good week, one where I don't let the little troubles on life weigh on me. I am grateful for Saturday, because it was a day of perfect moments. After a day like Saturday, I have been set up for many days of perfect moments to come.
History and unity can do that for an addict.