Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Value of newcomers

When I first came to Al-Anon, I was in deep despair. I didn't want to fix anyone but myself because I was past the point of trying to fix the alcoholic. I didn't believe that the relationship could be saved. In fact, I didn't believe in much when I came in. I definitely was at an emotional bottom and in need of guidance.

At first, I didn't feel much like I belonged. Everyone was further along than I. It was as if there was a different language. But it just felt like I had found a place where I could finally talk about what was wrong in my life and in my marriage.

Even though I felt shame and guilt at first, I kept going to meetings. I haven't been in the program long but I guess that I wanted what was offered. After working the steps and with the help of my sponsor, I've created a life for myself. I have hobbies that I enjoy and fill my life with things that I like to do and can do with or without my spouse. I don't have expectations that she will participate but if she wants to, that's great. I've learned from the program that keeping the focus on myself isn't selfish.

In going to meetings, sometimes I hear the same things over and over. Some of meetings are really good and in some I have to take what I like and leave the rest.

But what I have found is that when a newcomer comes to a meeting, it is always inspiring. Maybe it's because I can see how far I've come. Maybe it's because the raw emotion charges the air. Or maybe it's because I get to give away some of what I have learned and that's a great feeling.

I've heard old timers in AA complain about the newcomers. I don't get that. I have found that newcomers are welcomed and told that they are the most important person in the room in Al-Anon. When I heard those words, it made me feel special and that was something that I hadn't felt for a long time.

So I want to say thanks to the newcomers who have the courage to come into a meeting. Hopefully, you'll hear something that will make you keep coming back and will lead you to recovery.


  1. Thank you for the reminder and very well written!

  2. Dear Syd - - -

    What a wonderful tribute to Newcomers - the most important people in an Al-Anon room! Your sponsor must be very proud to see how you have grown, and of your compassion, and also of how you are learning the Al-Anon language of understanding and love. Keep coming back! Your presence and words are inspiring.
    Respectfully with love,
    Anonymous #1

  3. Shameful that any old-timer would not want newcomers around.
    We are not perfect. Boy, that's the truth, eh?

  4. learning something new brings with feelings of discomfort. the winner stick it out. people like you...

  5. i dont 'get' people that whinge full stop

    nice post

  6. As an AA I value the Newcomers (and returnees from the fight to drink or die...) more than the oldtimers at times...

    they remind me that it STILL suxx 'out there' and there 'is a solution'.

    The oldtimers that shun newcomers, IMHO, are destined to relapse or be dry and unhappy...we must lose our pride and admit that we are ALL part of GOD's world....

    we all have lessons to learn and share...equally important in the new life AA has brought me.

    Thanks for sharing...

  7. I don't understand that. I welcome the newcomer, they are the most important person in the room. You listed some very good reasons why. I see the look in their eyes, their faces, & my heart goes out to them, I was once there, it's a good reminder, & I don't ever want to forget where I came from. I don't think I've heard anyone complain about them. The only complaint I have, is when I hear treatment crap, but I hang in there with them, hopefully they will learn the spiritual program.

  8. did you read today's, Jan 10th odat? You are giving it back

  9. I think you are right in that it takes some time to get into the program...I found a great book about co-dependency on my trip, and that book was an eye opener..


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