12 Step Road Trip

Our Road Trip  - what a view
by Nina Matthews

The LA Times has a pretty cool travel journal by a 12 step member who travelled from LA to Orlando and hit several 12 step meetings along the way.

I make it to the Northeast Fellowship in El Paso about 10 minutes before the noon meeting, held in a club next to a piñata shop. Above a coffee cabinet hang a mirrored bullfighter painting and an American flag. About 40 people are present when the meeting starts.

The topic is the AA way of life. One man says that he’s been sober well over 25 years and that if he were to drink he’d lose his family, and at his age, in retirement, family is everything he has. Another man says he was three years sober when his mother and wife died in a two-week period. He considered drinking because he handled it all so well without alcohol that he figured he must not be an alcoholic. That is the twisted thinking that keeps us coming back.

Toward the end of the meeting, a teary woman asks, “Where can you go where everyone wants you to be a winner?” A burly man next to her also gets teary when he shares his gratitude for sobriety. Before one man shares, he holds out his arms, looks around the room of smiling faces and says, “This is it. This is what it’s all about.”