On an ordinary day, the rooms fill slowly at first. Usually one or two people show up and start brewing the coffee. A little sign is hung outside the doors indicating the purpose with two simple letters. A few members of the smoking crowd begin to gather around a picnic bench. Conversation begins. Hand shakes and a few laughs are shared. The group inside begins to grow. The soft murmur of small talk grows to a light clamor. The energy can be felt. Familiar faces young and old gather at their respective tables. There is certainly no set seating arrangement, but everyone finds their place. The old timers gaze thoroughly through the crowd. The new comers behave in a number of different ways. Some eager to begin, some shy to exist. As the energy comes to a peak, the simple ding of a bell quiets the audience.
Each individual group has their own qualities that set them apart. Little nuances that make them unique. The meeting is lead by a chairperson who sets the stage with a five minute opening. In this opening the chairperson briefly establishes the format of a meeting, and typically introduces the topic to be discussed. Then the meeting is opened to the floor.
On the surface, that is it. A room, some chairs, a topic, and a group of people talking about said topic. But just below the surface is an ocean of power and depth. We walked throught the doors lost, broken, and alone. Our stories of what it was like before we stepped into these rooms are of heartache, despair, and pain.
I can only speak for myself when I say, I was defeated. I had nothing left. The last six months of my drinking were the darkest months of my life. My tank was on empty. I was drained of life. The thought of another morning committed to a bottle had shattered my soul, but it was all I knew. I had painted a picture for the world that looked bright and full, but I lived behind that curtain. I lived my life in a dark room, with the shades drawn shut. I drank whiskey and wine from a coffee mug, and left the bottle on the table next to it; knowing that it wouldn’t be worth putting it in the cabinet across the room.
It is said that nobody can get between and alcoholic and their bottom. They have to meet it face to face. They have to feel the piercing pain. Everyone has their own bottom, and when I met mine, something fundamentally changed within me. Providence. God said, “Enough Bullshit, Nic.” I walked through the doors that day, knowing that my life depended on my surrender. My acceptance of a power greater than myself was my salvation. I had found my faith some time prior to this day, but I never employed the power that came with it. A God of my understanding set me free that day. There is no other way to explain what happened.
These rooms have given me a whole new life, and I am not alone. The power of these rooms is rooted in divinity. In These Rooms, life is renewed.