OK, so I am dating myself by using the line from Cheers!
But they were on to something special.
Sam Malone, a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox’s and a recovering alcoholic, is running a bar. I always felt the show seemed genuine, and that the characters portrayed the lives of people I could relate to.
I can appreciate the feeling of being welcomed into a place. I was very nervous about attending my first meeting at On You Own. It seemed too good to be true. With my new Psychiatrist and therapist, I am required to make appointments, some of which are weeks into the future. Their backload is such that I am forced to see them on their schedule.
At On Your Own, I can go to meetings based on my schedule.
They have a wide variety of meetings that provide support in many different areas. The atmosphere is, in my humble opinion, more relaxed and welcoming than the more formal AA and NA groups. That’s not to say they do not have rules. There is a structure and the Peer Advocates are skilled at keeping the groups focused and productive.
I am grateful for the support I feel when I attend meetings.
Up until last week, I was going three times a week. On Wednesday’s it was SMART Recovery. On Thursday, I am building my WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Plan. And on Friday, I have been attending Even Keel, a support group for those suffering from depression. The facilitator of the group has been running this for over 30 years and has valuable insights.
Now that I have come out of retirement and have a full-time job again, I am still making time to go to On Your Own. They offer Peer Support meetings every day, and I am participating in these. For the next few weeks, I am only going to one session. As my schedule evens out a little at my new day job, I hope to build in a second meeting each week.
When I walk through the door, I feel the love.
It’s not forced or a canned response, it is genuine. And it relaxes me and instantly makes me feel at home. The sense of community is apparent. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the conversation or just sit and listen. Some benefit from talking, others benefit just by getting there and being among people who accept them as themselves.
I am inspired by the courage everyone exhibits.
To me, I see courage in people just making the effort to show up. They may not view it as such, but to me everyone there is a hero. And I am honored to be in the same room with them.
If you haven’t found a group like this, keep looking. There are many similar groups across the USA and around the world. And if you are in Virginia, you are always welcome at On Your Own.
I look forward to seeing you there*.
Your comments, likes (only when deserved) and shares are appreciated as I continue my journey.
- I am not getting paid for promoting On Your Own. This organization has my deepest gratitude for the help, tools, and energy I have received. If you want to support a great organization, click here.