There were about 30 people in the old wooden hall for the NA meeting. Some have a couple hundred. It must take them forever to do the old "hello my name is & I'm an addict" intro. The hour was thick with the usual. Overwhelming friendliness, clapping, hugging, and people secretly eyeing each other. We're a crazy, damaged lot.
I dodged volunteering too much. But my boyfriend talked about his addiction, so I ended up flaking anyway. I'm a cry baby these days. It can suddenly all well up. Although, taking my anti anxiety meds regularly, and not just kinda-when-I-remember-ish has made a BIG difference. Fancy that.
The bit about getting a sponsor has always put me off. My eyes did the rounds, circling the circle, trying to assess the NA successes, trying to picture who I could comfortably text at least weekly, or in theory, daily. And who wouldn't be a drill sergeant. And who I could be honest with.
There was one woman, soft and plump and kind. A happy motherly looking girl in her early 30s. A three year clean opiate addict. About 80 percent of the group is always male, and I don't want some guy making things weird. The rest of the women were meth addicts, and though it shouldn't matter, it does. I want someone who can say "after a year I started feeling okay" or "I stopped dreaming about it after 2 years" and mean it.
We were accosted as we left, by a veteran member, spit flying as he ranted passionately, giving me flyers and "pick me me or me as your sponsor" hints. I didn't bite. We'd rolled cigs in the last 5 minutes of the meeting and we were past ready to light them.
And then we were out of the hall, and into the blue sky and sunshine, swords drawn, ready to battle another week.