Upon crossing the threshold of the 12 step rooms, we were often surprised by what we saw. Apart from the incredible diversity of the membership, the atmosphere at meetings was a bit of a startle. They were often lively, animated and full of laughter, with lots of hugs, back slaps, and genuine smiles.
Many of us had not smiled in a very long time. Active in our disease, there was little to smile about. Before long we began to smile too. A smile of identification emerged when we heard another member speak and related to what he or she said. We smiled a note of recognition upon seeing people from our fellowship.Smiles of comfort arose when other members called us on the phone just to see how we were. More than anything else, we smiled simply because we were beginning to taste happiness for the first time in a long time. True happiness for the joy of life itself; as opposed to a drug or alcohol fueled euphoria. When we smiled at a newcomer or a member in distress and saw their fear, anxiety or confusion melt away, it helped us realize the commonality of our humanity.
Personal Reflection: Do I let opportunities to smile slip away?