You Are No Longer Alone.


This brief statement is so commonly heard at meetings and seen on posters or cards in our meeting rooms. It’s a simple statement but a true and immensely powerful one. How often do we hear fellow alcoholics say the one thing they took from their very first meeting was the profound feeling they were, indeed, no longer alone?

This vitally important notion is thereafter reinforced for the benefit of every single one of us, regardless of how long we have remained sober or ‘been around’, by that friendly smile and extended hand outside the meeting room we are about to enter and further reinforced inside by that cheery welcome and warm embrace. This engenders the steadfast certainty that we’re in the safe company of ‘kindred spirits’.

This ‘togetherness’ extends beyond local boundaries, counties, countries and oceans. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit different countries in sobriety and seek out AA meetings will have received that same warm greeting at the door and the same enthusiastic reception inside. Sometimes we may not even share the same language but we share the same ruinous history of active alcoholism and the same insatiable thirst for sobriety. The bond is instant and universal. A new face is not one of a stranger. It’s that of a friend who just hasn’t been met before.

How gloriously refreshing and comforting it is while strolling somewhere far from home, perhaps even in the company of family or friends, to see someone you recognize from a meeting you attended a couple of nights ago walking towards you. That person may be in the company of others too. Anonymity is cherished and respected but a friendly smile, a nod of the head or a hand raised discreetly just reinforces it all the more. It’s a sign of recognition which generates an immense feeling of warmth and really does reinforce an absolute truth. Whether we’re in a good or bad place mentally, we are no longer alone. No matter where we are, we are never alone.


Courtesy of Roundabout, September 2018