I had been standing on the outside of life looking in for as long as I could remember. I was not a joiner. Intimacy made me uncomfortable. Other people were just too much trouble. I’d spent the last eight months unemployed and drinking at home in almost complete isolation. Then I was graced with a moment of clarity that lad me to Alcoholics Anonymous. It was grace pure and simple that led me to AA, but it was the laughter that kept me coming back until I became hooked.
After my very first meeting the man who would become my first sponsor said, "Some of us go to Harry’s for breakfast after the meeting, why don’t you come along.” I said, “I’d really like to, but I’m very busy this morning.’ He gave me a knowing (you are full of crap) smile and said, “I’m sure you are busy, Jeff, but why don’t you come along anyways?” An unseen hand pushed me to the breakfast with five or six other men. I remember laughing, really laughing, for the first time in years. Driving home from breakfast I had the feeling I had finally found my way home after a long painful journey. I had no idea what had happened, but I knew I would go back the next week. And I kept coming back ever since.
The laughter drew me into the center of the herd. I became a part of. The clenched fist inside my head began to relax. I began to see I wasn't unique. Our stories were different, but the underlying feelings of fear, self-hate, and hopelessness were exactly the same. As I connected to others in the rooms, I connected to the God of my own misunderstanding.
I'm coming to believe life is a third rate comedy and we are all slipping on banana peels. Growing along spiritual lines allows me not to take myself too seriously. I simply can't enjoy life fully if I do. It took many years, but today, thanks entirely to AA meetings, friendships and sponsorship, I have learned to laugh at myself. I'm pretty sure I have a lifetime supply of material. Laughter is definitely the best medicine for this alcoholic.