Giving: ‘Blessed to have
found this group’
This month’s Giving column is dedicated to the Ann Arbor Women’s Group, which supports women’s sobriety through events, workshops and retreats. The group’s goal is to link newly sober women so that they can make lifelong bonds which will lead to long-term sobriety. Here, Carrie T. tells how her life has changed since joining the group.
I have always had a difficult time making friends. I often felt awkward in social situations. Drinking alcohol and using drugs made it easier for me to talk to people. So, for a long time, I would get high or drunk before parties, holidays or anywhere I had to be in contact with another human. It became a catch-22 because the drinking and drugging caused me to lose a lot of my friends. When I got sober, I didn’t have many friends and I had no idea how to meet new ones or how to have any fun without drugs or alcohol.
Someone asked me after I got sober what I like to do for fun and I had no clue!
I found out about the Ann Arbor Women’s Group through a flier I found during a 12-step meeting. They were hosting a movie and ice cream social event. So I gave it a chance and decided to go. I hadn’t laughed or smiled in a long time. While I was having ice cream with some women, I actually felt a sense of joy and happiness. I met some women who had felt the same way I did and were now laughing and having a great time. It was such a relief to meet women in sobriety who I could relate to and build new friendships with. We exchanged numbers and these women are close friends of mine today.
Ann Arbor Women’s Group recently hosted a canoe trip followed by a picnic at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor. I had never been canoeing but wanted to continue to try new activities and meet more friends in recovery. I enjoyed the exercise and company. I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.
Another struggle I have faced in recovery is getting to meetings as a mom of a 4-year-old. I usually have to work my meetings around my husband’s schedule or take my son with me. It is often a challenge to keep a 4-year-old entertained even for an hour-long meeting. A2WG has a lifesaver of a service – child care is provided free from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. I am able to attend a meeting in peace and quiet knowing my little man is taken care of. I enjoy my meetings and he has a great time playing with other kids.
A2WG has provided me opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community, which gives me a sense of purpose and enhances my recovery. I’ve currently signed up to help at the “Laughing for a Cause” comedy show on Sept. 11, which is raising funds for the free child care program that I and many other parents in recovery use. The public is invited.
I am very blessed to have found this group and the women I’ve connected with because of it. My recovery has dramatically benefited from the knowledge that I am not alone in this journey. I can have a good time and grow in my understanding of myself. And for that I am forever grateful.
arts festival: POP·X