"When I first came to AA I hated it.
I hated the people. I hated the meetings. And I hated the Steps.
I didn't have a lot of options back then, so against all odds, however grudgingly, I kept coming.
After a little while, maybe a couple weeks or so, couple dozen meetings I guess -- lame as this sounds (and I know it sounds pretty lame) -- I realized that all that meant is what I really hated was myself.
Which is also kind of weird, since in a way I didn't even know who I was back then. But I was pretty sure that whoever -- or whatever -- I was, I hated it. I wasn't much for Oprah. Had never been able to afford therapy -- not that I had been willing to go, anyway -- but it was a real lightbulb moment for me. Like that all the hate I had, all the contempt, pouring out of me was coming from a place inside which I was kind of drowning in; and all the drinking, all the drugs, all the... everything... was tangled up in that too.
By then I had heard enough people speak and share and though, like I said, I hated a lot of it (I couldn't shake that -- and I was sure as hell not willing to do much, at the beginning) I DID believe that a lot of you used to feel like I did, but that you didn't feel that way now. So then, along with hating myself -- like, right along next to it -- was something else I felt, though I hadn't in a really, really long time: Hope."