Hey Justin! Good to hear from you! Welcome to the forum!
It's good that you found some different meetings and some different people in the Fellowship. A.A. is huge! It's all over the world. And, it's not a bad deal at all.
Your experiences remind me much of what it was like for me when I first landed in A.A. My head had me being so unique and legendary that I began to feel pity for those poor pukes in A.A.
They seemed to be good people, but with nothing going for them. And, gees.......... they were lame!
I got sober in Los Angeles, and when I was about 60 days sober I went to my first A.A. Convention... the San Fernando Valley AA Convention, in Studio City. WOW! What an eye-opener!!! I saw musicians that I used to play music with in garage bands that went on to become big and famous (while I spent my time getting stoned)... and, they were in A.A. I saw people that were on the TV shows and in the movies... that I admired... who were having successful careers... while I had a bunch of court cases, law suits against me and tons of troubles related to my drinking... and the successful people were in A.A. And, there was about 3,000 or 4,000 AA members there... having fun, laughing, joking, driving nice cars, chicks that looked like they had just stepped out of some fashion magazine, people in suits and formal dress, and tons of tatooed bikers! What a mix! It was like the greatest show on earth -- with people that I really admired, not only for who and what they had become -- but, because these people had found a way to be happy........... while sober!!! What a concept!
My sobriety lasted about 5 1/2 months, and after I started drinking again, and couldn't get sober....... I realized that I was the pituful puke that couldn't even make it in A.A.!!!
Like you -- when I got a second chance, I really threw myself into A.A. with everything I had. Unfortunately, for me... it took me longer than the average alkie to start getting better -- and I was doing everything I could to do the deal. I guess in the long run, that was good for me. I learned that alcoholism really is progressive.... regardless if we're drinking or sober. The physical reaction to alcohol gets worse.... and, if I took my sobriety lightly and relapsed... chances were nil that I would get a 3rd shot at it.
My life is pretty good today -- because of what A.A. has done to me and for me.
One thing I did different my second time around, was I started hanging with the old guys! I had one, who became like my best friend, and he was 92 years old!!! He really knew how to have fun and enjoy life. And, the young chicks really loved him -- because of who and what he was, and what A.A. had done to him. He knew how to stay sober... have fun... and live for a long time! He had lots of friends. His friends treated him very well. He was respected and loved wherever he went. And, when I would hang out with him he would pass on to me knowledge, tips and suggestions, that it would have taken me 92 years to get! One night -- on his birthday -- they even lit up the huge sign inside Dodger Stadium -- with his name in lights, wishing him "Happy Birthday, Ben!!!"
Now, my physical age is getting up there -- but, people like my friend Ben, taught me how to stay forever young.
The real secret that I believe that I've discovered, and the key to sobriety and a great and wonderful life is -- surrender. Surrendering to a Higher Purpose in Life, as you understand it. Seeking to know and do the will of the Higher Purpose - instead of seeking to live and do and be according my will. And, trying to develop some structure, discipline and emotional maturity in my life. The reason that I have to practice surrender everyday, is because my old way of living, my old thinking, and my old design for success and achievement will always return me to that pitiful puke stage. And, surrender sets me free -- to achieve.
Justin, glad to have you here with us!