I have a good and strong sense that there are some good people in Arkansas...having 'met' a couple here on the boards.
It's not easy relocating, I've done it twice in sobriety (the second time, I came back to where I first sobered up...so maybe that doesn't count). When I moved away from here, I'd been in the program a year and a half, and a few things were suggested as per "expectations"...to not expect the next group to do things the way this group does...and to remember that perhaps people in the new group might be as full of insecurities as me, so if no one jumps up to greet you...you 'take the first step' so-to-speak.
I walked in to this new group (Mile 300 group up in Fort Nelson...hello if anyone is on here visiting from there), I was about 3 days in this new town. No one got up to greet me, in fact..those who were sitting there either looked down or away. I could have taken it abrasively, but--instead (loaded with tools from my previous group), I spotted the chairperson (easy to decipher--the one with the book and paperwork in front of them
), extended my hand and introduced myself: My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic...I just moved here. I noticed out of the corner of my eye how everyone sort-a looked at each other. For a split second, the thought crossed my mind that this wasn't an AA meeting
. It took the chairperson a second to respond, finally putting out her hand, introducing herself. A slight sigh of relief to discover that this was, in fact AA. Turned out to be as warm and welcoming bunch as that of my original home-group. 8 months later, moved again (no--wasn't me searching for the geographical cure), moved again to Taber(hello to anyone there, too!!). They weren't quite as surprised when I walked in with the same disposition, in fact, someone had apologized for not getting up when I walked in to meet/greet me first.
Right away, in both places, I found a way to contribute to my new group somehow. At Mile 300...I stepped up and refilled coffees, for example, the very first meeting. In Taber, after a few meetings, I was invited to stay for the business meeting, and there, a certain project had been discussed in previous meetings, all they needed at this point was someone to do some painting--perfect opportunity to contribute to my new group, I thought, so, I volunteered.
I understand how it can be just as unnerving to walk into a new group as it was to walk in to our first meeting ever--perhaps even more so to certain degree because 'this time', we're not still numbed from the affects of alcohol residue. However, it was suggested, that because such a big move is such a big change, my first priority had best be find AA and get in there to that meeting. A big move such as this could very well push us backwards, and we could be in denial of this fact. A lady (old-timer) said it this way: "get your butt in there~~use your elbows to nudge your way in if you gotta." It's an opportunity, too, to carry the message forward of what helped you in the group you just came from. I viewed the moves this way: as an opportunity to go out and experience the world...sober, with clear eyes, an open mind, and an open heart.
Stick around, things are good here