Syd mentions in his post today, people commenting upon the distance he has to drive to attend meetings, and how for him, it's worth the effort and time. I can relate to that one. About 10 years ago, we were living in a tiny village up the island, and the Al-Anon meeting there was very small, with people who would come for a while, then not, then show up again for a few weeks. Apparently, at some point in the history of the group, there had been a serious breach of anonymity on the part of one of the members, and it just never seemed to recover from that betrayal. I guess people in towns that small have long memories.
During one of the stretches when I was the only person who showed up, I sat there one night, and wondered what I was doing, trying to keep a meeting going, when nobody but me seemed to care enough to be there on a weekly basis. I called the next-most-regular attendee, and said I would be dropping off the church key, as I'd decided to drive to the next town down-island to attend a meeting.
For a year or so, until we moved there, once a week I would get into my car and drive for an hour and twenty minutes through beautiful wilderness, on some of the worst road on this island, attend an Al-Anon meeting, and then drive an hour and twenty minutes to get home. The very first night that I did this, my way home was lit by a huge silvery moon.
I often had people marvelling at the distance I drove to attend an Al-Anon meeting, and I'd just smile and reply that it was well worth it. I'm firmly committed to my recovery, and I didn't want to backslide the way I knew I would if I missed that weekly meeting. Al-Anon, and the wisdom I've received from it, is vital to my happiness today. My gratitude is boundless, but I've also got the willingness to keep on showing up. I've rarely missed a meeting since my very first meeting 26 years ago. I've attended meetings when I was in a stretch of back pain so severe that I had to stand through most of it, and I've attended when I felt I had nothing at all of positive worth to share. I keep coming back.