"I look forward to seeing you there." I ended the email and hit send. My first what...recruit? No. Sister in need? No. Chick I just sent an email to? I guess. Whatever she was (member), a rush of excitement ran through me.
Goofy, I suppose. How many hundreds of others across the country were doing what I was doing? Did they feel the same way the first time they made their first contact with someone in need of support? Yeah, probably. It was a good feeling - the feeling of helping another person in need. Dammit to hell, Jim!! Strange to have that revelation after my last post.
All my ducks were in a row for my new roles in my local S-Anon group. I had been asked if I had the time (um, yeah, just a tad, being unemployed and now stuck to a couch does that) to do a bit of outreach into the community and also be the treasurer since I have a background in bookkeeping. I admit, I was hesitant. Okay, fine. I admit, I was scared. Not of the job. The job is nothing more than the PR I did as a property manager and bookkeeping which I've done for longer than some of my readers have been alive (*gulp*).
I was scared about breaking my precious anonymity - a word I can barely pronounce on the best of days. It's difficult enough maintaining my anonymity on this blog with the technology that's out there and people figuring out where I am by things I've said, none of which is where I lived. How could I undertake an outreach program and still remain anonymous? Something so important to me for my kid's sakes.
The answer: You can't, not completely.
I had to pray on it, think on it and talk to Devin. All that done, I decided it was time for me to step out of the shadows, and my comfort zone, just a bit and reach out to help others. It is a precarious place to be, helping others while still hiding my husband's addiction from our kids. (Disclosure to the kids is another post for another day.) It is the same feeling I get when I share something very personal here when I know it will help others. It's scary but the risk seems worthwhile.
Which is how I ended up sitting alone, on the floor, at my meeting.
I was excited that day for several reasons. I was finally allowed to drive - so said the papers from the hospital - but they didn't account for the popped stitch I'm guessing. Nor the amount of walking I ended up doing and I paid for it greatly later that night, but, I'm rambling. I was excited because I had ordered and received literature from S-Anon to share at the meeting. I had prepared the treasurer report and even prepared a list of books, online resources and other things for outside the group once it was closed.
I got to the meeting early to set up and waited. Ten minutes in I realized I'd be the only one arriving that day and my heart sank. I looked around and wondered what to do. I saw the table with all the new and shiny literature waiting to be flipped through and admired (or so I hoped, this stuff ain't free folks). I glanced at the table outside of the meeting area with my list of recommendations and the book I brought in from home for donation and I thought, "Screw it, I'm attending this meeting anyway."
I proceeded to conduct the meeting all by myself and now, as I write about it, it's quite funny. A grown woman reading aloud, doing prayers and sharing with no one to listen but herself and her Higher Power. But, just like in Field of Dreams, if I create it, they will attend. Right? I know for certain there is a need in my community. The ratio in Devin's group is far to large for there not to be a need for a support group. I just need to focus on getting the word out, attending my meetings and patiently waiting for people to show up.
I'm still excited about the potential my little group has and while I'm there it's a great opportunity to work on myself if no one shows up and besides...no one knows I was up there talking to myself, right? Well, you guys do, but you won't tell anyone. Will you?
On a side note, if you do know me or where I live, please respect my privacy for my kids' sake. I've written about why here. Thanks!