Tonight I had the privilege of speaking to a large group of women, all of whom are members of AA. I knew nothing of the meeting I was going to be speaking at, I had no expectations. Well, my expectations were that I would be speaking briefly at a regular AA meeting, which I imagined would be mixed men and women, and be somewhat run-of-the-mill. I love how my higher power surprises me, and it does happen just as I have heard. When you start living from being the creator of your own destiny, things that you spend time visualizing happen, but never in the way you would have expected. I did not expect to speak to an amazing group of women tonight. I did not expect the 10 minute share to be on a topic of my choosing, but as soon as I learned that, I felt from within that I was to speak about brokenness, shame, and self-loathing. There is a severe lack of attention paid to that aspect of alcoholism in meetings, in my opinion. Yes, it is there and acknowledged, but only with a passing glance, it is not a thing that someone sits down and has coffee and conversation with. It is too vulnerable and intimate for most people to handle, at least in the context of an AA meeting. I spoke about my feeling of being not enough, undeserving, defective, and the deep shame I felt through my life, that I would keep reaffirming with continued actions that created further shame. I shared about the self-loathing in both addiction and recovery, the perfectionism and rigid way I thought of myself. I spoke about how I learned, through repeated attempts at showing compassion and care for myself, to show myself love. I shared about how different it feels to feel whole, complete, and respect myself and know that I am worthy now. That hole that I filled with substances, and then behaviors and people, is now rightly being filled with a connection with my higher power through meditation, consistently. I think that is the key word: consistently. I am so grateful, and that is an understatement. To see people inspired by my words, to be moved, to be thanked, is such a privilege. I know I am a vessel for hope and healing for others, and when I can share that, I feel I am functioning as the highest possibility of myself. When I heal myself, I heal my world, and then as it ripples out, eventually the world is healed.