In life, there’re many types of glue: people; laughter; friends…and over the past month, Katie and I’ve learned a lot about the friendship one.
Since we’ve been in Texas, it’s been rough for a few reasons, but none of them are as important as what we’ve discovered along the way.
If you remember, back in August, I turned eleven years sober and had, finally, decided to make it to the rooms of AA to celebrate (or in this case…room…because I think there’s only one meeting place in Harlingen). Anyway, ever since I’d made it there, life’s gotten better, and it’s not because of the meetings, per se, but because of the connections that’ve been made.
In moving to a new area, one of the hardest things to do is make friends because, in reality, people already have their lives established, routines created, and friendships in place, and you may not fit into them, but friends are the one thing I knew I NEEDED, so from the beginning, they’re what I set out to make.
Because I knew I’d been slipping into depression, I (immediately) focused on finding a church, so I’d get the spiritual guidance I needed (and to find a church I could dance at), but it seemed very hard to connect with people outside of church throughout the week, and one thing’s for certain: building friendships takes time.
But as I started going to AA meetings, I realized there were people there not only with time on their hands, but also willing to use it!
Just laughing with people was insanely good therapy, so I quickly connected with those I laughed with. Then, one day, Katie said something to me that I’ll never forget.
Through tears, she said, “Mom, I’d like to go to an AA meeting with you, so I can hear your laugh again. I miss it.”
Awe, hearing those words felt like it broke my heart, and as far as I could tell, it’d already broken hers.
You see, in our home, there hasn’t been much laughter, so I decided to bring laughter into my home, by planning a game night, and also decided to take Katie to a meeting.
That same week, I’d taken her and Ariel to a meeting, so they got to hear me laugh again. (You know…those burst-out-loud-because-nothing-was-funny sort of laughs…yeah, those!) And eventually, we had our game night, which released so much laughter into the walls, but it’s all gone much further than that at a place called “The Prelude.”
The first time I’d met my friend, Rob, he’d handed me a “Prelude” card, which I’d put in my purse and lost but always remembered the name.
Then, from time to time, he’d talk about it. Actually, he’d talk about it all the time, but from time to time, I’d listen. Well, after awhile, we finally made it there and have loved going ever since!
And it’s not just a place where Katie and I go to hang out; WE ALL hang out there and have grown so much closer together. When we each invite others to join us and they don’t show, it hurts our hearts because we KNOW how amazingly healing our growing friendships have been, and we want that for “errbody!”
I wish people’d realize the importance of building friendships! For me and Katie, it’s restored us to sanity. We REALLY look forward to seeing them and can’t wait for others to join in!