A friend who is visiting New Orleans from Australia offered to take me out for a burger... at Igor's. That is a bar. Now he isn't a drinker, he just really likes the burgers there. And I'm not afraid I'll give in to temptation and drink or anything, but I did call around to let folks know what I was doing. My sponsor said that as long as I didn't sit at the bar and remembered I was there for dinner it's not a big deal. And to have an out if I needed one... so I'm cool with that. Haven't had one of their cajun burgers in forever.
The other curve was when I went to Mojo's Coffee for my second meeting. It was on the schedule but no one was there. I hadn't been to this particular one before, so it may not even exist anymore. When I went upstairs to check, an older lady followed me. She was looking for the meeting too. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it would have been a men's group. Sometimes they let ladies hang out though. We sat and waited for a bit, then decided to have our own meeting. Nothing formal. She shared the reason she was there. It was mandatory as she had gotten a DUI about a year ago. She'd just gotten sentenced and started serving. She told me about the events of the night that led up to her arrest, what incarceration was like in New Orleans, and that she'd stayed away from alcohol this whole time.
I shared some of my story with her. About how I'd been in and out of the program for a while. What I was doing to stay plugged in. I told her that I'd hurt someone who means more than anything to me. Told her about some of the trouble I used to get into. Shared some of how AA works, but I had to be careful how I shared because it was only her third meeting. Goes back to me not being in a place to give too much advice. I also directed her to some of the better meetings around town. The Mustard Seed being one of them. She sounded excited about that.
It's amazing the opportunities that have arisen for me to help people in my own little way. Wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't found a clearer path. She was shocked when I thanked her for helping me in my recovery. As it says in the 12th Step tradition, "You can't keep it unless you give it away." I signed her court slip afterwards and we said goodbye.