This evening I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Bremerton WA. I was fortunate enough to find a gay/lesbian oriented meeting to attend, especially on this side of the Puget Sound. I wanted to make sure that if I was going to take this serious and open up to my recovery, I do so in an environment where I did not need to have barriers up. I was excited that the meeting was held at a local Episcopal church because I grew up Episcopalian. Due to the spiritual based rehabilitation that AA offers, I think it will benefit me to reestablish my former spiritual ties with God. Its not that I don't or didn't believe, I simply “lost my way” and drifted from my religious upbringing. This was my first gay social interaction since the Seattle Pride in the summer. I wish it was on better terms, but what better group to open up wholeheartedly and fully immerse myself into with welcome hugs and handshakes. I knew I was at the right place because one of my first interactions was with Linda, and she welcomed me with a generous and caring embrace. I almost teared up before I could even introduce myself! My group was a mix of younger and middle aged lesbians, a couple elderly gay men, a delightful transvestite, a young twink, and a fellow sailor I recognized from my treatment program. The other sailor and I awkwardly acknowledged each other but then I reassured him of my discrepancy regarding being gay and in the military. Later on in the evening I ended up giving him a ride home and befriending him in greater length. The meeting to me went much like clockwork as I had assumed they were conducted. Everyone introduced themselves and shared a bit about how they were doing and why they were in attendance. Even though it was my first meeting, I felt confident enough to open up and share my brief synopsis and how grateful I was for such a welcoming and friendly first encounter with the organization. Upon the group's completion of sharing, I felt how fortunate I was that my situation hadn't or at least hasn't become as dire or devastating as multitude of others. I almost felt like I was a fraud with little to show for my recent acceptance of my disease. As I contemplated my situation more through the evening I realized I should be grateful that I was accepting and attempting treatment before things began to unravel further. I quickly regained my sense of belonging and eagerness to attend many more meetings with my newly found friends.