As an alcoholic and an addict, there was always something I felt like I was missing from my life. There was an immense fear that consumed my every breath, and I felt as though I would never be “a part of”. Since my 30 day experience at Tallgrass, I have been given the gift of friendship and fellowship. My fears have diminished, and although they are not gone completely, I am able to overcome those fears and submerge myself into the fellowship. I got the joy to experience my first bonfire at Tallgrass recently. This fellowship left me feeling complete, and loved. Though the conversations that we had could have happened anywhere on the campus, it was made more special and memorable simply because we were surround by the glow of a fire. Sitting beside Bob, I learned once again that there are precious gifts in life, continually staring us down… Often times, I forget to open my eyes to see the beauty in the simplest of things. To see the spark in the eyes of the newcomers, renews my faith that this program works. It brings me back to when I walked in the doors of Tallgrass, so fragile and broken. Bob greeted me with open arms and the entire staff carefully helped me grow. The alumni that sat close to each other, watching the flames dance, enjoying conversation, and laughing… That makes my heart melt. The friendships and bonds that are built through AA, are so precious. As the book says, we are people who would not normally mix. However, we can all accept each other, for who we are, not who we were. Even when the conversations died down, and all that was heard was the crackling of the fire and the gusts of wind, there was something magical about that night. There was peace, serenity, and hope. Gifts that I never realized were so important, until that very moment. It is such a blessing to be able to be “a part of”. I have come to learn that my past does not define me. My future is unknown. All I have is the day that I am living it. When I can take the opportunity to sit and enjoy a simple, yet majestic fire, it makes life that much better. These are all simple reminders of why I work so hard, one day at a time, to maintain my sobriety.
-Kylee, Alumnus #481