The New Girl [AA]

Women who are new in AA search for comfort wherever they can get it—and that often means with the guys. Believe me: that’s how I did it.

Women have always terrified me. I have spent most of my life trying to impress or intimidate them, because being on equal footing has always been out of the question. Men are easy. Men won’t judge you for ordering French fries with your sandwich or use one thing you said as fuel for years of secret resentment. Or maybe they will, but it definitely isn’t as scary and passive-aggressive when they do it.

When I got sober, I heard “The men stick with the men, and the women stick with the women” over and over as well as expressions like, “The men will pat your ass and the women will save it.” But those catchphrases weren’t enough to bring me to introduce myself to the women who had what I wanted.

I would go to meetings and avoid their eyes while trying to digest some of their serenity and confidence and pretending that I wasn’t listening to every word they shared. When the meeting was over, I would scurry past the clusters of sober female friends chatting with each other, finding solace in the men outside who would light my cigarettes and compliment me.


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