Why a Convention to Support Women in SA?

SA is my home today, but it hasn’t always been like that. I came into the fellowship in 2008, after a few ineffective years in two other S-fellowships and with a lot of “over my dead body” ideas. I wasn’t even sure SA was for me, because I couldn’t identify with the strict boundaries of Sobriety Definition. It took me another six years of downward spiraling inside the fellowship to finally hit bottom and start facing the truth about myself.

One of those truths was my inability to have sound social interactions. My default setting has always been restraint. Same-sex attraction complicated my relationships with men and it took years of fellowshipping to build strong bonds with them. Before SA I always felt more comfortable in the company of women, but due to my disease they were often invisible.

Although our White Book strongly advocates under the heading Mixed Meetings (SA 178-179) for women and men to recover together, coming into SA didn’t really change that. It wasn’t until I joined my Region’s Support for Women Committee, that I had the opportunity to meet women on another level. Hearing their particular struggles made me realize how difficult it must be to be a woman in a world and a fellowship dominated by men.

The arrival of a female committee convener was a real game changer. She encouraged the female members to express themselves. Both women and men started reflecting together on the best way to support the women in our fellowship. When the idea of a virtual event popped up, we enthusiastically worked together towards this worldwide online event.

Choosing the topics revealed some obstacles on the road ahead of us. Women and men approached each topic differently. It took a while before we came to understand that though the focus should be on women, we shouldn’t chase away men. I came to believe that our fellowship is the place where women and men can grow into recovery together, though our common disease tells us the opposite. It has been a privilege to get to know and work with my sisters in the fellowship.

Jean V., Sankt-Vith, Belgium

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