How friendship in recovery works

I was thinking this morning about how it is that I have made meaningful, wonderful friendships in SA, unlike any I have had pre-recovery.  Before SA, my friendships were functional and superficial.  I had friends to “do lunch”, shopping, or other activities.  We rarely spoke of anything other than our kids or gossip.  Now, I talk to my friends about everything that goes on in my head, my struggles and my victories, no matter how small.  I have told them things that I swore I would never tell anyone.  So how did this happen?  SA has no Step on “how to make friends”
 
I think about what happens in meetings – a person I don’t know walks in, I immediately size them up – are they safe?  I am guarded and protective of my self.  Then, they open their mouth and share vulnerably – intimate, shameful, crazy things – and I change.  I feel connected, compassionate, and in relationship with this person and then I let down my guard and share vulnerably.  After several meetings, I start to feel love for this person – for all these people in my meetings. 
 
So the formula I deduce from this is:  Vulnerability + Emotional Intimacy = Love and Trust = Wonderful Friendships.  Out in the real world, and pre recovery, I never got past the guarded and protective stage, so my relationships were superficial – only as deep as I allowed them to go.
 
And, applying this in reverse, it explains why my marriage ended. (If I am honest, the relationship ended long before my affairs and the divorce).  We stopped being vulnerable and emotionally intimate, and the love and trust diminished.
 
I am so grateful for the change in me!