Well, folks, I think I’ve actually found some solace in AA. Say WHAT?
First off, island life is grand. I’m getting a feel for how my days will pan out (structure is my friend), I’ve just bought a car (squee!), and I’m really looking forward to building on new ideas, new endeavors (this weekend, we’re going on a tour of the island’s new observatory, seeing a musical — no shit — and fingers crossed, starting to plant a garden on the hill behind the house), and my writing. That’s one of reasons I’m here, right? Mornings are lush, afternoons are languid, and evenings are musical. Why would I want to drink? (Craving red wine as I write this… Le sigh. Never going to change, eh? Gotta believe that one day I won’t want to drink to make the good better, the better awesome, and the grand, super-duper amazing. Shut UP, Drunky Drunk Girl! Back down, wolf!)
Anyway, I’ve been to a handful of meetings now — maybe four? — and, well, they ARE helping. Helping in that one, I usually don’t want to go but two, after I go, I’m really glad I did! Three, it helps to have people on your side. Even though I haven’t called anyone yet, I know that if I wanted to, I have like, 20 new friends whom I could. I know people outside of AA now, thanks to random connections that have turned up as admitted drunks; it’s hard to swing a wet towel on this island and not hit one, though. Still, their support (and my openness about being “in recovery”) combined with the support offered by random strangers at AA; well, it’s comforting to know that they’re watching out for me and caring if I drink or not. Like, really caring. Compared to how I think my brother and dad feel (couldn’t give a rat’s ass), this feels like…a relief.
At every meeting, there’s been one or two things that people have said that really hit home — and that helps. A lot. In a subtle way, I feel refreshed, more committed to not drinking, and well, distracted after meetings. Whatever works, right?
For me, they’re helping in another way, and that’s getting me out there on my own and meeting new people. Getting a feel for the island by getting to know some people outside my boyfriend’s inner circle of friends. I know joining things will help, too, but this first step into widening my social network is nice in that, people can’t really reject you at AA. 😉
(It helps that I have committed to at least 90 days, too; I’m resisting everything a lot less. Though, the more I hit meetings, the more I wonder, maybe it’s the meetings that are strengthening my resolve?)
So, remember how I was talking about this “God” thing last post? Well, I know it’s Step 3 and I’m not even sure I’m sold yet on the program of AA let alone the steps, but it’s been on my mind: how can you say that a higher power helped you to stop, resist, and/or not crave booze? Isn’t that stuff that only your mind, your will, your very body can do? I went to a meeting on Saturday night, and someone said something about having drunk through 15 years of AA meetings before he finally “let go and let God.” He said the same thing I was thinking: OK, all right, let me try this nonsense for ONE day, that’s it, and see what happens. He did it and it changed his life, he said. Could it be that I simply need to just fucking give this shit a chance? (Sorry, I feel like cursing tonight! Higher Power said it’s OK.)
I actually already believe in a higher power, a “glue” of sorts that holds the universe together, and this glue does shit that even the most enlightened mind cannot imagine. I studied biology, and well, some of the stuff I learned about the microscopic workings of the body and nature are pretty surreal; why not a higher glue? So, it’s not hard for me to say, OK, let synchronicity handle it — I’ve experienced things like meeting the right people at the right time, and once you begin to open up to these “invisible workings,” they start to happen more. HOWEVER, I never prayed for a direct intervention; au contraire. I don’t believe in any kind of direct intervention, that’s just religious nonsense to me. Yesterday, though, I was like, OK, let’s just suspend our disbelief for one day, ONE day, and like that guy, see what happens.
That was yesterday morning. We took the dog to the vet and as I was standing outside with him, waiting for my boyfriend to pay the doc — this was about 11 am — I said to God/my higher power, “Higher Power, or whatever, wherever, whoever you are, please help me today. Help me get through the day, but mostly, tell me what to do. I really, actually, am making it up as I go along, so please, guide me and I’ll follow. For real. I have no clue what I’m doing here.”
And from that point, the day unfolded almost ridiculously perfectly, with surprises and accomplishments and well, things just Falling Into Place. I found a car. Yes, a car! I was dreading the ordeal of finding and sorting through all the shit used cars for sale down here, all the while not really wanting to spend more than $3,000. Yet, yesterday morning, my boyfriend found an ad from one of his friends on Facebook selling a used car, we went to take a look, test drove it, and whaddya know, it’s a GREAT little car! And, we’re getting it for under $2,000! I would never have, I guess, embraced an event like this if certain things hadn’t been aligned and if I hadn’t been open to committing to the uncertainty but doing it anyway (how long will I be down here, I could probably spend that money on something else, blah blah blah). Higher Power was like, Shut it, DDG. You’re doing this.
Other stuff just kept happening, too. After the vet, and before the car, we went to look at someone’s moving sale stuff and found a few pieces of essential cookware, stuff I had been sort of worrying about finding down here. (Fretting about where and when you’ll find a medium-sized frying pan and a small saucepan at 1 am when you can’t sleep, from an entire coast away? That would be me.) We stopped at the post office and lo and behold, my boxes that I shipped to myself from [cold west coast city] had arrived! After we dropped them off at the house, we headed out to the beach. En route, we just happened to run into one of our very cool neighbors, so we all decided to hit the beach together. Then, Obama kicked Mittens’ ass in the debate… Dude, it HAD TO BE MY HIGHER POWER, I just knew it. 😉
I do think that things fall into place, and believe me, I’ve been planning and arranging and controlling and molding for a few months now. Which, I think, is why the day seemed to have this charged energy — I just let go. So what if the car’s not perfect? So what if I end up spending only a few months here and have to sell off all this new stuff? This and that, blah blah blah, wolf drunk head chatter. Who cares? I just embraced the uncertainty, I guess, of my new life; committed to it. That felt good. I haven’t committed to being somewhere since my last place in [cold east coast city], over two whole years ago. The whole time I was in [cold west coast city], I simply never committed to being there, so avoided things like buying cars. I also completely avoided getting involved in activities, getting to know people, stopping drinking, pretty much life. My life was drinking, if I’m honest. And that took away my ability to even tell certainty from uncertainty, let alone live with it and surmount it by engaging in an actual life.
Like I said, I do believe in a “force” we can’t see, but I believe it works between and among us, not from Higher Being to me. Direct intervention or relaxing into making chioces and following through? Either way, I think sobriety has played a huge role.
Since I’m counting weeks, I’m almost at two again! Woo hoo! (Day 12 today!) And, while Sunday was rough and I pouted for a minute or two, the thought of caving and not getting to the other side — that being the elusive Day 90 — never crossed my mind. NO WAY! I GOT THIS.