Yup. You heard me. Who IS this person, and where did you stash Drunky Drunk Girl? (Btw, I just cleaned my trunk, so no blood stains, please…)
I know, I know; I can be VERY self-oriented. I’m introverted, I’m a writer by passion and by trade, and I’m very analytical. I tend to be in my head a LOT, thinking my thoughts and thinking how awesome they are. Ahem. They are, aren’t they? 😉
Today, I went “back” to AA after about a week wondering and ruminating about what purpose it was serving in my sobriety (of 7 weeks today!). Why? Well, after all your comments — which I SO appreciated — I realized that one, I have some great, grounding friends online and that impressed me a heck of a lot more than a few douchebags in AA making it seem like they’re the only game in town; and two, well, as I told L. tonight, as she and myself and two other women were walking up the steps of the church downtown after the meeting, “I missed you guys.”
Yes, I missed my AA peeps! I missed hearing about their lives, what they were up to, whether they were still sober for crying out loud! I missed checking in with them; so far, they’re all wholeheartedly sincere in their desire to help little old me who, up until a few weeks ago, was a complete stranger to them.
Most importantly, one of my favorite women, C. (L.’s sponsee), fell off the wagon yesterday and ended up going to the hospital last night (I think she was seeking anti-anxiety meds and they hesitated and gave her something for her blood pressure. Which is bizarre, imho.). Anyway, she and I met about a month ago at the Tuesday night women’s meeting. We’re originally from the same part of the country, and we bonded over the fact that we were both new to the island, both at our first meeting (relatively speaking), AND, both had about the same length of sobriety when we met.
This afternoon at the beach (rough life, I know), I heard that *someone* had fallen off the wagon via a text from E., another lady friend who has about 17 years and is VERY cool in how practical she is toward AA and sobriety. She gets it, as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, it ended up being C., and it sounded bad. This woman does “John, Jack, and Jose,” and based on a short conversation with her, I could tell that many drinks were drank. Many, MANY drinks.
When she came into the meeting late tonight — we were all expecting her, but I didn’t text her out of respect, I suppose — my heart lurched! She looked awful; haggard, tweaked, and frail. Tired. Hungry. Lost. I actually felt a lump rise in my throat and had to look down, to hide the tears that briefly welled in my eyes. This IS a disease, I thought. It really struck me then: C. is not trying, at least consciously, to do this to herself.
I know that I have been quite childish when it comes to ranting and raving about AA. (Of course, I have; I needed to be.) I realized a while ago that meetings help everyone, and only everyone, if EVERYONE shows up! It was, however, a theoretical concept until today, when I heard about C., and then tonight, when I saw her. I can’t promise to come to meetings for her, but I can promise to come as often as I can. I can text her, call her, respond even if she sounds “OK.” I can make myself more available. I realize that part of my problem is isolating myself; it’s partly my nature as an introvert, partly habitual due to years of doing just that out of feeling insecure and worthless, to a certain degree.
At the beach today, as I was thinking about C. and about my own role in “not getting AA,” I actually picked up the Big Book and started reading it. NO, my friends, I have never even read the damn thing! And you know what? Some of what I read is not unreasonable! Especially holding onto anger/resentments, and drinking over them. I’ve done that. I lived in that, for a long time, even though I thought I wasn’t. I still live in that, even though I’m not drinking anymore.
I could even tolerate the God stuff, mainly because the God stuff seems to fully address the fact that most of us aren’t born with a concept of God, and are sort of freaked out by it. (Jesus freaks need not apply. JUST KIDDING.) However, the Big Book directly addresses the fact that we are humans, on a planet, in the middle of the cosmos, trying to perceive a reality that may or may not exist! There is a creative force, whatever that might be; even if there isn’t, who are we to fully grasp this? Anyway, it’s all sort of written like that in the Big Book. Huh, I thought. Maybe I can dig this? Some of this is precisely why I drank…
I think AA appears outdated; it’s why a lot of people, including myself, shun it. What a horrible thing we’ve been taught, really, which is to disregard the past, our elders, our ancestors. Their knowledge, their having gone before, their practiced living — why do we toss it away? It’s a problem in American society, especially among “white people.” I won’t go too far into that, but it’s a toxic byproduct of our culture, and it manifests in ways big and small, conscious or not.
But, I digress. I hope C. realizes that drinking just fucks EVERYTHING up, and that it is no longer working for her. Unfortunately, I can’t make her not drink. I can’t solve her anxiety problems. What I can do, though, is be there for her if she calls, and show up, even when she doesn’t.