I have had so many weeks one’s that to me it’s nothing to celebrate. Besides the blistering migraine, exhaustion and epic irritability, it’s been a pretty uneventful week. The good news is I have had no stress or drama to ignite any cravings and for that I am grateful. Besides physical nonsense like the before mentioned migraines, cramps and then the inevitable menstrual cycle (nice timing universe) it’s been smooth sailing. By now I’m a master at handling the physical reprocussions, after all I’ve worked through many a hangover, showed up at work, slept in my car at lunch and when I finally got home – took care of it with a drink. All better for a couple hours.
Tuesday I managed to walk my ass back into AA. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it at the moment. Six years ago I attended meeting regularly. I did everything I was told to do, I got a sponsor and worked the steps twice in a year. At first it was a relief just to have a community of people who understood, but after a while the AA speak was getting to me and I found myself taking a step back.
We admit we are powerless over alcohol, and our lives have become unmanageable.
Step one and admitting powerlessness I had a real hard time with. I didn’t like how negative it felt. Now the unmanageability was me all day long. I understood that, but powerless was a challenge for me. Even up until last Monday morning while texting a sober friend who was celebrating 7 years that day, I defended my position. I wanted to be called powerFUL so I could lift myself up to fight the urges.
Cut to 5 hours later when I’m on my way home from work and that same friend was expecting me at a meeting. I fully intended on going and wanted to go. On the way home I thought about the rest of the vodka in the freezer I was supposed to pour out when I got there, (this was my day one after all) except something inside me knew I wasn’t throwing it out. I pulled in the driveway and talked myself into one vodka on the rocks…then I would brush my teeth like a maniac and get to the meeting. So I poured myself a 2.5 ounce shot over ice and went and sat on the front porch with my dog. Now I should have poured the rest out right after pouring my first glass but I didn’t – because deep down I knew I wanted it but I was caught between showing my face at a meeting and wanting to numb myself.
I would be blowing off my friend on her 7th sober birthday to drink vodka on the porch with my dog. It’s an awful thought. Who would do that? Not me. Never would I ever break plans just so I could drink. Remember? I want to be there for her.
I blew it off. It was a conscious decision and at the same time it wasn’t. I didn’t recognize myself, sitting there feeling like a complete asshat (because I was) but doing it anyway because I wanted to drink more. Any chance of me leaving the porch disappeared, and my dignity and self-respect just got up and left me there alone to finished the vodka.
Powerlessness. There it is.
Having been AA trained in the past my guilt would not allow me to keep this to myself. Later I was in touch with my friend and apologized. I told her I get it now, pointing out the irony of me going on about powerlessness earlier in the day and then being schooled by myself to myself. Thankfully she understood (been there, done that) and we had a good laugh at my expense.
The next day I walked into a meeting. I didn’t intend on picking up a desire chip because I had convinced myself a few years ago that they weren’t needed. To truly be sober you need to feel it inside shouldn’t need a coin to validate you. I’ve had a lot of theories.
Anyway, I don’t know what made me do it but I stood up and I took one. Because it was my first time back in a while everyone shared on Step One. I shared my story and by the end I had that same sense of peaceful belonging I had the first time I ever set foot in one of those rooms. I wish I could have recorded all the shares and took them home with me.
Now I’m not saying I’m buying everything they are selling, but I am going to ease myself into it this time. No jumping in with both feet – gonna get them wet first, perhaps that’s better for me. Take what I need and leave the rest my friend said.
Sounds like a plan for now.