Tag Archives: alcoholism

No Sex in the AA Rooms

Ohhhh that's why

Duh.

Day 225

The last healthy relationship I had was in 7th grade.  We’ll call my middle school “man” John Smith Anonymous.  Smith Anonymous and I hit it off after my best friend dared me to wear sneakers on my hands, run past his house, and scream, “I’M A PENGUIN.”  I waddled my awkward little 12-year old legs and everything.  Guys must’ve been into that back then because he asked me out the next day.

There was a lot of handholding and note passing reassuring one another that we were still in love; he bought me earrings from Claire’s one time and put them on a beanie baby; in case you don’t speak Generation Y, FYI, that was a BIG deal.

Albeit, our relationship met an untimely death in 8th grade and I don’t remember why.  Maybe he saw me flirting with another boy on the blacktop, or maybe I dropped his super chicken sandwich on the cafeteria floor and it was game over, OR it could have been that he joined the other boys in the “rattie-tattie-you’re-a-flattie” chant, and I threw a binder at his face as I ran off to the girls room crying.  At least I’d like to think there was some binder throwing.  I’d also like to think were no tears, but that’s just not true.  Kids are fucking assholes.  Hash-tag resentment.

Fast-forward 14 years.  I’m skipping over the trauma I live with from college comparable to PTSD, I’m ignoring the years in high school when I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror to count my flaws and cringe (how could I ever let a boy look at the same face?), (ok I still do that, but not as often), and skipping the most recent mentally abusive relationship I was stuck in and let myself stay in;  by relationship I’m referring to the text book definition: “the way in which two or more people behave with each other.” Over the course of  nearly 2 and 1/2 years I lost almost lost every shred of dignity.  The “behavior” made me hate myself on a level I have only just recognized, now that my mind is becoming a healthier habitat and I know what respect looks like. I have had to make daily, conscious efforts to restore self-respect and self-worth.

By the time I left California I wanted out from everything.  With fear as my passport and anger as my driving force I decided to buy a one-way-ticket to Central America.  I went to AA instead.

Since then, I have been in recovery from drugs, alcohol, messed up thinking for 26 years.  So granted, I am not in any hurry to get anywhere near a relationship again, but I do understand why AA strongly “suggests” not to date in the first year of sobriety.  For me, anyway, I know it’d be as destructive as drinking.

Comfort in my own skin is a long way off, but the steps are bringing me closer. No one should influence my new, gradual yet groundbreaking changes.  The goal is to look in the mirror and see a self-sufficient woman of dignity and grace, and that sinew has to come from within, without a guy to give or take my strength away.  I don’t even think it’s possible for me to be in a healthy relationship right now.  Unless it’s comprised of handholding, note passing, and double dares.

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Leap(s) of Faith

 

leap of faith

Day 224

“The opposite of fear is faith.”  

For me, hearing this for the first time felt like gaining access to a blueprint I had been missing my whole life.  Fear was the source of so much of my pain; fear of failing, fear of feeling feelings, fear of rejection, fear of finding out what I had feared all along, fear of people, fear of situations, fear of lack of connections.  Drinking subdued all those trepidations because the thoughts were drowned by liquor and blocked by the release of inauthentic serotonin.  Shit, whiskey was the most loyal friend I had.

Faith was just a word and a meaningless one at that.  If you had asked me 7 1/2 months ago to provide my version of a definition I probably would have recited parts of the LimpBizkit song.

Today faith is something I truly feel, (hand over heart), it’s how I know I’m on the right path and it’s what fills a room of strangers with hope.

Some days it is harder to find than others, and I know I can’t do it alone.  That’s why my fellows are my lifeline.  A woman spoke a few weeks ago on taking leaps of faith, we took a leap the moment we walked through the doors, because we didn’t know where we would land; we just hoped it would be better than where we had been.  In sharing her experience she said:

“The only thing I could admit was that my life was unmanageable.  The first step I got, the rest was impossible.  But my sponsor said she had faith for me.  She got me through when I didn’t know if I could.”

On days I want to pickup and breakdown, I remember this: that even if I don’t think I can make it, someone else knows I can.

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The Party Must Go On

Day 223

I wasn’t a daily drinker or drug user.  Don’t get me wrong, there were binges.  The intensity of a binge was dependent upon what my time-frame and where my mind-frame was.

There were the standard rights-of-passage binges that all upper-middle class white girls get to stumble through; spring break, Christmas break, made-up breaks, any and all holidays, the entirety of summer, etc etc etc.  These passages, of course, being high school into college.

I guess if marijuana is considered a drug then I was a daily abuser from 16-20 years old.  When I started skipping class it honestly was a relief from myself.  This is who I am, see?!  Failing tests and taking bong rips on the way to school was my security blanket for those tormented teen years.

When my group of friends and I made the transition from middle school to high school most of them started hanging out with the older kids; since I simply didn’t have the confidence, I fell behind.  The pot heads picked me up.

Sitting in the back of class stoned out of my gourde, being told that I was fucking up (not in those words) was exactly what I wanted.  Finally my insides could match my outside, as though I was saying, “I’m a mess, dammit, and I’m going to show it.”  The good news was that my bad behavior on the outside was laughable.  Haha, silly me, my GPA is 0.4.  Seriously, that was my GPA at one point, and I laughed all the way to graduation.  Then again, a lot was laughable in those days.

My girlfriends and I would cram six or more of us in a car, roll two blunts, then drive around town with all the windows up, to get as high as possible and see who pussied out first by gasping for air.  How could I take anything seriously with such a ridiculous regimen?

Life went on like that for a while.  Party party party.  Invincible.  The pothead crew and the old crew had combined and it was beautiful display of debauchery; wake up late, go to bed late, bomb around shit-faced from house to house and wonder the next morning how we got home.

At a certain point I started to notice my friends growing up.  They put thoughts and efforts into internships, and into their futures.  As a 26-year old I am just now coming to believe that I might “go” somewhere,  but back then I hated myself to death and the hope for betterment was extinguished by an extreme lack of faith.

I can see now that my mentality was simple.  My mind-frame was: If I wasn’t going to amount to anything, (this was a fact), then there was but one option:  the party must go on.

So it did.

Ultimately, the parties stopped working. The periods between binges got shorter, everything in life became unbearably unmanageable. My blackouts were getting darker, my mistakes were getting bigger, and the thirst for cocaine was something I absolutely could not quench.

For the first time, I truly felt that life was spinning out of control.  Eventually, inevitably, it brought me to my knees.

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Me? An Alcoholic?

Who Me?

Day 222:

People of the rooms often say “you’re lucky to have found the rooms at such a young age.” Looking back, I wonder, what took me so long?

What took me so long was a skewed definition of what an addict/alcoholic looked like.  In my eyes alcoholics were besotted bums on the street, they were old men and women who’d lost everything.  They were the pathetic boozehounds who drunkenly pleaded for no one to leave the party as they  sloppily held onto a door frame.  (Okay, okay, I’ve been that person).  They were holed up somewhere, bogged down elsewhere, nursing a warm 40oz concealed in a brown paper bag.  Me?  An alcoholic?  Not possible, right?

Wrong.  It’s hard not to cringe at those past notions.  Alcoholism does not discriminate and certainly doesn’t care that I was born in a town wrapped in money and safety nets…can you believe it?

My image of what constituted an alcoholic in comparison to myself didn’t match up, because my belief was surface level.  Mass media’s portrayal of alcoholics was my go-to.  “I’m not an alcoholic because…”  Unfortunately and fortunately I was sold on the whole alcoholic thing on the first meeting. (Hated referring to myself as such for several weeks).

It was a cold night in February (as most east coast nights in February are), and the air smelled like winter.  Early that morning was my full surrender, a complete defeat, and self-hatred so intense I could feel it in my bones.  A series of coincidental, or destined events, (still not sure), took place and directed me to a church several towns over.  Pages could be written on that first meeting – how the room was circular, inviting, and had those festive, fake, but warming, luminescent candles in the windows.  Fear wanted me to bolt but I think faith kept me seated; something told me I was supposed to be there.  Not sure what I was expecting to hear, but it wasn’t what I heard.  What I heard were my thoughts.

Expecting a drunk-o-log, where alcoholics forlornly attempted to reconstruct their ruined lives, I was taken aback.  My most inner thoughts were being expressed through the mouth of a stranger.  The man talking said he was the party person, he was gregarious, affable, and had good friends, but in a room full of people he could feel completely alone. That’s where alcohol came in, an alcoholic’s panacea for all connection problems.  He spoke of the self hate that I’ve felt my whole life and right then I knew it was my thinking, not my drinking, that defined alcoholism.

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A New Freedom

Day 218

The topic tonight was freedom.

What I understood:  We were slaves to our addiction.  Our nights were predispositioned.  Drugs and alcohol made my decisions for me whether it was how late I stayed up, when I went home, if I went home, who I went home with, what I would feel like the next day, and how many hours or days it would be until I could do it again.

The first time I heard alcoholism called “the disease of more,” a light turned on in my head.  The sometimes dulling and sometimes roaring persistent thirst for alcohol barely scratched the surface of my irrational fear of never having enough.  This fear dominated my life then and it has a steady hold now.

My freedom used to be picking up and moving on; it was what outsiders called free spirited, and I now recognize as:  fear with a passport.

There was no way I could accomplish what my friends had, I would never have a job I was good at so why try at all, I would never be organized enough to dress myself professionally, I’m always disgusting, I don’t belong, no one takes me seriously, everyone can see right through me….the list of resentments and paranoias go on forever.  My self-doubt suffocated any and all hope for my future, until now.   Today I have choices.

Someone said in the meeting tonight: “the only person who can crush your dreams, is you.”

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Boycotting Meetings 2013

AA Hate

On Saturday afternoon I leaned my head back against the cement painted wall on the inside of yet another church. The itchy blue upholstered chairs were almost as irritating as the topic: service.  I wished the speaker would do us all a service and shut the %$^& up.

Resentments against AA have been culminating since last week and I can’t exactly pinpoint where or why; suddenly everything sounds excruciatingly stupid.

Who cares about how many big books are in publication?  Who gives a flying &*#& about what kind of sponsee someone’s been for the day?  And why do I have to listen to some whiny-wet-pants grown ass man talk about his most recent bout with liposuction? I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.

“It’ll pass,” everyone says.  And I agree, it will pass…by taking a breather from AA.  Boycotting meetings 2013.  Bam.  It’s been 3 days which feels like 3 months and so far so good. I’m not giving in, or giving up…I’m just inside the safety zone of denial aisle.

*My sponsor has not approved this message.*

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