Between being sick and working yesterday, I am exhausted. I'm having a nice evening tonight relaxing and resting, getting my head ready for the week ahead and starting my blog early. I had a wonderful meeting with my sponsor today even with the finger waggling. We kinda hit a nerve a little bit. Something definitely opened. I am an alcoholic.
Step 1 has been a lot to swallow. And something cracked inside me like an egg today. I felt a little sensitive, raw. I've been very conscious of how cocky, self-righteous and egotistical I've been...to the point it's been hard to write. You mean it's not all about me? That was just a joke....but it wasn't. I really did think it was all about me. I still do. I think I own the fucking program after 2 months! Fake it til you make it.
Last night's meeting I was defensive to the point of virtually combative. Usually this is a sign, in therapy at least, that you are getting to the core of something. I went to a meeting that was a "scent-free" meeting. I didn't realize that until I got there. "Scent-free" to me is a California thing, like "purple ladies". I have a sensitive sniffer too but not so sensitive that I request those around me to remain unscented. Hysterical and a little irritating. The woman next to me was maybe in her late 50s knitting a purple scarf (surprise!) and looked at me over her bifocals when I saw that it was scent-free and made a sound like, "Hm, interesting." I pointed at the description and she winked, nodded and said, "It's a good thing," and smiled. Oh, is it?
This meeting was within walking distance from my house so I decided to try it out. There were these 4 main ladies about my mom's age that were there, one was knitting the purple scarf. I chose the meeting because it was also a Book Study Meeting. I thought this would break up the monotony of the Speaker/ Discussion format I typically go to. And frankly, I was getting a little tired of hearing someone's story. Well, it turned out on the last week of the month they have a Speaker/ Discussion! Hooray! Damnit. It was a long story. I was cranky. And because I had to introduce myself in the beginning of the meeting since it was my first time to that meeting, she directed her share at me and this other girl. I was acting like a total snot, thinking in my mind, "She thinks I'm a newcomer. Boy is she wrong. I've been sober 19 months!" Like I was the only person that has ever been sober or struggled. I've seriously been staring my ego in the face these last few days. Feeling as awkward as I did when I was in middle school. Snotty and defensive like a 7th grader.
After the meeting, one of the "Mom Brigade" was telling another newcomer who had introduced herself as an addict, how it was important for her to say she was an alcoholic because it respects the fellowship of the group and it's another way to fit in. (!?!) So I was already feeling a little touch-y, did this woman want to fight? This newcomer had just waltzed out of rehab only to have Ol' Mother Hubbard preaching her own doctrine of what she gotta do for the team?! I wasn't digging it so I told her so because it's not written anywhere that you have to do that. If you don't feel like you are ready to say you are an alcoholic, then you are right where you should be. But this is what I think and this is what worked for me;)All the program requires is a desire to stop drinking. So I said, "I said that at first, it's okay. Sometimes it's easier to say you're an addict before you can say alcoholic. Addict can feel more encompassing. As time goes on, you realize that what you have in common with everyone in the rooms is that you all want to stop drinking. I say I'm an alcoholic and addict some days and just alcoholic other days." The woman replies, "That's like saying you're a car and a Chevy." My heart starts pounding. It's Saturday night and it's alright for fighting! And then she saved herself, by saying, "That's just my interpretation not the program's." Heart slows. And then I get cornered by S.
S. is an older man that looks as though he's a painter, still working hard, maybe in his early 70s and he smells like old man pee. I thought this was a "scent-free" meeting? I made the mistake of engaging him at another meeting and he cornered me like 4 times last night after the meeting. I think he's of German descent and boy, can this man talk. Old men love me. I swear. When I was single, I couldn't get a date to save my life but when it came to a lonely old man, it was like flies on shit. Ew. Old man pee. I figured out if I put my foot out like I'm only leaning on one side of my body, it'll keep him from inching any closer. Besides the smell, he was also a close-talker. It was the kind of situation where he'd just talk at you. You couldn't get a word in edgewise. Other people at the meeting were visibly uncomfortable that he kept me cornered and a few tried to save me. Then realized that I kinda knew the guy. I told my sponsor today and she was like, there's a fine line between being a doormat and taking care of yourself. Hmmmm, I have to try that. I was trying to be patient but he just kept talking and inching closer and I would back up and he'd inch closer. It was definitely uncomfortable. She told me it was okay to say, "Excuse me, I have to go now." And walk away. I was shocked. Oh my awkward 7th grader! This is the kind of shit I'm learning for the first time. Why did it take so long? I seriously thought I had to be patient and listen to him. And I can, to a point. Amazing. Who knew!?!
After reviewing my reservations with the 1st Step, I graduated today while meeting with my sponsor this morning and moved on to 2 and 3. I went to a 3rd Step meeting today with my sponsor only to walk in and see all these people I knew. It was great! And the first meeting where I finally felt like it wasn't too advanced and I was where it was! It even went so far as to laugh about memorizing the 3rd Step prayer which is totally hard by the way. I was so psyched to be in a room with all these people who I thought were mad advanced but who couldn't remember the 3rd Step prayer either. I felt great afterward.
It's been 2 weeks of meetings! Only 10 more to go! (One of the "Mom Brigade" warned me of doing the 90 in 90 as well last night exclaiming, "You're just going to drop off the precipice after 90 in 90! You should just take one meeting at a time." Maybe that's what set me off wanting to fight. Way to share your experience, strength and hope! Don't you have to knit something purple?)