Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 3, Meeting 3: Tending to my own garden

I have a garden in a facebook application called Farmville. And I found out today that because I haven't tended to it, everything is dead. All the eggplant, soybeans I planted. Gone. Won't be able to cash them in at the market. The cows didn't get milked and the chickens didn't get harvested so their gone too. Kinda sad.

I just want to mention that writing this blog has been an amazing process over the past few days. While I've shyly and not so shyly talked about it, there has just been an overwhelming and unexpected amount of support and encouragement (thank you;). I seriously couldn't believe some of the comments. And I couldn't believe who some of them were from. As tempted as I am to gush, I also want to stick to my guidelines and maintain the integrity of this project by keeping it real and sticking to sobriety and getting to 90 meetings in 90 days (but you all are super great, I feel like I'm cheating! Your encouragement and connections are touching and just what I need. Thank you.)

And my past is just banging down the door right now allowing me the chance to reconcile with it in some way I haven't quite been able to figure out. The prozac I'm on means I have to "listen" a little harder to the messages I get sent in my gut. But I'll leave that to my higher power to reveal.

My third meeting in a row. I've done this. I'm cruising these last few days. I know it will soon get harder so I've tried to take it easy and just get myself to meetings. I've been getting other emails outside of the comments from people, friends of friends who are on facebook and I met maybe once, asking me about going to meetings. It's thrilling and at the same time, I do a reality check. I do not have the tools to get someone else sober. Only myself. I can only show or tell people what I did and how it worked for me. I can only tend to my own garden and clean up my side of the street as someone said in the meeting today. It's so easy to mess around in your neighbors garden while you let yours go to shit! I can't believe all my animals died in Farmville! I love animals. That's terrible! So it's good I'm keeping myself from 12 steppin or whatever that phrase is that I can't remember and this blog is keeping me present. I'm held to the process of MY recovery by writing everyday. And I get the acknowledgment and voice that I need during this process. My therapist said that you have to do something for 30 days for your brain to start to change. And that why usually at about 2-3 weeks of doing something new, it gets hard and I end up stopping. That's the breaking point before patterns and brainwaves start to shift for good. And also probably why I don't get past that point.

I went to a meeting this evening in the east bay with one of these old friends from my past that has come forward. I was so excited. Newly sober, I was feeling all about her. But I realized after the meeting that while I was so excited, I forgot to even mention in my share that I had wanted to drink last night while out after work at a dinner. I didn't realize until we were talking afterward that I had wanted to. I had felt so lofty riding the high of this project and seeing an old friend that I plain forgot to work on my sobriety. Duh. I was less engaged at my meeting tonight because I wanted her to be comfortable. I didn't introduce myself as a first timer to the meeting. I wanted her to come back so I didn't want to push her too much. And all this was going on inside me. I was nervous because while I was holding back my own work, I knew I'm on Step 1 and don't have any idea about how to help her. What the fuck was I doing? I felt totally in over my head and like I was going to let her down. But soon, talking to her afterward, I realized that she has her own process thankfully. Of course she does! She was like, "We should just get coffee and catch up." I paused and was like, "Of course," relaxing. Duh.

I was called on at the meeting. This was a first (I find that people want to share less in the east bay meetings or at least the two I've gone to). You sometimes can't get a word in or called on because the meetings are so large in least the ones I've been going to. This is another reason I started a blog being an extrovert and all. And when I was called on to share, I babbled something about staying present in my own recovery. I've noticed that others who've been going to meetings for some time have much more succinct shares than I. I usually keep talking until I hit my stride, I do this at work a lot, but that hasn't happened when I share. What happens instead is that I babble until I get nervous and decide to stop because I forget my point or points that I had wanted to touch on. Then I finish, my heart stops racing and I realize that I had like 4 other things I was going to tie together in the 2-5 minutes I was allotted. Damn it. 2-5 minutes is not enough time for me to talk about my issues with drinking and being an alcoholic or even what happened to me in the last day! I even tried writing the stuff down in this little notebook I carry around before raising my hand. But I totally got flustered and didn't say half of it or even look at it. Now I know why so many people give you their phone numbers! So you can just babble away about your sobriety. I love it. My phone crashed last week though (actually I dropped it in the sink while talking on it and attempting to wash my hands at the same time) and I hadn't synced it in 3 months and I lost all my phone numbers from the program. Damn it. Of course.

So, while getting this blog thing going and spending time catching up with old friends and getting totally in over my head when it comes to others and their sobriety, I have homework with my sponsor...which I'm totally not doing. Part of my Step 1 process is listing all the ways alcohol made my life unmanageable (as tempting as it may be to comment on this, please hold your comments til I'm at least at Step 2, maybe we can have a good chuckle). A huge part of why I get nervous when I speak is that for a long time and even sometimes now, I don't feel like I belong in the rooms. I'm close but not entirely convinced that I'm an alcoholic. Addict, sure. That I can handle. But alcoholic....hmmm, that's a bit less palatable for some reason. But being addicted to everything, that somehow is easier to swallow?!?! So that's why I get nervous even though I enjoy public speaking and can typically talk very openly about how I feel and talk about how I came to realize I had a drinking problem most of the time in small and medium size crowds but the rooms are hard.

Tomorrow I'm headed to another morning meeting on my bike. Egads! Oh and I'll tell you that meeting on Tuesday, didn't even have coffee!!! It was the one thing getting me there on time, that they'd have coffee. I couldn't believe it! One woman told me, "Do you know how early we'd have to get here to make coffee?" I wanted to be like, "How the fuck do expect me to get here at 7:30 in the AM?" and then I walked to the nearest cafe. Ah mornings.

Thanks for reading everyone. 87 to go!

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