Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 17 & 18, Meeting 17 & 18: Cover your mouth when you cough, I don't want to get alcoholism

Ha! Bet you thought I had disappeared. Actually, it's been kind of a long week. I got my first obnoxious comments which sort of threw me off, sort of but not enough to fight back (well, maybe a little) as I was expecting these sooner or later being that I'm sharing on the World Wide Inter-Web. I had an awful meeting on Wednesday. I spent the whole morning hating on myself, getting all professional-ed up for a meeting at City Hall only to simultaneously trash myself and my secondhand, no-good clothes and self (the worst part is that I had a brand new dress that for some reason I couldn't bear to wear, seriously, being a woman sometimes!?!) only to arrive at my morning meeting rushed and end it with tears streaming down my cheeks because I couldn't share and 10 minutes to get to work on time. Shit.

This is the first time a morning meeting has really backfired. I talked to some other folks that go regularly and they had also sort of warned me of this as well. Luckily through my brilliant skill of fellowship (profusely sarcastic), someone reached out and told me just to make an agreement with myself to check my head at the door. That I promise I'll get back to it at the end of the day. It can get mad, build up bigger and stronger and be as terrible as it wants to be, but it just has to wait until the end of the day to unleash. Not right now. After calling my sponsor and wailing to her on the phone, I did this (which totally distressed her, oops). And it worked! The thing at City Hall was no big deal. I realized my anxiety had started the night before and had just extended into the morning. Talking with my buddy helped a great deal despite being an unlikely character for me to unload on. But he was funny and just what I needed to get my day going.

The topic had been anger and I realized that the only person I get really mad at and criticize and tell them they suck is myself. I do this so I don't hurt anyone else because I'm a people pleaser. So even if I'm angry, I turn it inward even though I'm waiting for someone to set me off, it never happens because what overtakes it is my desire to be liked and then the jokes come flowing and then we are all laughing and, "I'll just internalize my anger for the both of us, don't you worry your pretty little head, you didn't do anything wrong!" Jeezus, the burden. Must I really do this kind of psychological martyrdom? And then I burst into tears because that was a little too much to realize on a Wednesday morning with only one cup of coffee in me.

Thursday morning I was singing the praises of the program. With only a full day of meetings ahead and the crappy Wednesday behind me, I was one happy, sober camper. Oh and I biked to the meeting and to work so I was getting some exercise which is always a good thing. Then I came home and called my dad who I hadn't talked to in a while. And we just started talking and I told him about being in the program and my drinking and drug use in the past years and he was shocked! Literally shocked! Speechless in fact to the point I was wondering if it was a good idea that I opened up to him. He had no idea. Which I thought was surprising given that often they criticized my drinking as the reason for my irritability but my dad said he just thought I was depressed. This is the chicken or the egg debate. Did my depression cause me to be an alcoholic or did my alcoholism cause my depression? He asked toward the end if this is a cry for help and should he fly out on the next flight. I laughed. No dad, the cry for help was a long, long time ago. This is a cause for celebration! That I was smart enough to stop and go to the program! Yay me! He was left wondering what he did wrong as a parent. I tried to reassure him it was the nature of alcoholism but he just couldn't believe that I would be so vulnerable. ?!?! He didn't say that but this was implied. He even joked about the time I got suspended for drinking in 9th grade, that he thought that was just what kids do and how they learn. I said, "Dad, you mean the time I puked everywhere at the school dance, got rushed to the hospital, had to have my stomach pumped because my blood alcohol level was .25 and would have probably died if I hadn't....." Woah. He kept calling himself naive. A naive father. Even I thought I was being overdramatic. But this is the whole thing with realizing Step 1, people will try to lure you back into drinking unexpectedly. The denial runs deep in my family. And frankly, I barely felt strong enough to do any convincing having just completed my 1st Step. My dad literally thinks that alcoholism was picked up by hanging out with the wrong people. Like a cold. That my cocaine use was something I stumbled on, that doing enough cocaine I thought I was going to die was something that someone must have shown me and I did by mistake. I couldn't possibly have done this on my own! I'm not even kidding. This is how my parents think. But my dad took the high road and promised to be more of a "student of the program" and learn more about it and even get the Big Book which he was familiar with (?!?!) so he could support me. And I asked him not to offer me beer and wine anymore when I came home or he saw me (he's done this several times in the last 19 months) and he agreed. He said he was just trying to keep the fridge full when I came home with things I liked (?!? He has a listening disorder.) so I told him that I love fizzy juice beverages and I love to drink those now! He said he could do that.

Off to my regular meeting tonight. Happy 3-day Weekend Friday!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Hooray for your dad for his willingness to try to connect with you in the way you need him to, and hooray for you for being strong enough to tell him what you need!