Last night was the hardest it's been in a while. My bones feel tired. It's probably just the rain but still. Fuck, did I want to drink. And I didn't even really want to drink per say, as go rage. It had been a hot day and hot week for that matter. EVERYONE seemed like they were out and prowling around the Mission. It was one of those nights where I knew that it would lead to what would seem like a great night into day time but only leave me hungover, cranky and ill... oh, and hating myself.
Came home after work to my roomie drinking pink margaritas already rocking out to hip-hop. My blood started pumping in that way where before I was sober I would take a shower, pop a beer open or have a margarita with her, start getting ready: flashy heels, tight jeans, make-up, feels like the devil's inside, wondering where I might find blow tonight if I want it or pulling out the leftovers from the weekend before, and what kind of trouble I might get into. I'd buy a pack of smokes to start the night, turning heads at the corner store. Let the night begin. I would feel fabulous, beautiful at this moment. House music or hip hop would be pouring from my room and my car. My gaze would get slyer, sexier. Yes, you could call it "the zone". haha. Some call it "Super Katie". In that moment, I would become not myself. "Ms. Peabody, the librarian by day, the Piddler by night." Leaving my day behind which yesterday was such a let down after a rough week. Long conversation with an agency about how my visit and my perceived authority upset them. My struggle to communicate my respect for this woman and the program she runs by giving her space and letting her slide on some of the rules but in the end realizing that I let her slide because I don't want to deal with her ego and that she and I clash on the way that we like to do things. She's in it for the glory and that's a train I don't feel like I get paid to stop.
Instead I dragged my ass late to a woman's meeting, in a hoodie, no make up and some sandals. My jeans are usually tight;) Funky I'm going to a meeting instead of a bar. The person sharing drew me right in. Once again this "miracle" in front of me. This woman's story blew my mind and shook me a little. But I refused to feel grateful. I sulked in late, angry that I wanted to go out and couldn't. Angry that I had quit drinking because I couldn't manage alcohol. Because alcohol and cocaine make me want to hate myself enough that stopping is a good idea. And that when I stop doing something that makes me hate myself, I get angry. Argh. Then I realized that the commitment that I share with someone else hadn't been done. Fuck! My sponsor saved a seat for me near the front right by the speaker. Double fuck! So I make my way up to the front walking by the still packed box of literature and take a seat. Harumph.
I shared because no one claimed "burning desire". I announced how bad I wanted to drink. I found myself clenching, squeezing my fists together. Then the tears. I'm a crier, what can I say. My sponsor hugged me. After the meeting, the woman who shared came over, I said something stupid but she was so great. Worked out my literature commitment with the other person who said she got there too late to do it and it had been her responsibility. I had sat there pissed at her throughout the meeting but not entirely sure she was responsible for dropping the ball because I have such a bad memory a lot of the time. Silly. I was so pissed at myself. I am so pissed and angry at myself. A lot.
Spoke to my sponsor after the meeting who thankfully would not give in to my pity party. She said I'm not doing the work. I'm trying to do things my way and it didn't work before so why would it work now. I hadn't memorized the 3rd Step Prayer as assigned. I hadn't been meditating or praying. Not doing the work so of course I feel like shit. Hmmmm. She told me to stop saying "I know." Or she would respond, "You don't know!" It became pretty funny. So we started shouting at the tops of our lungs, "I don't fucking know, goddamnit!" hehe. Trouble. I felt better. Still a little disoriented from my pity party. Exited Bernal Heights and headed down Mission Street and the feeling of wanting to go out just hit my like a ton of bricks. There were so many people out it felt like they were closing in around me, prowling the streets. The urge was so great. I just focused on driving and getting to my boyfriend's house. Who was there, sober and alone. Peace.
Part of my 3rd Step is examining my connection with a Higher Power. This is the part of the program that deterred me in the past. I quit drinking because I had begun to feel spiritually abandoned. I had done some minimal work connecting with Spirit and my version of God or Higher Power when I was drinking and using to gain some semblance of spiritual guidance. I meditated because I was struggling with stress and depression, low self-esteem etc not alcoholism or addiction. It was part of my therapy work. It would just be an added bonus to have confidence and being a whole person and if I just had enough discipline to go to the gym every day and eat right and not make bad choices then I wouldn't be so hungover the next morning and I'd be able to stop drinking and get myself in bed at a reasonable hour. hehe. Cunning, baffling, powerful. I thought if I felt better, I wouldn't drink so much. But I only thought this with the most fleeting thoughts. I knew I needed to quit but would rationalize my patterns somehow and not even realize I was rationalizing them (but in that, I hadn't really even come to terms that I was still depressed after 15 yrs since it started, so I really just meditated because it was part of my work on this earth and make me well overall. I realize now that wasn't enough.).
One day I realized that I had started to feel vacant. And each morning I woke up hungover, it was obvious. I now felt more alone than ever, to the point that my angels had left me. I've heard that you have angels watching over you until you are about 27 years old and then around your Saturn return (I'll get into this new agey stuff another time but you can Google it, bear with me), they leave. I've believed this because, shit, someone's or some thing has been watching over me. Call it 9 lives but mine were getting used up. Angels or spirits of loved ones that have passed on, I believed they were keeping watch. When I honored them and acknowledged them and listened to myself or my heart or my intuition or whatever, all would be well. But then I started pushing the envelope. Making bad choices the last year or two of my drinking. I'm not Catholic and I didn't grow up super religious but I really felt like my angels had thrown the towel in in disgust at how blessed I was and how I was just trying to fuck it all up. So they said, "I'm outta here, Katie. You're not doing your work. You're not filling your part of the deal." The deal of the universe or something. The more abandoned I felt, the more fucked up my choices were.
I've also been told (no, I don't believe everything I hear just what I like and what resonates) that cocaine casts your soul out each time you do it. And I just remember that horrible emptiness that started to get filled with thoughts of suicide and self-hatred every afternoon or evening I would wake up after being up for all night and the next day. Crazy dark shit I hadn't felt in years. I'd stare at the same corner in my room and think about how I was going to do it. In retrospect, in the last 4 years, I've had this rebirth of suicidal thoughts. Those are the years that I had been doing the most cocaine and getting sober. I've spoken to close friends about them mostly to reassure them and myself that I wouldn't do anything. I just wanted to stop feeling what I was feeling. Clearly, another reason I drink. And another reason I need the program.
And with all this, I continue to wonder if I'm alcoholic enough to be in this program. And each time I wonder, I come up with the "yes" and inch my way closer to giving myself over to the program even though I'm technically at Step 3 (you kind of work 1, 2, and 3 together). But I get flustered when people not in the program ask me about certain things and the fact is, I'm still learning. And sometimes I feel like I sound like a brainwashed moonie all giving myself to Higher Power and shit and "turning it over". I'm not 100% sure about my concept of God but you know what? If it keeps me from staring at that corner with those thoughts, I'll fucking take it for today, goddamnit. I'll keep coming back because maybe the program is also keeping me alive. And if it takes being sober to stay alive and feel better, it resonates with me and I like it.