Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 58-62; Meeting 58-62: 2/3rds of the way there!

I'm all riled up. Probably because I had too much coffee today and TJ's mini-chocolate peanut butter cups. I have so much hatred for myself. This fucking guy at this meeting tonight....gah! I don't really want to start from the beginning or wherever but yesterday I got swept up in this project that I decided to volunteer for: to remodel (tile and paint) the Main Office. This woman has been trying to rally volunteers to support her and get more donations but it's amazing. The meeting that I met her in, she shared. I think it was Thursday night. Her story is grim and crazy. But she made this plea to support a sense of community and that she's been trying to create that and not sure why it's so hard. And she has been rallying support to repaint and tile the room. This room is like my Monday meeting. There are mostly men in a rehab program down the street that attend. People barely put any money in the basket despite there being over 40 people in the meeting. Meetings on this side of the Bay have been different as they probably are from city to city. The room has that office type ceiling that you install piece by piece, fluorescent lights, dirty fairly new linoleum, chairs that have slip covers that are also new. It would probably feel better if it got a makeover. It would probably be easier to keep coming back. I thought to myself, I want to be part of community. I felt pulled to introduce myself to the woman and tell her that I'll be there on Saturday to pick out paint colors. I've never really felt part of anything I feel like. By choice. But I'm realizing that to feed my soul, I need to build and give and be a part of something. And doing that makes being sober a bit easier.

I showed up on Saturday and I was the one of two people who showed up. The other woman works for her. Another woman showed up 10 minutes before the end of the meeting and tried to override all the decisions that we'd made. Na-uh. I volunteered my boyfriend to also take part and offered his services if they needed someone to do the tile and help paint. She had people lined up already but I thought I would offer. Before I knew it, I was calling Myles, picking him up, taking him to Home Depot, buying paint, looking at hinges (she wants to replace the doors on the lockers too), tile etc. We found the exact tile we wanted and a vision began to take shape and all 3 of us were excited, laughing and joking. It was really fun! For someone that's not great at volunteering, following through with ideas to show up and even having been notorious at my paid job as not working well with (some) others....I was quite proud of myself on Saturday. I told the woman, J., that I would help her drum up some support. I started to get really into the project. She gave me some flyers and I told her I would make announcements as I was shopping around for new meetings in the East Bay and will probably go to a bunch of different meetings this week.

I don't know the politics of this program but they are there. Apparently, the Main Office has a reputation or something but the woman I was helping has had many challenges is drumming up support and tonight I witnessed them. I live in kind of a hoighty-toity neighborhood. Newly gentrified but socioeconomically and racially diverse which I love about it. It's not the sterile burbs and you still feel like you are in the city but you have space to breathe and it's lovely. I'm really blessed. So I walked to a meeting by my house. It was a meeting about the 6th and 7th Step which I haven't gotten to yet. I was nervous, I didn't share. I liked the meeting at first. I introduced myself to a few people went outside and some guy started barraging me with questions about the colors, who I was doing the project with, if I'd be serving "veal and pesto" at the BBQ. So getting defensive about my white privilege and assuming he's implying that I'm some white person going in and cleaning up the Main Office to make it better for the miscreants....I snap, "Why would we be serving veal and pesto? Can you help out and BBQ?" and this guy says, "I was being facetious." No, really? Jerkface. He goes on, "I'm no suburban grill master but I can cook." The way this guy said it, what a fuck. "Who the fuck are you?" Seriously, if you don't have anything nice to say. Luckily someone came over. I don't know what came over me but all the reasons I don't like the area I live in. Talking about how the area he lives in has been gentrified but he's not part of it?!?! Does anyone even understand what gentrification means? Bitching about how the neighborhood has changed. I was too distracted by my pride about the project I was working on to even begin getting into urban social change or whatever. Argh!

So this is what's like to be in the grips of the 4th Step maybe. Way to dreg up everything I hate about myself and the world around me and then starting stripping away the layers of resentment to uncover more, newer resentments. Awesome. I've been putting this off for the last two weeks. My sponsor knows it. We met today and did a little work but I really don't want to draw this out and she agreed. It is not fun. I lashed out at one of my best friends that's not in the program because I think her choices merit her to consider some help. I came home cleaned my room, started the laundry and weeded the garden furiously. Then went to this meeting with this stupid guy. Gah! I resent privileged white people that live in neighborhoods they don't think they are gentrifying, that cook but would never admit to BBQing because that's too suburban and so unlike his urban, progressive ass. So... BAY....AREA. My home I love to hate. Gah!

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