Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 11

And, yes, I'm counting.

This one lady in my AA meeting tonight said that she's been sober for 60 days, and everything just seems so much more clear - to her eyes and ears and senses - and she's not sure she likes it.

For the first week - ie, last week (OMG, that seems so long ago already) - I was a mess. I couldn't sleep. I could barely eat. I felt all jittery on the inside and a tsunami of tears was behind my eyes ready to break out any moment. This week, I feel good. I feel damn good. Work is lame right now and slow and I'm having a difficult time adjusting to my new big boss. But I'm not pushing it too hard, because it's perfect that I'm in a downturn at work while I figure out the other half of my life. I've had time at work to ponder, to doze a bit (not really doze, but close my eyes - which is a treat in this fast-paced world), to think about my HP (higher power).

My sponsor got back to me on my previous writing and pointed out that something was missing. I knew it already so I jumped in and interrupted her and finished the thoughts we were both having. I didn't connect this HP to me. How do I really see it? A condemning God? A punishing, Catholic school-y, mean nun God? A big, jolly, belly Buddha? I thought about this a lot the other night. Even sat on a pillow with my legs crossed and fingers in zen position, right in front this awesome part-melancholy and part-wise, framed pencil sketch of a Native American (chief? elder? shaman?). I sat there asking, "Who is my god? Where is my god?" over and over in kind of a chant. It lasted 30 minutes and then I had to go to bed. (Ok, I confess, not bed, I wanted to finish the last episode of Weeds.)

But nothing is coming. No lightning bolt, no angels on harps, no awakening. Another person tonight said, "Believe that you will understand, and then you will understand what you believe." Or something like that. I should have written it down. She attributed it to St. Augustine, but the world wide says that his quote is: "Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand." Ah, alcoholics, we make shit up and think it's deep.

Anyway, I'm not seeking, but I'm pondering.

Week 2. Week 2 and I'm pondering and have a cold. The fact that I have meetings to go to helps a ton. I can focus on work, then have a solid deadline to get out of the office. Then, I have a safe place where I can truly be me and say dumb shit or not make sense or stumble over words as I read them. I can listen to the joys of possibilities and hear the tears of the new seekers. I feel good. I haven't craved any booze, but I know the day might and will come. But I have an amazing safety net around me wherever I go: about 12 phone numbers of women and men who know what this is like, get it, don't judge, and have offered to be woken at the crack of dawn or midnight if ever I need someone.

In the meantime, of those I've told, my sister has been amazing. She asked a friend of hers in town where the AA meetings are and sent me a long list. So nice of her. I've had a couple of other friends offer to hang out - go to the zoo or a museum or a walk or coffee. One of my friend's dad died recently. I really wanted to take him up on his offer to hang out. Likewise, another friend who just wanted to come by and give me a hug. These folks are all "normal," non-alcoholics. I want to say yes, but I'm just not ready.

I called my sponsor and discussed this briefly. Is it okay that I'm not ready? Is it weird? She said no, that right now I'm an open and raw nerve, and the security of the group meetings is safety for me right now while I process and change (physically and mentally). It's not that AA's a cult and they ban me from engaging with other folks, it's purely my decision. And right now, I'm feeling a different kind of selfish, self-focus. When I was drinking I was also selfish and self-focused, but a different kind. A hurtful, non-caring kind. But this, now, is recovery. I need to find my core personality, who I was before I started drinking 20-odd years ago. Granted, I can't and don't want to return to a 15-year-old, but I've been washing down and stuffing down and numbing down my own emotions and feelings that now I've got to find them again. Let them breathe and be.

In the meantime, I'm just not ready to hang out or chat with those folks who don't suffer this disease, don't understand the compulsion, the need to keep drinking - one or two glasses won't do, I wanted more, I wanted all of it. And the hurt that I caused other people, without realizing it at all. (That step comes later.) The hurt that I caused myself, without realizing it, too. For, now that's where I'm starting. At the beginning. Opening the closets, airing out the rooms, unlocking all the trunks, peeling the layers off. And, while I'm doing that, I need to do it with other people who have done it and know the monsters, the dust, the nightmares, the buried jewels, the fears, and the ocean of tears that will be unleashed with this new decision.

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