I almost went to a noon meeting today. I actually went to my local county website and looked up meetings in my area. The only reason I didn’t is because I hadn’t planned on it this morning and wasn’t sure how I would also be able to eat lunch. But I am on the verge of going. It is almost a certainty now that I will find a place near me for an evening meeting this week.
I have been very hesitant to go to AA. There are a number of reasons for this, not including the most obvious one – i.e., admitting I am an alcoholic, feeling nervous or ashamed to go, etc. That wasn’t the case. I grew up in the clubs. They still feel like home to me, or at least they did last time I was in one years ago. No, it had a lot more to do with my ideas about god (or lack thereof) and my stubbornness.
I am such a know-it-all. No one can tell me anything new. I was always like this to some degree or another, but it got worse this last couple of years of drinking. I spent a couple of years in 2005, 2006 pulling myself out of a dark hole created by unresolved grief over my father and major problems with Steve. I feel like I saved my own life. I did it by filling myself with spiritual knowledge, with the tools to heal my mind and my heart. I had no help at the time from my husband and I had no friends to speak of, so I did it all on my own. I was so proud. I still am, but…
For all my knowledge of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, of meditation and self-examination and self-awareness, for all the brutal honesty with myself, to the point of ripping myself apart and putting myself back together again… all of that didn’t keep me from being an alcoholic. It didn’t keep me from descending right back into a dark hole this last two years. I can walk into a meeting thinking I know so much about how to help myself – and maybe I do “know” a little bit. I’m not going to stop feeling good about the fact that I figured out how to help myself stand on my own two feet once upon a time.
But knowledge doesn’t equal wisdom. And maybe it’s time I listened to the wisdom of others for a change. Change. That’s really the key, isn’t it? I learned so much, but I stayed stuck right where I was and haven’t learned anything new. I’ve stagnated. Now it’s time to move forward. Now it’s time to admit that I don’t have to stand solitary, that I can draw upon the strength of others to help me grow, to mend. What a relief that would be. I’m tired of trying to be so strong all the time. Support… support sounds really wonderful right about now.
Of course, I wish like crazy that my dad was here to talk to. My throat forms a lump and tears start to form just typing that. It’s an understatement. My unresolved grief over my dad remains unresolved. I have spent the last 7 years forgetting him so that I wouldn’t miss him. Drowning my grief. I know that’s part of the “why” of alcohol for me because every time I stopped drinking, I would start grieving. And I couldn’t take it. I loved him so immensely, his absence still hurts so hugely, I don’t even know how to begin to truly move through it. It’s just such a depressing irony that I started drinking when he died. I mean, really started drinking.
Why a depressing irony? Because my dad was 33 years sober – all 33 of those years spent in AA – when he died at the age of 60 in April 2003. He was helped and loved there and he helped and loved so many others in return. 200, 250 people showed up to his funeral and I can’t even guess now how many were program friends. More than half? His funeral was run like a meeting, like he wanted. And everyone who got up to speak about him talked about his astonishing humility. He always knew he had more left to learn, even though from his admiring daughter’s perspective, he knew everything.
I hope I can learn to be humble like he was. I hope I can be half the wise person he was. I miss him so terribly. I think if he were here, he would be sad at what I let alcohol do to me. But I know he would also be proud of me for walking into one of those rooms. I want so much to talk to him right now.
I’m choking up and tearing up too much now, and I’m at work, so I’ll end here for today.