I went again tonight, went to my second meeting. It was good. I really like going to an all woman group. We cry and laugh about things that only women can do together. It’s nice. And for right now, it’s all I want. It’s comforting.
When I walked in I found the one gal I recognized from Monday, Lisa, 18 years, and said hello. Only about 6 women from Monday’s meeting were here, out of about 40, and the vibe was a little different, but wonderful just the same.
An older lady approached me and introduced herself and then asked if I would like to lead the meeting. I don’t know if she knew I was a newcomer or not, but when I expressed my lack of knowledge at what to do (which is only half true), Lisa pulled up next to me and said “you can do it, don’t worry, I’ll help if you need me to.” So I passed out the steps and traditions and promises to other women for the readings and I took my sheets with which to lead the meeting. I love reading out loud, so hey, it made me happy.
I opened, the steps and traditions were read, and then we read from the Big Book. They were just starting the portion of the book with personal stories. We read Dr. Bob’s, one of the founders of AA. I’ve heard about him all my life (and I kind of picture him as James Garner because of that TV movie from years and years ago with James Woods as Bill W.), but I never heard his detailed story before. Good stuff.
Then the little sheet in front of me told me that the leader of the meeting was supposed to share her story, and speak for 3 to 5 minutes. Um. Okay. I kind of repeated again the thing about growing up in AA, as the majority of the women there with me had not heard me speak on Monday, and I said I never thought I’d end up there. Everything else I said was pretty scattered, just rambly. I’m not usually shy speaking in front of people, but I was caught off guard. I just said whatever came, and that’s all I could do. I talked about how I had drank since my dad’s death, how I continued drinking through a couple of years of grief and major problems with Steve, which were subsequently resolved. And how that was years ago, but I never stopped drinking and couldn’t figure out how to stop. I had dozens of blackouts, I had so many mornings of self-loathing and anger and shame. And I am tired of living this way. I am tired of living with these perceptions, what I know are distorted, sick perceptions of what my family thinks of me, what my friends – *especially* my friends, online and off – think of me, what my coworkers think of me. I’m tired of being irritable and mean and socially awkward and crazy and stuck in my own poisoned thinking inside my head all the time. And I am tired of it so much I finally came for help. I bumbled though all this and maybe more for about 4 minutes and that was that. It was good.
I was talking to my friend Nina tonight on the phone and telling her that I was going and why I was going. And really, in speaking to her, one of the reasons I am going solidified itself. I am going to tend to my spiritual being, to care for myself. I am a deeply spiritual person… or I was. Alcohol has destroyed that in the last few years. And now I want it back. And this time, I cannot do it alone. I need the support and wisdom of others to help guide me. Of course, first, I have to go through the discomfort of surrendering my damn ego. It’s not going to be easy; I am stubborn bitch. But it must be done.
I know I am also going to have to surrender to the idea that there is a higher force in the universe that wants me to be happy. I feel like it shouldn’t be so hard, but it has become that way. Alcohol, my choices, have made it that way. But I do believe there is something greater. A force I’ve always known is there (though I do not call it god), the one that wants me to be the full spirit I can be. And I still believe with all my heart that there is an immeasurable amount of joy out there for me to experience. I just need to take the right steps to grab hold of it. It’s just that unfortunately the first step will involve feeling like I’m jumping off a cliff… that fucking loss of ego again… *sigh*. I’ll get there. I will get there.
I’m going to go watch cooking shows on my DVR now. I’m tired, still a bit scattered, but feeling pretty peaceful. Still, it’s been a long day of work, cooking, a meeting, talking with friends and writing. <— See, I can do it all. Hehe.