Day 1 – local aa meetings

Hiya, I know it’s been a long while. Just wanted to say that I went to a local Zoom AA meeting for the first time today. I’d been terrified to do this, and yet also ready to meet some sobriety-loving people in my own real-life community. In the end, it was so wonderful to connect with people face to face. So I highly recommend trying that.

There are awkward things to get through, like you have to call somebody to get the zoom ID and all, but I was finally at this level of “bravery” in wanting to do this.

As some may remember from my last (obviously disappointing, to me at least) post, I gave up my wonderful sober momentum in hopes of bonding a bit better with family and friends here, after a challenging past year (and I know most of us have had a challenging past year in many ways). Well, nothing terrible happened, but I just prefer sobriety. I had sort of wanted to blog about that period but honestly didn’t know how. It was a sobriety blog; not supposed to be a slipping-on-the-slopes blog.

What I loved about the Zoom meeting was I didn’t have to worry about the kids since I didn’t have to leave my house. Also I loved that it was very formatted and stuck to timing and so on. At first I thought I wouldn’t want to have video on (just audio) but then the people there were so real and welcoming and I just went for it, and fully joined in. Seriously this has been something I have been afraid to do for years… due to my own egotistical issues related to stigma. And not wanting to say “I’m so and so and I’m an alcoholic…” I still haven’t said that, though everyone else in the group seemed to be long-time members and did say it. I was the only newcomer and I said my name and then, “I’m not sure where I’m at with this alcoholic thing… but I know I prefer sobriety,” and everyone seemed accepting of it.

I’m glad I went. Part of the meeting was reading from the AA Big Book (a book which I have read most of, and love), and then the rest was discussion of the text, plus personal “shares.” The meeting was beautifully facilitated by one of the group leaders. There was no over-talking, and no one talking for too long.

I got a very good connected and spiritual feeling from it all. Blogging is nice too, and there is a great community here (—couldn’t have done that long stretch before without some of you!!—) but there is something about the real-time togetherness that makes a gathering (even if online) special. It felt basically like a kind of sangha. That’s what I’d really been missing.

I could see myself getting addicted to these meetings… :))

Today I was sober and aware, and taking it easy, one day at a time, and feeling like I’m healing from all the things, and glad and grateful for it.

xoxoxo

21 thoughts on “Day 1 – local aa meetings

  1. i’m happy you found the meeting inspiring, it is nice to have that kind of support:). hmm..slipping on the slopes blog- thats been me for a bit. I still posted about it though , mainly so i could stay accountable in some aspect. As i learned, one can go for quite awhile sometimes before sliding into relapse- took me 7 months of being ok with a few here & there..then in December i started doing the 6 pack every weekend thing again- that counts as a relapse, even though i didn’t really comprehend it until someone pointed it out to me. It just “happened” before i even realized..so, now starting over. Fingers crossed!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Welcome back Nadine! I’ve missed you! Lovely to hear from you and well done for the AA meeting. I went to a few in the early days but didn’t feel it was for me. I think of it as a reserve strategy that I’ll try if I need to in the future – hope you’re well and not suffering too much with the pandemic 💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much dear Louise 🥰🙏💛 I hear you… I went to one as a friend with someone as a teen and really didn’t feel it then… mind you it was quite big, and I didn’t understand the original principles of it… seemed overly religious or cultish or something. I think every group might be different. But then I read the book a few years ago and loved it… As for the world debacle… well, pros and cons to it I guess… trying to focus on the pros lately, at least doing my best. :)) Thanks again xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My sweet Nadine how I smile hearing from you. Glad you’re back posting and finding a path that works for you. That’s excellent! I’m always here by your side my friend.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Nadineeeeeee!!! I have missed you!! So glad you went to that AA zoom meeting and it worked well for you!! I think my last overall update is that I’m in limbo land. I go long times without alcohol and then I’ll drink ( not drink enough to feel it the next day ) and then I’m back to being alcohol free. I blogged I’m in limbo land due to I haven’t made that complete break. I’m in a good stretch though and I notice my brain doesn’t want it like I used to, but I still have random urges and I believe that’s due to not making that complete break. You and everyone here on WP have been instrumental in all the progress I have made and I want to keep making more! Can’t wait to hear from you again and so glad you’re back!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Allllllways adore your kind and generous spirit dear Jackie…. you are just such a love and light on here. Huge thanks to you. Yes it’s quite the journey… and now you’re inspiring me. Hugs gal. Keep up the good work. :))) xoxoxo 💗❤️💛

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  5. I’m so glad you are back, Nadine!! I missed you. 🤗 As you know, I experimented as well, and sobriety is my preference, too. But I definitely would have welcomed hearing about your experiences during that time. Sober or not! Xoxo 🌱

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  6. I think it would be interesting to write a long-form essay about why you restarted drinking, how you felt about it at the time and why you stopped again. I think that would fit on this blog well and probably some external sources would be interested in it as well (Good Men Project does a fair amount of sobriety stuff, and they don’t care if it’s been blogged before).

    *How do you define alcoholic?* For me, if alcohol is disrupting your life or relationships, you’re an alcoholic. The word I struggle with is ‘sober’. A haven’t been ‘a drunk’ in decades. If I wasn’t drunk, I don’t think I’m now sober. What not drinking did for me is break the continuous feelings of psychological and emotional addiction to alcohol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Always grateful for your insights (understatement), and I really like your idea Jeff. Thanks, I might try. I have a lot of non-blog stuff on the go at the moment, but it’s a challenge I will definitely ponder. :)) Yes, I too didn’t like the word sober… and yes, your conclusion makes a lot of sense. xoxo

      Like

  7. I love and enjoy your sharing of inspiring and touching moments dear. Not forgetting about your strength, keep it up Sweetie 😊👏 👏 🌾🌱💐

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First off, WELCOME BACK Nadine! Missed you!
    What sucks about this disease is it eats at me from the inside out. It’s warped into my thoughts.
    Alcohol-ISM is between my ears. Whether I drink or not, I battle the disease between my ears. It gets stronger every day, it does pushups at night. It is not bothered by my physical and mental problems. It takes advantage of them.

    At my very first AA meeting, I struggled with the label “alcoholic.” We read the part of the Big Book that talks about this problem. Maybe you can identify with it…

    PG 30 — Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.

    (As an abnormal drinker, I learned that I couldn’t drink like any of my friends, family or strangers. I was willing to play the game, repeatedly embarrass myself, my family and friends with my drinking shenanigans. I continually put people in risk. Instead of seeking help, I slid away. They stopped hanging out with me, drunk or not drunk. My insolation from others protected me and allowed me to continue drinking until that Saturday meeting at Noon, 23Sept1988.)

    The book continues…

    We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

    I never thought of this as anything other than a lifeboat. As much as I didn’t want to say it, when they called on me, I stood and said, “My name is Bryan and I am an alcoholic.” There was no standing ovation, no snickering, no fingers being pointed. Not a single person in that room questioned whether I was one or not. They just nodded and welcomed me to the club.

    On my side, the first thing I noticed was a moment of peace. It was just a flash of relief. My secret was out and now I could do something about it. I was still full of fear but I conceded that I was an alcoholic and something happened. I haven’t found it necessary to drink since that day. It’s been a long road with many detours, potholes and accidents.

    Bottom line, Nadine, is that if I can do it, you can to!

    Glad to see your posting again.

    Bryan B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan, this comment means a huge lot to me, and I think is helpful for anyone reading here.

      My issue is that I don’t think I’m that much of an abnormal drinker. What makes me abnormal compared to others who drink similar amounts is that I obsess over it and feel remorse the next day.

      But if that makes me an alcoholic than so be it. I’m not going to argue with the vast success of AA.

      I love the meetings so much. They’ve become a haven for me. I’m incredibly grateful for this new-to-me community, and the non-judgementalness with which they welcomed me, even as a person unsure of this form of labelling.

      “I never thought of this as anything other than a lifeboat.” — the labelling of oneself as an alcoholic, while I do see the benefit and am in agreement with what you’ve laid out — for me, that sentiment is not the case. Coming from a background of linguistic study, it sometimes seems like negative NLP to me. In other words, I can definitely see how it could be a lifeboat, but I don’t always think that way. But maybe that needs to change.

      I love hearing your story, especially the moment of peace. If I’m honest with myself I think that if I called myself an alcoholic, it would mean a total commitment and realization that I simply shouldn’t drink alcohol – ever again. It’s a difficult commitment to make, when there has been no drastic rock bottom. I guess the question I have to ask myself is, what am I waiting for though? Why wait for a terrible rock bottom? If I admit to myself I am alcoholic, even if everyone around me who drinks seems about the same, it greatly simplifies things. An alcoholic simply shouldn’t drink.

      The AA Big Book to me is better than a bible, it has such a selfless mentality; I’ve loved it since I first found out about it about three years ago, and I love that we read it together in the AA meetings. I agree with its principles, which are, beyond anything else, total acceptance for anyone, anyone at all, who suffers and who has a desire to stop drinking alcohol.

      I hope many others can get over their fears and try it out with an open mind. It’s a huge relief to me to connect with people socially and on a plane of higher-self development, and helping others and each other, rather than connecting with people only over drinks — as is so common in our culture.

      Thanks again for your amazing comment. It helps me a lot.

      By the way, I would love to help you fix your gravatar so that when you like or comment on a post people can find your blog easily. Currently the link in your profile still leads to a non-active blog.

      hugs and gratitude xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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