Non-boozy tuesday

Last night (Tuesday) I went to another online AA meeting. This one was only six of us , three from the last meeting, plus a couple of others, and then me. There are lots of meetings in my area, mostly at times I can’t currently attend, but enough that I could attend one every several days if I want to… and I do. It’s enjoyable. Like a book club or self-development spa or something.

I can’t believe I’d put it off so long. I think many people put it off that long though, or even longer sometimes. I mean, who *wants* to be part of AA? The name!! What’s up with that, lol. It reminds me of the way I felt about La Leche League. Bad marketing, bad rap, great group. There is such mystery, stigma and misconception about it. Still a bit of a mystery to me (the whole “how do we stay anonymous in the community”) kind of thing, and how do we trust each other and so on.

Those things became clear to me when I met the actual people… basically we’re all in the same boat. And many have relapsed at some point (though the mainstays have been sober for years and years)… there is no judgement. We’re not anonymous to each other, but what happens in AA stays in AA, and we are united in wanting to help each other… any one of us with a desire to embrace sobriety that is. That is the foundation, and the real “higher power,” of AA.

It took me three years from the time I first seriously thought about it, to get to a face-to-face meeting. Was I really alcoholic? And if so, was I alcoholic “enough”? I didn’t think so… and nobody seemed to think I was… but if we even have to ask, I think we probably are — even if the only one who says so is us.

And maybe, come to think of it, it took the possibility of a meeting being online, AND in my trusted local community, for me to able to get to it. For that, I’m actually grateful to the positive sides of Covid (or the world’s reaction to it).

Scary as it was to make the leap, I know this is a good choice I’ve made.

I love talking with and listening to the AA people I’ve “met” so far… they are real. They are honest. They are dealing with their own issues, and not other-blaming. They used to *loooove* drinking, as I and probably any of us with an issue with it do, or did, in some way. And yet they don’t drink anymore.

It’s just really relaxing…

and I get a buzz from it.

Huge thanks for your beautiful comments… I massively, massively appreciate it. It touched me so much, truly… I didn’t really know what to say without writing you each a small novel… some great suggestions there, too, by the way.

Hugs. xoxoxo

***
p.s. what day am I on? I guess this is four… but it has been easy so far. It’s just one decision, once again, each day, to turn my life over to a “higher” or deeper power… even if all that power is, is a group like this one, or true joy in being toxin-free, or the collective mindset of AA.

Link to AA Big Book, free online: aa.org/pages

Link to a WordPress blog with daily AA quotes: Beginners Group Daily Post (or WP Reader link: here).

18 thoughts on “Non-boozy tuesday

  1. oops pressed return to early there! so as I was saying… I hadn’t realised you’d stopped blogging and returned to it just now. I’m glad you have found another way of dealing with this sobriety beast. It’s not easy and there are so many forces challenging our good intentions, but you’ve been there and done it so you’ll do it again I’m sure. Good luck X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jim, yes, I tried moderation… for a number of reasons which I might blog about at some point… and tbh it worked quite well for a bit. But it came back to that old adage: if I controlled it I couldn’t truly enjoy it, and if I enjoyed it I couldn’t truly control it… so, back to here. Not sure if I’ll continue this blog, but I felt like it might be good for others to know it at least. Might be a good way of concluding it. Thanks again :)) xoxo

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  2. I’m opening myself up to harsh criticism here (which I deserve), but I think it’s worth noting. As I was struggling with the fact that I had a drinking problem, I dismissed AA participants with the following description.

    “Broken-down men who have lost it all – family, job, driver’s license. Hit the bottom, nowhere else to turn. Ragged-looking women, fresh out of jail, making a last grasp at a semi-respectable life. Lonely people, looking for community in a group that doesn’t drink. People doing penance, punishing themselves for a lifetime of transgressions. Overweight or underweight, but always with an unhealthy look around their eyes. Jittery, shaky, amped on coffee because they can’t enjoy a relaxing beverage.”

    This was seven years ago. I don’t feel this way anymore and I’m embarrassed that I was ever so judgmental. But we’re all works in process, and I feel fortunate enough to have been beaten down by life enough to gain a little bit of humility, understanding and grace. But that doesn’t change my view of AA from that time. I think that my impression might not be so far away from what many other people think when they hear AA.

    Now, I’m envious of people in AA, just as I’m envious of people who join any sort of group. I am one of those lonely people who should be looking for community with like-souls, but every time I meet up with people IRL, I walk away feeling badly about myself. This defect has become crystal clear over the past couple of years, but for now, I don’t know how to move forward. Anyone who wants to slam me about that paragraph earlier, have at it. I deserve it. But know that you’re not directing your ire at the same person.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Jeff, I think your comment is worth more than my blog post imho… honestly I think most of us feel that way about the idea of AA???? Some of the members in the meeting described feeling that way. I always love your honesty and it gets to the heart of the matter. I will delete some of all of it if you want, sorry I didn’t see this till now but if it’s any consolation, part of me wants to just remove the whole post lol. Or the blog for that matter. Totes up to you… and huge thanks to you. You’re one of the best commenters around blog town. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If you don’t think it’s obnoxious, don’t worry about it, I’d actually like for you to read the story it’s from, I think you could probably relate. It isn’t posted anywhere though, I’d need to email it. It was just about my final straw before quitting.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t think it’s obnoxious at all, it’s just feelings/impressions isn’t it? Though I didn’t catch on to the fact that you had been attending meetings by that quote above. I definitely don’t feel the need to say my name followed by “alcoholic” every time I’ve been asked to speak in the meetings, but I can see that these old-timers as they call them are real, organized, upstanding individuals and it has obviously worked for them so I am open-minded. I do live in a kind of special microcosm here so maybe each locale will yield different participants. My only criticism is that their main tenant is to help others by attracting newcomers, but the only newcomer I’ve seen so far is me. So maybe it needs a little jazzing up, to keep up with the times. But I also get the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” idea, so I can see both sides…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m misleading you. I haven’t attended any meetings. My spiritual beliefs don’t include an outside entity in a role of intervening or even caring what happens to me except maybe checking in every 10,000 years to see what’s happening in the neat experiment. The feat of not-drinking, I’ve got. Still getting used to who I am without alcohol.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Ah well I understood it right the first time then. :)) And you haven’t misled at all… I didn’t get the impression that your spiritual beliefs included an outside entity… what I loved about the AA book is that it makes it clear that we can rely on an inner higher power if not an outer one. At least that’s how I interpreted, which fits my own spiritual beliefs pretty well I think. It’s an energy, more than a (single) entity… thanks again Jeff.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Community is so very hard. And scary ….. it’s not easy to to deal with the committee in my head, and my own judgements of others…. which, to the measure I judge something, someone (and I’m the worst!) is the measure I will judge myself…. actually way worse in most cases. I’m a person of solitude but I tend to give myself way more than I need or is healthy. I need to remember I’m OK- you’re OK. I need to trust. And I need to realize I’m not as significant as I sometimes believe…Thank God. Thank you so much for sharing Jeff. I’m glad Nadine didn’t delete!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Awesome you have really connected with AA zoom! I appreciate the links you shared too! This journey never gets easy for me! I really wish I started counting days, gives a nice validation!
    This weekend is going to be a busy one. My daughter is coming home from college and we are transporting her and it’s 5hrs one way. What did I say to myself yesterday? “Maybe have a time Saturday night and just chill and have a drink or two.” Then I said “Absolutely no.” I seem to still have to tell myself no. Plus if I was to drink I have told myself awhile ago it’s not to “chill or calm my brain.” Anyway, just thought I’d share I still feel that struggle at times! Hope you have an awesome day!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right on gal… yes you have a full-packed life, you are a fantastic mom and I guess wife as well, and it does seem like an easy warm buzz doesn’t it… but the next day I often regret it. Keep up the good work, and yes it’s just that “absolutely no” decision isn’t it? For me I make it at the start of the day, for just one day. Even before meetings, I think I learned that from the big book of AA. The book’s male-centric language is a bit outdated but it’s just brilliant imho. Anyone can get something from it, whether they consider themselves “spiritual” or no. Hugs and huge thanks to you, as always. You are wonderful, I hope you know. 😍🙏🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nadine, it’s great to hear from you! I’m glad you’ve come back to the blog to check in and that you’ve found something that’s working for you! If writing helps, I hope it’s something that you continue as well because I always look forward to reading your posts! Sending love and light your way! ❤️🌟

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Collette! I still write quite a lot, though I publish less these days. Writing is therapy for me, as it is for many of us who blog I guess, and I can’t imagine going long without it. :)) I appreciate your kind words so much, as well as the love and light. Hugs and right back at you! 🤗💗🔆

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely to read you again Nadine. Sounds like you have had a great deal going on. It’s been one hell of a year that’s for sure. Glad you are doing ok though xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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