Tomorrow I’m driving south to Freeport and Portland for some medical appointments and to see a couple people. Including my sponsor. I have today off and found myself wondering what I would do. Thoughts started going through my mind about what I could be doing with my day off.
I could write, I could sleep, I could watch TV, I could buy cookies or peanut butter cups and just snack all day. I could buy a bottle of bourbon. I could buy a bottle of wine.
My thoughts then quickly ran to getting to a meeting.
I’m glad I did. There were again stories of how people got in the rooms, stories of how people stayed in the rooms, how people came back to the rooms. I was reminded of how I got to be in the rooms. How I stopped being a dry drunk and became, instead, a sober alcoholic.
It was (roughly) four and a half years ago that I went to a friend’s sobriety celebration. I was so happy for and proud of this person. She deserved all the celebration possible. Then I listened to the stories.
These stories could be mine. Sneaking wine into work. Drinking bourbon more than I drank water. Celebrating every opportunity to drink on someone else’s dime. … Realizing it was time to say, “My name is…”
That evening I went to my first meeting. I said my name is for the first time. I got my first phone numbers. I cried with strangers for the first time.
The practice of saying, “My name is,” going to meetings, crying in front of strangers didn’t stop there. I was consistent for a couple years. Then we moved away from what I considered “MY” recovery community. I was reminded of just how introverted and “stranger danger” I am.
Two years down the line and I’m still introverted, I’m still not great about getting to meetings, but every time I do I’m reminded of how great Maine’s recovery community is. I walk into rooms full of strangers and instead of being paralyzed with fear I feel less alone. I feel more like I may be able to actually not just not drink, but actually be sober. There’s such a difference between the two. One it’s not always possible to see and know, but as was stated in today’s meeting multiple times, “Keep on working it.”
Maybe it won’t be two months between meetings again. Maybe just a day or two. Either way. I’m not going to pick up today. And that’s going to be a crucial first step. As the big books of various programs say. Today I’m admitting it. I’m powerless over alcohol. I can’t pretend I’m not anymore.
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