I’ve been on vacation for a few days with both my pup and my fiancé. We are at our wedding venue, making plans, and also visiting her family. It’s been a busy few days. They’ve been beautiful and I’m entirely grateful for every bump in the road. They are sober bumps. And for that…I’m eternally grateful.
I wanted to hop on here because I’ve been quiet. I was processing my feelings about being criticized for putting myself out here, for creating this space, and speaking my truth. I feel sad about that. I also feel angry. Anger tends to get me nowhere. I know from experience, that anger is truly a dead-end road. It leads absolutely nowhere. Feeling angry isn’t something I’m comfortable with. There’s a common phrase repeated in the room’s of A.A.: feel your feelings. What does that look for me? A lot. Being honest about what my day’s and moment’s look like. Showing up to meetings, dates, etc. even if I feel crummy. Writing on here especially when I feel like I have nothing to say.
I’ve never felt guarded before. I’ve never felt like telling my truth could possibly hurt other people and now, now that I know it does, I can’t stop feeling like what I’m writing will be picked apart. As a writer though, and a human, I didn’t sign up for easy. I also know there’s no taking the easy way out once you’ve opened Pandora’s Box. Like they say in A.A., going to meeting’s ruins drinking. I don’t know if that’s everyone’s experience, but I do know that for me, when I began having this conversation, this discussion on my drinking habits, I had no idea where they would lead. I didn’t know that I couldn’t unknow what I had learned to be true: that I had an allergy to alcohol, that I can’t and won’t ever drink “normally,” that things could get so much worse.
I feel like my relationship with A.A. has ebbed and flowed over the last few years. Recently, I’ve been feeling like I could use the support. I also feel like I need to be gentle with myself. It’s been 34 days of no drinking. This is not my first time, but in hoping it’s my last, I’m making sure to really feel through my day’s. I’m trying to mentally remove the temptation (it’s hard), the inner voice that had told me for 6 years, you can go back out. There is nothing wrong with you. Just do it. Drink. It’ll be different this time.
It hasn’t been though. Augusten Burrough’s writes:
In 100 percent of the documented cases of alcoholism worldwide, the people who recovered all shared one thing in common, no matter how they did it:
They didn’t do it.
They just didn’t do it.
I love that quote because it’s what has sustained me through the last 33 days. Things change. But, I don’t drink. I just don’t. It’s hard to admit to myself that for me, my drinking solution might be so simple: don’t do it. For me, those three words feel right.
Tomorrow, we head home and then we head back out on the road for the rest of the week. I might look for a few meetings. I definitely will be reading many books. I’m going to try to pop on here and be fearless in my writing: telling my truth exactly how it is.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I had never considered that I might have an issue with drinking. I feel like it changed my life in an irrevocable way. I don’t know what things would be like if I had the knowledge I have now, and could go back in time. Would I go to a meeting? Would I drink? Would I choose, still, to be sober but before the hard, bad things had to happen? I don’t know. And I wish I did. But the truth is, that we can’t go back. Like Cheryl Strayed says, we can only salute our “sister life” from the shore. We don’t know what might’ve happened, we only know what has and what is.
I have a fascination with tarot and I think it’s because I wish I could read into my future. But the truth of the matter is, I can’t. I can only look at beautifully illustrated reminders of all I’ve surrived and apply my truth’s to my hypothetical future. That’s all a future is: a hypothetical, a maybe. The cards offer me an opportunity to indulge a little bit, to see what things could be like, to maybe even plan accordingly.
I hope to read my cards in regards to A.A. I know I need to find a support group for my sobriety, but I’m unsure if it’s the right one. I need to be reminded that this is all part of the journey and I need to see the physical reminder of an image or word, I need to hold the card and recognize that everything can change in a second, that my path is limitless, but only if I walk it. I wonder what card I’d draw. I do know this, that nothing changes if nothing changes.
Tonight is pizza, TV, and reading with a side of tea. Tomorrow is another sober day. It might be beautiful. I hope it is.