Just the kick I needed

I was saying yesterday that I needed a “kick up the arse”.  Well it presented itself in the form of the meeting I had been asked to speak at.  I rolled up early, had a cup of tea and a chat with some regular friends.  I then picked my reading – beginning of Chapter 5 “How it Works” and that was kindly read out and then the secretary handed over to me.  I’d expected my “chair” to be my normal drunkalog with tails of how I started as a teenager, realised early on I drank differently from others, progressed through my 20s to a serious issue about the time my son was born when I then realised I had all these responsibilities that I’d never really thought about – continued into my 30s getting steadily worse and worse, being in NYC on 9/11 and how that accelerated my drinking at that point, then in my early 40s I tried to control/stop and found I couldn’t and that it had me… the trip to rehab, getting into AA, rebuilding relationships with my family, getting to know the real me and continuing to try and work a recovery programme that keeps me sober and makes me feel a better person.  However… none of that really came out!  I talked about where I have been recently, isolating, frightened about the forthcoming operation and upset about my tinnitus issues.  I spoke about the bits in the reading I love – rigorous honesty – with myself!  What is that?  Why is it always a struggle for me?  The façades and masks I used in my drinking and how removing them has been a long process in recovery.  How alcohol is “Cunning, baffling and powerful”; remembering those last days of drinking when I was simply compelled to keep drinking despite all my logical thought and argument with myself.  The steps and how I continually re-evaluate where they sit with me and what I need to work on within them and in particular the last bit of Step 12 “practice these principles in all our affairs” (my emphasis).  It isn’t just about drinking and being in AA but so much more.  How I’ve had to reattempt bits, esp Steps 3 and 7 when I settled on a view of higher power that is much closer to the atheist end of the spectrum than a vicar’s or imam’s would be.  I could no longer “fake it to make it” with the prayers when I didn’t believe there is anything listening to the prayer in the way I thought as a child.

A couple of guys who were at the meeting who know me well and could probably have given a reasonable account of my drunkalog story as they’ve heard it so many times before said that they’d never heard that version of my story.  Not surprised… neither had I!  I’m so glad I didn’t plan what to say and just let come out of my mouth what needed to come out of my mouth.  Not sure where I am but I’m certainly closer to the path I ought to be on than where I was a couple of days ago

I’m off to hospital tomorrow for some tests as part of the pre-op assessment etc.  Last night really helped me feel less stressed about it and I’m seeing my counsellor tonight too so I can’t be better prepared emotionally for it.

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About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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13 Responses to Just the kick I needed

  1. looby says:

    Fingers crossed for the hospital Graham.

  2. ainsobriety says:

    Letting it out is one way to healing. Speaking your fears out loud does take away their power. I find anything I hide because I am afraid of what others will think of me always festers.

    The term rigorous honesty stood out for me last night too. I try to be completely honest. I no long tell a little white lie if I am late, etc.

    The truth is simplest and I never have to worry what I have made up.

    I also hope your medical issues have a smooth resolution.

  3. Lily says:

    I like that term ‘rigorous honesty,’ a trait I’m no longer scared to exhibit.

    Hope all goes well at your appointment Graham.

  4. I’m so glad you learned some things about yourself in your share. What a gift!

    I too lean towards more atheistic beliefs (or perhaps agnostic is more accurate for me), and I found the god talk in AA difficult, mostly because some members got on me about not believing in God as a higher power. As I sat with myself more in meetings, I was able to come to some understanding for my own sobriety purposes. I’m glad to know there are others like you who have different stances as well.

    My thoughts will be with you for your operation.

    • furtheron says:

      I tried to be an agnostic which to me is someone who believes there is a God but can’t explain it. Hmm… See I still struggle with the “God” thing totally – I really don’t believe there is a “God”. However for me to say that categorically seems massively arrogant – and arrogance is something I’ve accused believers of various faiths over the years with – I mean how can you believe that your vision of a God that by definition can only exist by faith alone is the only one? But for me to stand as a total atheist and say that there is no God – well that’s as bad….
      I once described myself to someone as a “militant agnostic” which meant I was closer to atheist but still not willing to shut the door totally – however they thought that was some violent movement… the lexicon in this area to help me seems far too illusive. Btw – anyone who has a clear and abiding faith I have an element of jealousy over, being able to rock up at some denomination or other and just believe it and have that bedrock in your soul … truly I do envy that, it’d make a lot of this agonising easier for me

      • I absolutely agree with you that it would be so much easier to have faith. It brings people such comfort that I can’t bring myself to argue with them over their beliefs. I used to believe, and I felt safer for it.

        “Militant agnostic” lol. I guess my belief, limited as it is, is that there is likely something (or some things) greater than myself out there in this huge universe and I cannot grasp the greatness nor can I determine whether or not those greater things created us, love us, think of us at all or consider us amusing ants in an ant farm… I can’t think of whatever it is as “God”. I certainly don’t feel like it’s something I can depend upon to take away my flaws.

        My therapist was an atheist, something I only discovered many years into therapy. It only came up because I was talking about AA and all the god talk with him. I did find it comforting that his beliefs were different, even from my own and that he held zero judgment about mine.

  5. Hi Graham!
    I feel like a dummy here, as I have been reading your posts, but I don’t know what operation you are having?
    Is it to help with your ears?
    I was thinking of you, because on Sunday, my ear (the only one I have a little bit of hearing in, the other one is now deaf), was making SO much noise, I thought I’d go crazy.
    It’s a very hard condition to have. Sometimes I can’t sleep.
    I wish I had a strong faith. I guess I’d be an agnostic.
    There IS so much more to recovery than just stopping drinking, you are right!
    xo
    Wendy

  6. elsieamata says:

    I hope your appointment went well at the hospital. I was just reading “How It Works,” last week. I love that I can go back to the Big Book and still find something new with each pass. Good stuff in there.

  7. suburbia says:

    Sorry you’re stressed, I would be too if I had an impending op! Good luck and hope it goes well.
    So wonderful that you could say what you felt without examining it first – did you journal it?
    How’s the course? For me it really F***ed me up at times!

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