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.