Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 6

Little to report on Day 6 besides digesting yesterday's mini-lightning bolt.

"This is a sick man. God save me from being angry." - The BB

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 5

Last night I was studying "More About Alcoholism" in the BB w/my sponsor when I had an epiphany about P.

It happened when I read this sentence: "In some circumstances we have gone out deliberately to get drunk, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like." I immediately thought of her going back out over her breakup with my ex. Frankly, I empathized with her at that moment, not because I thought drinking was a good idea, but I have certainly done such things in the past myself.

So why haven't I had any compassion for her?

And I realized I haven't had an compassion for her because she hasn't asked for any. She has always come flouncing in to meetings like her drama just didn't happen. She has never once shared with anyone (to my knowledge) that she is in spiritual pain, and she needs help. If she expressed that, I would feel some sympathy for her.

So the question for me is, do I have to wait for her?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 4

Day 4 convicts me to speak the way I want to act. Example? I probably should no longer describe P as "someone I can't f-ing stand". If I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Praying For Someone I Can't F-ing Stand: Day 3

Slight bump in the road today, in that I was comfortably seated in the noon meeting when P walked in. The moment I saw her I got the increased pulse and feeling of dread that I feel whenever I see her. Well, it's more like dread and indignation, but anyway ...

I had already sat down next to yesterday's victim and we were chatting when she walked in and saw us both sitting together. For a moment she looked like she might need an emergency potty break.

She spent the rest of the meeting Not Seeing Us. I thought to myself with a twinge of pity, how long before you can't look at any of us in here?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Praying For Someone I Can't F-ing Stand: Day 2

Two days of praying are behind me. I am praying that P gets everything I would want for myself and for the willingness to continue to do this, because it really isn't easy.

However, a strange thing has already happened. Yesterday P and my ex broke up, but P called Ex later on and asked him for a ride to that night's meeting. He declined and said he was taking someone else (okay, with her track record, probably not the best thing to tell her, but I digress).

P then calls the poor woman chairing this meeting, and asks her to call her when the meeting is over and tell her who Ex brought to the meeting. Chair told her she would do no such thing because it violates the Traditions (good for her!).

So P hung up on her mad as a wet hen, and then called her back and left her a snotty voice mail about whether she had the required amount of time to chair the meeting anyway. P then left me and BF each the same message.

I mention all this not because the drama itself it particularly weird (it's par for the course when P's around), but because of the effect it's had on my thinking about her.

I have been in recovery long enough to know what to do when I have a resentment. I could put all that BB stuff to music and dance to it. So why have I not wanted to forgive P for what she's done? What real harm have I suffered? BF and I are stronger than ever. I have lost no friends over this. I didn't get drunk.

I've been afraid to forgive P because I've feared that if I do forgive her, she will do all that crap again.

But she's still doing it! Yesterday proves it.

When I was little there was this cartoon about Ralph and Sam. They were wolf and sheepdog, and every morning, they punched in on a time clock and Sam went to guard the sheep and Ralph tried to steal them. Then the whistle would blow at the end of the day, and Ralph and Sam would say a cordial goodnight to each each other and go home. They each were who they were, and they did what they did, and it was nothing personal.

P and I are not so different from Ralph and Sam. We get up every morning, and we each do the best we know how to do. Neither of us gets up and says to ourselves "I'm really going to f--- things up today!" (regardless of what it may look like). One tries to steal, one tries to keep.

Just be glad you're not a sheep in this little town!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Forgiving Someone I Can't F-ing Stand: The Series

I'm embarking on a project in forgiving someone over the next 14 days, and I'll be chronicling it here. First, let's get the reader up to speed ....

I'm on a mission to forgive a woman in my home group whom I will refer to as P.

I have known P for almost a year, and during that time, she has

  • Openly gone after BF
  • Called BF's ex wife to report to her about us when he blew her off
  • Started going out with my ex (admittedly, this is their prerogative since I have moved on)
  • Once she felt my ex was paying too much attention to me, she called everyone on our group's phone list to tell them I was sleeping with him behind BF's back
  • Then drunkenly threatened to kill me during a meeting I was chairing
Knowing her has been like having a season pass to the Museum of Crazy.

So yesterday she calls and leaves me a voice mail, asking to meet me for coffee so she can make an amends to me.


I would rather have a bikini wax and then wade in a pool of rubbing alcohol than do that!

So I called my sponsor. She instructed me to let P know that I would call her once I was ready. Then, I am to pray for her every day for two weeks as described in the BB on page 552 of the 4th edition. Then, barring any new and especially insane developments, I will meet with her.


Last night I prayed for her for the first time....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Method and My Madness

Things I tried in order to control my drinking before getting into recovery:

  • Only drinking beer
  • Only drinking on weekends
  • Drinking only one drink per hour
  • Drinking only after eating
  • Only drinking at home
  • Only drinking when away from home
  • Seven Weeks To Sobriety
  • Self-hypnosis CDs (that's humbling to admit!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gone in 60 Seconds

I did a small job for our area's upcoming Gratitude Gala recently, which allowed me to meet the District officers and volunteers. The chairman of the Gala committee was 2 years sober. He seemed really enthusiastic about the event.

He relapsed this weekend, and the money the District fronted him for the event is gone.

You know, I couldn't really care less about the money. Really what gives me the heebie-jeebies is the concept that in seconds, all my sobriety can be gone. Years of work, vanished. The trust I have earned inside and outside the recovery community, ruined.

It's terrifying. It makes me grateful for my sobriety. It reminds me that the enemy still stalks me, and my HP is my only defense.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why closed meetings?

A comment on my previous post brought up the very good question: why closed meetings?

A closed meeting is a meeting in which anyone who has a desire not to drink that day is welcome. It doesn't matter if it's your first meeting or your thousandth. Doesn't matter if you desired to drink the day previous, or you'll be drinking the next day. It doesn't even matter if you'll drink right after the meeting in question. All one needs is the desire not to drink to attend a closed meeting.

An open meeting is open to the public. While that sounds nice and fuzzy, let's remember who makes up the public: ex-spouses, bosses, probation officers, reporters, nosy neighbors, in-laws ... in short, all sorts of folks you might not feel comfortable sharing in front of. They do not need to have a desire not to drink, just a sense of curiosity. They are not bound by the traditions of anonymity. Alcoholics who are deeply concerned about their own anonymity may choose not to attend open meetings for this reason, and that's their right.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A is for Alcohol

Today we had someone new to our CLOSED meeting identify himself as a sex addict. He continued on to say that he "was told to go to as many meetings as possible."

Yeah, probably meaning SA meetings, dumbass, not any 12-step meeting you come across!

The primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous is to carry the message to the ALCOHOLIC that still suffers. If you are attending a closed meeting, you need to have a desire not to drink today to stay seated. If you're looking forward to celebrating a full day without looking at porn on your computer with a couple of beers, you should not attend A.A.