Feeling like me

 

calm

It has been an interesting 227 days since I decided to get sober.  It has been difficult, emotional and stressful.  The early days were really hard.  People kept saying it would get easier, but I couldn’t even imagine how that would be possible, but it has, and it was.

After 73 days I finally got up the nerve to step into an AA meeting.  I had so many mixed emotions about going, fear, shame, and embarrassment.  I remember that moment and the fear I had when I looked into that room for the first time and the moderator looked at me and said, “You are in the right place.”  I thought, I AM?  How did I get HERE?

It took me another month to utter my name and the word alcoholic in the same sentence.  It took me a month and a half to open my mouth to speak the first time,  I had hives all over my neck, and my face turned bright red.  I don’t like talking about myself.

I began to take the program seriously, I saw how much help just listening was giving me.  I went out and bought the literature, I began reading websites devoted to AA, I actively started to seek a sponsor.  I wanted what THEY had.  I started to work the program, and became more comfortable in my recovery.  Friends began to see a change in me.

Then the road trip happened.  I was out of my element.  Out of my routine.  Out of my home environment.  Out of my bed.

I let my program work lapse.  I was going to meetings, but not feeling connected. I was in the room, but not IN the room.

I wasn’t posting on my blog, I wasn’t reading any of my books, or websites.  I wasn’t working on my 4th step.  It seemed that because I was away from home, my recovery work had taken a vacation and I had allowed it.

I was eager to leave New York and get back to Tennessee.  I wanted to get my routine back.  I wanted to feel comfortable in my element again.  I wanted to get back to MY meeting and my program work.

My running partner noticed an immediate change in my demeanor upon my return.   He said I had become negative again.  It was then that it hit me, I had not been doing the work.  I had just been sitting in a chair in the meetings in NY.  I hadn’t participated, spoken to anyone, gotten involved with the group.  I had the mentality that this was temporary with an attitude that matched.

I am leaving Tennessee in a couple of weeks to head back to New York for an undetermined amount of time.  I don’t want this lethargy to happen again.  I asked my sponsor if she thought it was because I was going to meetings WITH someone, something I do not do here at home.   She suggested I establish my own routine of meetings to go to, and attend alone if that will make me more involved.

I need my own space to work my program. Getting driven to meetings made me feel as though I was a “guest”.  I need to pick a meeting and establish it as “home”.  I need to speak to some people, I need to get comfortable.   I need to do this so that I can continue to work on my recovery, I can’t take a break just because I am not in my own element.  (Especially out where the grapes grow.)

I need to figure out how to be this different me everywhere, not just here where I am most comfortable.

Isn’t it ironic, that when I drank, I never had difficulty feeling like ME wherever I was.  I am sure that had a lot to do with the bottles of wine that I always traveled with.  That was me in those bottles.

I now have a new version, me 2.0, and I have to figure out how to take her on the road.

 

Do-The-Work_thumb2

 

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13 thoughts on “Feeling like me

  1. Thanks for this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about AA lately. I’ve become more involved in the online sober community, but I’m at a point where I think face to face conversations would be helpful. I want what you had in your Tennessee AA meetings! I’m glad your running partner was able to recognize you had changed and that you’re taking steps to get back to your authentic sober self. You strike me as an intelligent and determined person, so I have every confidence you will figure out how to take “You 2.0” on the road! I admire your courage and insight. 🙂

    • I too, thought about AA a lot before I go my nerve up to just go do it. I felt the same, blogs, email and websites are great, but real live people are better. There is one man in my TN meetings on Monday nights that always seeks me out at the end to see how I am doing. We did work together on a golf course for two summers, but still, he doesn’t have to stay and listen and give me his help.
      Try it, once you get through the door, the rest is easy. 🙂

  2. Your self awareness says so much about how much work you’ve already done. Good luck in your journey through recovery. Your comment on my post the other day was the push I needed to go to AA and I am heading there tomorrow for the first time:)

    • I hope that it works for you. It certainly can’t hurt. Once I got through the door of the first one, I tried others to see if there was something out there that felt better. I stuck with my first one, and now it is like coming home. I actually look forward to Monday nights. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that would happen.
      There was a meeting I went to in NY that also felt good. I plan on that one becoming home base when I head back up there in August.
      Let me know how it goes tomorrow. Sober people are the nicest people I have ever met!

  3. You’ve done great getting to AA, and doing all the work you have done. I have stood outside a building where I have known an AA meeting is being run, but never yet dared walk inside. I’ve decided to start with the support of the people closest to me, and hopefully the blogging community – but your post has inspired me to take that step inside to an AA meeting if it works out that’s what I need to do. Thank you.

    • AA works for some, and not for others. I like it because I feel “normal” in that room. They understand what it is like to not be able to drink just ONE drink, and how sometimes ONE bottle just isn’t enough. As I has said, you may need to try more than one meeting for a good fit. I got discouraged in the beginning, but a lot of that was my discomfort in my own skin.
      Give it a go, see if you like it. Let me know. 🙂

  4. There will come a time when you feel like home in your own skin, and it won’t matter where you go, or where you are. Just keep plugging along – good post! Thank you!

  5. It’s an inside job. Like JL says there, after a point, you won’t need to worry where you are and what bed you’re in, you’re still there. Getting into our skin takes time. I occassionally get out of it, and I don’t enjoy it. So when I get negative or stuff like that, I know I am off centered somewhere and I gently bring it back to my connection with my HP. I need to do the work and stay connected, but my recovery is between me and the Creator. Stay connected with others, do the work and keep with your HP. it’s really that simple 🙂

    • Easy peasy lemon squeezy? I am still a work in progress. It may seem simple but I still am new at it and need to continuously remind myself. I still can’t still my mind for the length of one song while running. Work in progress.

      • sorry, SL – didn’t mean to come across that it’s a cake walk. My first year of recovery was brutal and most other alcoholics in recovery will say the same. So I apologize if I made it over simplistic. But over time it does become that. But the work comes first in this process. Staying close to your HP when the chips are down and your first thought is a drink. I had a crisis (or at least thought it was) early on in my recovery and I texted my sponsor and all he said was “Pray” and that was it. And I did. In a men’s washroom stall, my knees on the floor.

        I too am a work in progress. i get the monkey mind still. I have my days where I am off balance, as I mentioned. That’s why I still blog, still reach out, still talk to others. i don’t have this licked in any way, shape or form. But all I can tell you is that this gets better. I need to remind myself too (that’s why I go to meetings), but there does come a point after the spiritual awakening (as a result of working the steps) where it does become simpler. My life at this point is about simplifying. Keeping the monkey mind quieter.

        Again, I am sorry if I came across all-knowing Yoda-ish…I am far from that, my friend 🙂

      • You didn’t at all. It is a saying I used to use with my kids when something sounded easy but was in fact hard.
        I did not mean to be glib. I am working hard and your right it is getting easier. I am a creature of routine and it is working to keep me sober. It is the change in scenario that makes it difficult. I just need to learn to keep doing the work no matter where I am.
        Your help and advice has been so valuable to me. I took no offense at all to what you said.
        You lift me up with all of your responses. 🙂

    • You can do this. It is hard. The first month is a bear, but it DOES get better. The one thing I do know for sure, is no matter where you go, no one but you cares what is or isn’t in your glass. As alcoholics we are self centered and think people are noticing us, they aren’t. My email is patriotgirl0@gmail.com. If you just want someone to chat with, email me. I am always around.
      Stay strong, and welcome to the world where you are “normal” 🙂

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