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.