Ponder this:

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Prompted by Sunday Scribblings

My name is June and I’m an alcoholic.

I don’t write about it here because I am more than an alcoholic. Nevertheless, the fact of my disease underlies all the rest of what I am. In Alcoholics Anonymous, the club of which I am a member, the club to which no one aspires to belong, one of the mantras is: To keep [your sobriety], you have to give it away. The point is that once one has gained the wisdom to live life without alcohol, one is advised to share with those still struggling how that might be achieved.

An alcoholic, I have a penchant for standing alone. When it’s working, I call it “enjoying my own company.” Excessively indulged, it’s called isolating, and it leads to disproportionate introspection. I begin to feel that I am different, special, alone, disconnected. My comfortable world diminishes in size until it is no larger than the room in which I sit, and the room is filled with fear. My ego grows larger than it should be.

Yesterday, writing about the miracle of spring’s return, I wrote:
I can understand why suicides peak in the springtime. After the long dead sleep of winter, the world’s rebirth reveals my insignificance. My removal would have the same effect as a hand lifted from a bucket of water. As much as I am uplifted by this renascence I am here solely as observer.

It’s true, but it is a symptom of my disease that I think of my own importance in that way. I left it out of yesterday’s entry because it turned the whole mood dark smoky gray instead of joyfully radiant.
I didn't want to go there, but apparently I already was there.

It's not how good you think of yourself or how badly you think of yourself; it's how often you think of yourself.
An alcoholic is someone who wants to be held while isolating.
I may not be much, but I'm all I think about.
The three most dangerous words for an alcoholic: "I've been thinking."
My best thinking got me drunk.

Most people haven’t had the experience of an AA meeting; I expect they still think the members are stinky old men muttering down their stained ragged shirtfronts. Not true.

This is what an AA meeting is like: The Rooms are full of regular everyday people in regular clothes. Some are very well-dressed and expensively accessorized. Somebody starts the meeting, and either calls on people at random to talk about whatever’s going on with him or her, or the order follows the seating around the room. Each person’s contribution is newsy or matter-of-fact or melancholy or very often, hilarious. There’s nothing funnier than hearing somebody who knows better relate how he fell prey to his stinkin’ thinkin’ and handled a situation like the drunk he used to be.

The most uplifting times happen when a newcomer, lost soul, drifts in full of discomfort at the new situation, not knowing how to make himself appear to be in control (if it looks good on the outside, it must be good on the inside). To see a faint glimmer of hope begin to flicker deep in his eyes is a wonder, and it happens as he hears people talk about what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now.

You never know how much fun life can be until you’ve spent some time having no joy at all day after day. We aren't a glum lot.

For several months I haven’t been attending meetings.
I believe that I will go to this evening’s meeting.
I need to get connected once again.


LaLa said...

your post was very open and honest, in someway I think you have reconnected with us all on here

Sandra.if said...

you are able to understand what happens in your life and analyze with honesty...that is a good !

Americanising Desi said...

honesty always gets me.
you did wonderfully!

Happy SS

Deb said...

What you wrote, I needed to hear.

Carolynn Anctil said...

I applaud your courage in putting that out there. I'm please and proud of you for choosing to reach for the support that you know works and is there for you. You're stronger than you may yet give yourself credit for.

I would recommend a book to you by Dr. Gabor Mate (there's an accent on the e, I just can't put it on here). It's entitled, In the Realm of the Hungry Ghost and it's about addiction. The truth is, we're all addicts of one sort or another, to varying degrees. It's an incredible book that I highly recommend.


2cats said...

Very brave post. Your feelings came through quite clear. Thank you for sharing such personal feelings with us.

quin browne said...

stay connected. bill wanted that.

TJ said...

so personal. it is so hard to share those things sometimes. i hope the meeting helps you to connect.

Tumblewords: said...

Well written post - full of wisdom and forward movement.

June said...

Carolynn, I will keep an eye out for "In the Realm of the Hungry Ghost." Thank you!

Thank you all for the kudos for honesty.
"Honest" is really the only way I can go. Yet another AA slogan: "You're only as sick as your secrets."

Carolynn Anctil said...

If you're unable to find the book, I'd be more than happy to send you a copy. Just let me know. It would be my gift to you. :o)

Bluebethley said...

A very hard post to read. Thank you for "connecting" with yourself. So many people are affected by alcoholism, and for many, many years. Sometimes I think it takes a lifetime to heal.

Dee Martin said...

I'm late to the party as usual. I hope the meeting helped you "re-connect". One day at a time :)
I admire your honesty and bravery!


Unknown said...

I think that this is an excellent post because in many ways, it applies to all human beings, not just ones who are alcoholics.

Keep up the good writing!