Have you ever met someone so into recovery you almost feel like their new addiction is to meetings? You almost want to tell them they need a meeting to help ween them from all the meetings they are going to? It was hard for me to go to meetings because endlessly talking about drinking did not seem like a good idea to help me not drink. Also, they just seemed lame. Unfortunately, I've had to face the fact that anything that was getting in between me and a beer I made into something negative...and usually that negative association was that of being un-cool. Yes, I like to feel cool. That's not to say that these meetings are a panacea. There is a place in the book, and ya'll know what book I'm talking about, that describes the guy who has been a complete A-hole then turns his life around and becomes so dedicatory to helping others who have his same ailment that he neglects the people in his life just like he was when he was using/drinking. I know, I know...it's all part of the process, I get that, I also get that it's kinda lame behavior. By lame I mean it's not the perfect balancing act, it's not entirely the right thing to do. If making amends is as important as helping others than maybe spending too much time on your self-help isn't the right thing to do. Maybe the right thing to do is kill two birds with one stone and drop a meeting or two and dedicate the time to helping those you've pissed off, how bout that? When you are helping others it takes the time and space you'd be pouring vodka down the alpine slide of your esophagus. I'm not dissing on meetings, in fact, I wanted to mention the benefits of meetings while simultaneously airing some grievances because another thing I've learned is...when you make a bad list follow it with a good one. When you write down your fears, follow that with things you are grateful for. I'm not gonna stop complainin' so I better start learning how to say thank-you.
Meetings are amazing BECAUSE when you are an alcoholic it is hard to connect emotion to the degrading effects of alcohol because you were numb to those feelings while you were drinking. I call it “It’s all good amnesia”. Maybe you had a really horrible night, went to jail and swore off drinking forever. A couple weeks later you feel healthy and fine, but still would like to take the edge off and you convince yourself it’s okay to drink again. It’s no different than going back to an abusive spouse, “Oh, he’s not that bad.” Meetings remind you why you are not getting back into that relationship. It’s like having a group of friends that knew everything you went through and can say, “But he did this and this and this” while you try and justify him/it. At the end of the meeting you’re like “You’re right, he sucks.” When you admit you are powerless you are acknowledging that you do not have the capacity to see drinking for what it is because it is a "disease that tells you, you don't have a disease." As alcoholics we have to constantly be reminded of why we are not drinking because we're so strongly connected to the initial feel of that first drink that we forget the end result is not so tasty.
A writer living in Portland, OR looking to meet Chuck Palahniuk. Single mom to 2 boys, sales agent and lawyer-in-training.