Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Long Winded Post

I've been introspective over the past week or so. I remember clearly this time last year. My drinking took a turn, I was no longer just binge drinking on the weekends anymore. I was starting to drink everyday.

I remember feeling so out of control, not wanting to drink but still drinking anyway. I remember the craziness of how I was going to get my alcohol, how I was going to be able to drink it without getting caught, how I was going to hide the evidence.

I remember how I hated to go to sleep and how I hated getting up in the morning even more. I remember the hopelessness. I remember thinking that my kids might be better off without me. I remember sitting at the busy highway I have to cross everyday and thinking that if I just inched my van out just a little in front of the big 18 wheelers flying past, I would no longer have to feel like I did.

I remember sitting in my bathroom on March 31st, trying to figure out how I was going to drink with Trevor being home. I was hungover, shaky and then I had this moment of clarity and I was able to honestly see what I was doing. I was taking medication with alcohol and that if I kept on there was a good chance I might not wake up one morning. I was drinking and driving with my children in the van. I was taking money that we needed for bills and buying alcohol which meant I had to hide our bills and money situation from JR. I was behaving like one who is suicidal.

I remember walking into my first AA meeting that very day.

And here I am today. I take my medication like I'm supposed to. I no longer drink and drive. I no longer sit at the highway contemplating pulling out in front of a speeding truck. I no longer spend our money on alcohol and I no longer have to hide our bills or money situation from JR, as a matter of fact I handed over the bills to him because it was the best thing to do.

I have hope today.

I do feel sad when I think back to last year. I feel sad for the lost soul that I was.

But then if I hadn't gone through all that I wouldn't be where I am today.

I mentioned in a post about the situation I'm having with some of my friends. Basically I have my sponsor and then I have this other group. This other group I've come to find out don't care for my sponsor. And while I know my sponsor is not perfect, neither are they. And my sponsor does not bash any of those people to me. But they don't hesitate to bash her in front of me. And it makes me uncomfortable and sometimes it even makes me a little pissed.

About once a month this group of people get together and I'm always invited. We do have a good time together but I've come to see the gossip that takes place which leaves me feeling uneasy, almost like I've participated in the gossiping by being there.

At the end of this month is a big AA convention in Ocean City, MD and I'm supposed to room with this group for an entire weekend. We planned this months ago, way before my sponsor now was my sponsor. I have been looking forward to this convention for a long time and I'm starting to wonder if it's the right thing for me to do.

I don't feel like I can talk with my sponsor about this because I don't want to tell her what has been said. I know it would upset her and I don't want to cause any more problems between them.

My sponsor has been nothing but good to me since the day I met her. She took me right under her wing and made me feel welcome. She's been sober 29 years and I respect her program and all the advice she has ever given me. When we went over my steps 1, 2 and 3 a couple of weeks ago, I felt even more sure that she is the sponsor for me. And I hate how this other group, particularly one woman feels that I'm better off with someone else.

This situation has made me look at my program and I'm starting to wonder if I'm looking to AA to be more of a social thing. I mean, isn't it good to hang out with your friends in AA? To have fun sober with those in AA?

Today I had my Southern Living At Home party, my sponsor's daughter was the consultant and do you know that none of the people from the other group came and I know it was because my sponsor was going to be there. I actually had one woman (who is not someone I hang out with but she is a part of the "other" group) give me back my invitation when she found out who the consultant was. I found that a bit rude but I just let it go because honestly, I only invited her to be polite.

But you know, we had such a good time today. It was relaxed and comfortable. We laughed, we ate, it was wonderful. I'm glad none of them showed up because it wouldn't have been that way.

One of the better parts of today was that JR and my kids got to meet alot of the women they hear me mention. I could see JR relax as he realized these are good women and that we all really do care about each other. My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law came too and they got to see the same thing.

So while I am feeling a bit conflicted, I had a really good day. And I get $200 free to spend on anything I want just because I had a party, I think that made JR even happier!

And if you have stayed and read this blong (I stole that word from steve-a-roni, thanks!!), well, God bless you.


molly said...

i'm so glad you are here. i relate to a lot of what you said. it keeps getting better doesn't it?!

the thing that came to mind about the other dilemma is a recent post on Irish Friend's site called 'aa is not a social club. friendship in aa is a bonus, not a given':

hope that helps in some way. i enjoyed reading the post :)

steveroni said...

Tyra, you can 'steal' anything steveroni has which you need--always. But, hey, a couple things here: "But then if I hadn't gone through all that I wouldn't be where I am today." How TRUE, try not to be sad over something which has turned out SO GOOD! OK?

Other thing: "I only invited her to be polite." Tyra this struck me because I am like that, too! I want Everyone to LOVE me. I ain't gonna happen. (I'm talking to myself here.) IN AA as well as OUT of AA we now are allowed to "pick our friends". I have an allegience to my sponsor (maybe you do not, doesn't matter) and if a group keep spreading gossip like you describe, I'd FIRE them as friends.

Any chance your sponsor could accompany you to the conference?

Please note, My "meanderings" are not usually from GOD -grin. Just random thought, to take or leave. OK?

I've noticed--as have others--a growth in your personal life, a newfound way to deal with the struggle of family stuff, etc. So stay sober today, and things will be as they ought!

Anonymous said...

Not long winded at all.

You know what you need to do. You have a really great lady in your life. Don't waste your time with people who are cutting her down.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tyra

Like Molly I relate to much of what you said. Something very similar happened to me when I was new in AA and eager to belong, feeling caught between two gossipy factions and noticing that some people were being excluded from social invites.

I felt very unhappy and compromised until I spoke up and said I didn't want to hear any more gossip. And that I wasn't going to go along to social get-togethers to hear AA members trashing one another.

At the same time I began asking those who were being excluded out for coffee -- they were often ignored if they were eccentric or badly dressed or had poor table manners. That way I felt that I was making a point to myself and my own fear of being excluded. AA is not a social club -- conflict is inevitable but for me the issue of principles before personalities says it all.

Love to you

rcali4233 said...

At some point we are all lost souls in are own life full of are own mistakes. You learned from that and started going to the rooms. For me it was snapping at my son over something so small. That was it for me.

I stated going to AA, my wife at the time was happy. Now she wants a divorce because of her own issues, she has lost her drinking buddy and the comfert of the crazy up and down life we had. Her up bringing was around her drunk mom and it was just as crazy and more up and down then our marriage. Now she can't handle it so she is running to find a new party guy who more then likly will do the same to her again. But thats her problem now. Great post

Shadow said...

hey! nice to have you here, now, today, as you are.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

You know no one in my small town and small AA really likes my sponsor, they like her as far as she's not their sponsor...LOL!

I can relate to this, I've had people in AA ask me not to attend their meetings because they were there and they didn't like me, and I've come to realize that there are only some people I will connect with in any situation.

Not everyone will like me or the friends I have, that's okay. You have a good sponsor that's all that matters. Remember it's principles before personalities.

Much love to you and not a BLong at all.

Sarah said...

I love a good blog, especially if it is long and interesting. I was exactly like you, three years ago and I don't miss a thing about it!

Findon said...

Gossiping is the thing I try to avoid. It always leaves me feeling guilty and uneasy when I am in a group and they start to gossip. I have to fight myself really hard not to join in and i always feel better for it when I dont.

clean and crazy said...

you will always run across difficult people. even your friends. try to think about what you like about the person who is making you uncomfortable try to love them right where the are at, are you really uncomfortable with them or is it that you feel you are being disloyal to your sponsor? Your sponsor will not be hurt by what the others have to say, she has been around awhile and she knows that it is none of her business what others think about her. It has taken me 4 years to realize this in recovery. Think about who is really hurting, why do they feel the need to gossip, in front of you, about your sponsor? really i think they are in a lot of pain and you can pray for them and if it would make you feel better you should talk to your sponsor about it. the minute you feel the need to keep a secret from your sponsor is the minute you need another one. secrets keep us sick. it is better to get it out and be done with it. no wonder you've been feeling down lately you've kept this bottled up for so long. if you don't want to stay with them then say so, you have that right and it will be ok. so there is my long winded comment!! take care of you

Pam said...

Maybe your sponsor is giving you the chance to find out for yourself if you want to be a part of that group.

vicariousrising said...

I'm kind of like Louisey in that I tend to gravitate towards those the group shuns ( provided it's not because the person is a nasty creep). I try to hang out with all kinds and not join in mean gossip. When I can, I don't necessarily attack those participating in those behaviors, but rather point out the good qualities of the person in question, making it clear I like him or her.

It's a tricky line to walk, and while AA is not a social club, it is a support group. When a large chunk of that group only supports people like them or whom they approve of, someone new in the program can have a hard time knowing what the right way to go is. I think your heart is telling you the right answers.