Sober since April 6, 2006


Monday, January 29, 2007

new difficulty: living sober without desperation

It's easy to go to meetings and do whatever it takes to stay sober when I have a certain amount of desperation motivating me. Staying sober in the beginning was a constant battle that I was terrified to lose.

But now, there is no battle. There are no cravings. The desperation that kept me doing all the right things is gone.

I didn't want to go to a meeting tonight. I'm tired. I didn't go last night or the night before. I was tired then too. Energy was not a factor of influence when I was desperate. Meetings take up increasingly more energy than they used to.

At most meetings in my area, you're expected to arrive with sufficient pretentious fakery to appear as if you're a poster child of AA. At a typical meeting, there are usually anywhere from 50-100 people, and each one of them maniacally insists on hugging me. (I hate it when complete strangers insist on hugging me ... it makes me want to physically harm them.)

They stand around talking while shot up with caffeine, wearing plastic smiles plastered onto their faces, sporting their newest preppy clothes, and pretending to be happy social butterflies -- usually because their sponsor is watching them from across the room.

Well that's good for them, but it makes me uncomfortable. It gives me the impression that I can't be honest there because the whole thing is fake. I don't have the energy to deal with it right now.

I'm grateful that my homegroup is open and honest -- I just wish it met more often than two nights a week. It's okay if I don't arrive freakishly happy. I don't have to be dressed like an Ann Taylor model. I don't have to pretend that everything is okay when it isn't. I don't have to socialize with putridly happy fake people. Instead, I can be real because my homegroup members are real.

In the past, I was willing to put up with things I didn't like because I was desperate to stay sober -- even if it meant playing someone else's game to fit in at a meeting. But now staying sober is normal. Every sober day is no longer a miracle. It's just another normal day. I no longer ask God to keep me sober, because that's not a problem anymore ... but I usually remember to thank Him for it.

I guess this is just some kind of strange transition that I never expected to make. I never thought that my 24/7 daily obsession with alcohol would just go away. Where did it go? Why? It feels strangely unnatural ... as if I've lost my shadow.

Does this mean I can drink now? Sure -- I can drink alcohol almost as safely as I can drink cyanide. Either one will kill me. I'm just baffled as to why the obsession is gone ... and the desperation too. You'd think I'd be happy to get rid of the desperation, but I'm kind of scared not to have it.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 298 days sober
  • the awesome people in my homegroup
  • my family
  • fourth step work
  • having people in my life that I can talk to
  • having a job that worked me 50 hours last week and wants me back earrrrly tomorrow morning
  • text messaging on my cell phone
  • my dog
  • my nice soft bed ... getting sleepy
  • God, because I can fall asleep without worrying about anything


Pam said...

What an honest post!! It sounds like you're having some growing pains. Sometimes we grow out of a group...your gratitude for sobriety is showing...and it looks good on you.

Trudging said...

Very honest

recoveryroad said...

298 rocks big time!


"At most meetings in my area, you're expected to arrive with sufficient pretentious fakery to appear as if you're a poster child of AA."

Easy. Change your meetings.

**no-one likes a smartarse, Kenny**

Sober Chick said...

Something my sponsor told me is that she prays to God to never forget her desperation. Our emotions have no memory sometimes, sure the desperation may be gone, but we must never forget what is was like.

Keep on being real. No need to wear a mask.

Mark said...

Please... never, never forget...

"Alcohol is a subtle foe"

No matter what, good, bad or indifferent - maintain -

Constant Vigilance


Anonypus said...

I'm so with you on the hugging. How do you avoid it without comming off as a be-atch, though???

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

cool. all sounds very healthy to me! yeh i went to some pretty un-me meetings when i was new, but you know what? after a while NO meetings are 'me'. either way, its not a problem. in the beginning i was going for ME, not to please or impress THEM, so it didn't really matter what 'games' they were playing. nowadays, it doesn't matter either because im there to do service, (if at all), certainly not because I NEED anyone's approval or feedback in order to figure stuff out.
Basically stop worrying about THEM. be true to YOURSELF, regardless of whatever they are doing, and it will all work out in the end. i loathe superficiality and awkward social rituals of hugging complete strangers at aa meetings. Its simple, just don't hug them. and ignore the people you don't like and look out for the nice people. there must be ONE decent person in a room of 100 surely?? they cant all be a bit mad? or perhaps they are, in which case look for another group.. its actually very important to 'stick with the winners', whatever YOUR version of 'the winners' is. if you don't, you will drive yourself mad. id have gone mad if i had hung around fake people for too long. unfortunately, there's plenty of them in aa, and every other type of social misfit! oh well. find your own 'gang' and stick with them. im sure you'll figure it out. all in all i think you are sounding absolutely ON TRACK. its very encouraging watching your recovery progressing so well.. looks good to me!

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Well, tkd. You're certainly on track.

Take heed: you do not find what you do not seek.
English Proverb

simsample said...

I remember that freedom when I gave up smoking... it was nice not to have to worry where to get the next cigarette from! You're doing great, TKD!

BigSkymAAck said...

That kind of honesty is a good thing to have going for you. When I got sober I did not like people hugging on me either, so I would just let them know how I felt. Then after awhile my body language must have taken over. I never thought it was a good idea to have that plastic smile, if I was just ok that was how I looked. If I had a problem that was how I looked. To thine own self be true.

Gwen said...

Be true to yourself always. Let people know if you don't want to be hugged. That is not in the BigBook any place I know of. I was one angry frickin chick in early sobriety and had no problem being true to that. I frequently felt hated but I just did not care. I just kept comin. Love your honesty. It is great!

addiction treatment said...

Yeah, you are so honest. I agree; be true to yourself and never mind the pretentious souls surrounding you. I am glad that the desperation is gone (thanks to your motivation and addiction treatment). Keep on living a happy, addiction-free life!