An Update, and A Gentle Reminder to Stay Out of My Own Head

First, a sincere and heart-felt thank you to all who responded to my post on Monday:  your words truly inspired and motivated me to do the next right thing, and I so I shall update you on the following 36 hours after the incident that I wrote about Monday morning.

So, here’s what I have as facts:

  1. We have a serious security issue at the clubhouse where I run my meeting
  2. This issue can be easily resolved by a simple decision to lock a door
  3. It is up to me to bring up the issue, as the incident largely happened to me

So, simple enough… go to the officers of the clubhouse, explain the situation, and get the problem resolved.  Here’s where my brain can complicate even the simplest of tasks, and I need to explain (re-explain, for regular followers, I know I talked about this some months ago) some background.  The clubhouse is primarily run by about 5 very dedicated people.  At least 6 months ago, maybe more, the officers approached me and asked if I would be the director of the club.  At the time I was flabbergasted, as I can’t imagine the thought process that would lead to such a request.  I thanked them profusely for their belief in me, but explained I simply did not have the time for such an undertaking.  For whatever reason, several of them did not seem to hear my rejection of this offer, and any time that they came across me would refer to me as Madame Chairperson.  This was obviously said in a light-hearted manner, but said on enough occasions that I quickly inferred that the goal was to railroad me into the position.  Since I truly have neither the time, nor honestly the inclination, to assume this role, I found myself slowly withdrawing myself from any type of business meeting.  In retrospect, it was not the most up-front way to deal with the issue, but at the time I did not feel I had too many options.

So, long story short, I have not attended a business meeting at the clubhouse for several weeks.  My role has been nothing more than running my Monday meeting, and volunteering to make food items for the various events that have been held.   Again, not ideal, but it had been a working solution for me, until the incident on Monday.

So here’s where my monkey mind takes over:  “Now you’re going to sashay into a meeting that you’ve all but abandoned, and demand that the clubhouse make changes because you say so?!?  They will laugh you right out of the meeting!”  I can, of course, play Devil’s Advocate to myself, and argue back, “You’re not doing this for yourself, you’re doing it for your meeting attendees, and for the good of the clubhouse, they will thank you for this.”

To give you a play-by-play of this internal debate would take more time than it’s worth, so let me wrap it up and say I went back and forth along these lines, until, I kid you not, 7:10 pm last night (the business meeting started at 7:15 pm).  At one point I actually sent an email to one of the officers, explaining the situation, thinking I could just give them the scenario and let them take over, and then got so mad at myself for not being more assertive, that I sent another one saying I will be there to tell the story myself.

So I attend, and I am completely prepared for every argument that I firmly believe I will hear:  “that guy is harmless, don’t worry about it,” “the door is broken, and we don’t have the money to fix it,” and, the most troubling one I was waiting for, “who do you think you are coming in here after all this time?”

I sat through the regular format, Old Business, Committee Reports, Events Planning, and finally it came time to address New Business.  I raise my hand, everyone looks surprised (I am guessing that the officer I sent the email to never had a chance to read it).  I calmly (or, at least, as calmly as I could manage) explain the incident, and express my concern for the ongoing safety and security of the clubhouse.

Take a wild guess what the reactions from the officers were?

Complete and total empathy.  A stunned realization that an off-handed decision to make it easier for people to attend meetings could have a consequence such as a homeless person taking advantage.   A firm resolution to contact all meeting leaders and explain the new policy that the building is to remain locked at all times when meetings are not in session.  And, last but certainly not least, gratitude that I would take the time to bring the issue to the attention of the officers.

If only I had an “on/off” switch for my brain, I could save myself a lot of trouble!

Today’s Miracle:

The strength and courage the readership of the blog gave me to tackle a problem that the old me would not have touched with a 10-foot pole, my gratitude is immense!

Posted on January 15, 2014, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. I entirely get this. One of the biggest things I tell myself is that I am a bother. Which translates to the anxiety you just described here. I run around hoping that everyone will think I am okay and not neurotic and crazy. I forget that what other people think about me is none of my business (unless they choose to bring it up with me).
    It’s so funny to me how my mind can go wild on something like that! But that’s part of what I tried to shut up with alcohol; all that anxiety. Today, I get to deal with it.
    And like you I often see that people react to me with empathy, not horror.
    GREAT post, thank you so much for sharing your experience! Super helpful for me to hear and know I’m not alone in this phenomena. 🙂


    • Oh, you are not alone…. I could probably set up a whole new blog, call it “arguments that take place solely in my head,” and I would never run out of material!!

      “What other people think of me is none of my business.” You hit the nail on the head with that one, and I repeat that to myself very, very frequently (too bad I didn’t do it on Tuesday).

      Thanks so much for the feedback!


  2. Look at it this way…the only person who knew about the struggle was you (and now the rest of us) but you overcame your fears and concerns and went to the meeting. Now you can use this example in the future when you are overthinking a decision.


  3. What? Are you’re saying that all that internal angst turned out to be a waste of energy? What about just angst for angst sake? I seem to always be able to clear my calender for that. I may be stressed and running late, but I’ll always make time for making a big deal over nothing.
    Anyway, I so get this piece. Really had me nodding along. I especially like the blowing off business meetings and sinking into shame because of it. That’s me. And then, of course, it’s going to feel impossible to assert yourself. Even for something as common sense as a lock. That’s what shame does. To me at least.
    I’ve found it a rickety platform to launch into bold and decisive action.
    Really glad you got to see a clear example where your concerns turned out to be unfounded. That, my friend, seems to be the recurring motif in sobriety. A moment or thirty of me freaking out, followed by some sweet and delightful resolution. Often from left field. At 11:59 PM.
    But it ALWAYS works out. 100% of the time. I tell you this Higher Power thing. I’m thinking maybe I should trust it.
    Now that it’s managed to keep me sober for almost ten years.
    This journey is amazing. Happy you’re on it with me.
    Thanks for blogging,


    • Who let the good looking guy in here?? I thought you bolted the door, Josie!?

      Oh well, someone has to watch the door. Hand out the sweets to shaky newcomers. Take coats. Hand out expired yogurt coupons. It was my turn last week.

      Nice to see ya, Mr. G. 🙂



    • Marius, I’m not sure if you will understand this analogy or not, but here it goes: I love Will Ferrell. I got to know him on SNL, and then followed him in his transition to film. Even if the movie sucks, I still love it if he is in it. So even when he is, say, in a Dodge commercial, I will still smile as I watch it, because he is that entertaining to me.

      Anyway… that is how I feel when I get a comment from you. All I have to do is see your name pop up, and I smile.

      So thanks for the validation, and thanks for the smile!


  4. Holy moly. I relate to this blog completely. we get ourselves so worked up in our heads about so many other tangibles. This is such a perfect reminder to get the heck out of our heads, step back, step back again and then reframe the issue.
    I totally am glad your shared an example; it’s great, too, that you wee able to do something that you have concern for and to receive a positive outcome. Well done!


    • I really, really, REALLY appreciate your comment! The overriding thought in my head when I post these kinds of things is that people will be scratching their head and saying, “WHAAAAT?” So to hear that people not only understand, but they relate… well, once again I need to ignore that monkey mind!

      Thanks so much for this comment!


  5. if there was an Olympic event for over-thinking, they’d be smart to load up the team with alcoholics and addicts. All ringers. I was with ya on this whole trip, Josie. Felt exactly what you were feeling. Thinking what you were thinking. I too would be ready for any and all questions and inferences and frowny faces and subtle body language, all of which are directed right at ME and are ALL meant to throw me off, put me down, wrestle me to the ground. Uncle!

    But no, once again, we blow things up bigger than they need to be. At least, I do. I like having a conversation in my head 30 times with someone before actually having the actual conversation, and they never are one of the 30 ways I envisioned it. Ugh.

    Anyway, thanks for the update, my friend.

    Glad it’s all locked up 😉



    • I am so glad too, Paul. The email to all clubhouse meeting leaders about the policy change on locking the door went out right after I posted, and I just smiled… sometimes issues do get worked out with a silver bow!

      Olympic event… hmmm. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty sure I’d be taking the gold home on this one!

      Thanks, as always, for your friendship!


  6. Oh this is me to a T. I can debate the possibilities and pitfalls of any solution until I’ve talked myself out of it before taking the first step. I’m so glad you took action and even happier you were met with compassion and a solution. Everyone will benefit, and you must feel relieved (and proud!).


  7. What a classic tale you speak if here! Reminds me of chapter 5 in the BB. I am so often the actor, director, etc. Actually, my brain is more like a puppet show! Lol, I will play all the players and have their lines preformed & outlined before the show even starts! Lol, the hours I have squandered away assuming what everyone was thinking. Thank you for the wonderful reminder for me! So often I let people rent space in my head and for me it’s always negative and the “bills don’t get paid”. Eventually though, someone like you reminds me that the God of my understanding is the landlord. Then again, I have faith, trust, lack of fear and I am FREE! Wonderful! Thanks!
    Big hugs,


  8. Thanks for relating it back to the BB, Clairey, that made me smile! Hugs right back to you!


  9. After coming today and getting caught up with your life I find I have (almost) absolutely nothing to add. You are in such good shape spiritually (emotionally). The interesting thing is that is takes all this sh*t for you to see how strong you are and how much you’ve grown. We get the lesson, after the lesson, to make sure we actually learned the lesson.

    I often wish you had watched me get sober. We are kindred spirits my friend. I had two modes: doormat or bitch. Go figure. Wishing I was here more consistently, but work and kids tug at my heart. Know how much I love you.


    • Thanks, Lisa, I have been getting some “lessons after the lesson” this week, and I keep reminding myself exactly what you are saying here… if I can get sober, I can handle this silly crap!

      I miss you too, but am so glad to hear you are doing well! Just be grateful you are not buried in a foot of snow like me 🙂


  10. Isn’t your sobriety date coming up soon?


  11. Schools canceled here too. Heaven help us all. Spring will feel extra sewer this year. Thanks for the message on powerlessness and surrendering to it. I can always use a reminder and the relief that comes with accepting it.


    • Ha, sweet, not sewer.


    • Kristen, seriously, I am ready to rip my hair out. I could not even log onto to WordPress yesterday, my head was in such a bad state… I was afraid of infecting everybody else with my bad mood! Are you guys off again today? We are, but I am trying to turn my mood around and doing the opposite of everything I did yesterday!

      If you’re off, stay as sane as possible, and I suppose you are right about spring, although it’s impossible to imagine it right about now!


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