Today is the first meeting in a long time where I found myself looking at the clock and wishing it would move a bit faster. Attendance was on the lower side, but it was also that people were unwilling to share. It happens from time to time, but it doesn’t get less uncomfortable each and every time it happens.
And the reading was a solid one… we read a personal story from the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It was called “Women Suffer Too,” and it was written by one of the first female members of our 12-step program. Her tale is a compelling one, and inspirational to boot.
If nothing else, I can speak to what I personally took from this morning’s reading. While the timeline of her progression through alcoholism and recovery did not resemble mine whatsoever, I could relate to the emotions behind her drinking and subsequent sobriety.
Most notably, she wrote of the diminishing returns of alcohol, despite the increasing quantities she drank. Almost everyone in the room could relate to that. As time goes on, it becomes a chase… drink/ingest more and more in the hopes of recapturing the glory days when drinking/altering yourself was fun! Soon it becomes a situation where you know you are never going to recapture the nostalgia, and yet you can’t envision a life where you simply refrain. A dark place, but ultimately a hopeful one, as it usually the starting point of recovery.
The second part of the story that spoke to me this morning is the feeling of camaraderie she found within the fellowship. She found, through gathering with a group of like-minded individuals, that she no longer felt that she was alone in her troubles, or that she was morally depraved, or irreparable. She found that in allowing acceptance of her less than ideal but still human qualities, she found the motivation she needed to improve herself… and found peace within to boot.
The group that did share focused on some of the “before” parts of the story… specifically, the blackouts that the author was able to describe in colorful detail. A lot of us can relate to this unfortunate part of alcoholic drinking…. the absence of memory for certain parts of the night, and the discomfort that causes the next day.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Better than nothing, I suppose!
Heading out to celebrate my husband’s birthday!