I went to an AA meeting yesterday. It was my first one in this area. “This” being my home for the next few months. It was a noon meeting. I really enjoyed it. I felt welcomed. I liked the people and the discussion. One of the women gave me a meeting list and collected phone numbers of several of the women for me. It felt like a scout meeting and I wish I had a sash. I would sew my sobriety chips on the sash as I earn them.
I am not sure how often I can go to that particular meeting. I start working night shift tonight. Noon will be my midnight. But I did find a meeting near my job that starts an hour and half before my shift. So I plan to try to catch a meeting and then a quick bite before work. I just hope I wake up in time. I am not a “morning” person even if it is waking up in the evening. I love my bed more than I ever loved booze.
The meeting’s topic was “Differences”. I smiled thinking of that topic. I thought of the Johnny Depp quote I posted a week ago. I will repeat it here:
I’m not sure I’m capable of leaving behind a personal message. But if I did, I hope it would be that it’s okay to be different from the crowd. In fact, it’s really good to be different from the crowd, and that we really should question ourselves before we pass judgement on someone who is different to us.
I was using that quote to make myself feel better about being different from non-alcoholics. And here I was at a meeting that was about NOT being different from alcoholics.
I remembered back to the first few times I went to AA meetings. I would listen to the stories about someone getting drunk at work, hiding bottles of liquor, or shooting up a drug and I thought “wow I am not that bad! I don’t do that. I just need to learn to control my drinking.” Years ago, I read Augusten Burroughs Dry and thought I would never be as bad as him. I read Brett Butler’s Knee Deep in Paradise and Jerry Stahl’s Permanent Midnight. I had a fascination with reading memoirs about addiction. I even told people I read them for comparasion and to feel better about my life.
Now I read memoirs about addiction for support.
So no, I am not different from the other alcoholics in there and even though I never did hard drugs, I can not say that I never would have done something that stupid while drunk. I am still trying to adjust to not being different from all those people and that I am different from the 90% of people that can moderate drinking.
Another reason I was glad I went to this meeting was because of one woman. She shared a story because she was worried about some things she did. She is worried she might go to jail next week. I never met this woman before but I felt a heavy heart for her. I saw myself in her. I feel selfish now but I kept thinking “that could be me if I keep drinking”. I really wish her the best of luck and will pray for her.
Prayer. Now that is something different. I will have to save that for another day’s entry.
Today I am 30 days sober! I bought myself some pink roses to celebrate.
Mistake #23- I was dating a guy from a country that spoke a difficult language. Or at least it was difficult for me to learn. We were staying with his friends for one night while traveling in his country. We all went to a bar to meet up with more people. Everyone at the table started conversing in their native language. I felt left out and unwanted. I started to drink beer. I was ordering the largest size available. I played a game on my iPod. It was either Mahjong or a Tetris-like game. I was pretending to be completely engrossed in my game since I could not pay attention to the discussion.
I was actually getting mad. How dare my boyfriend subject me to such a boring night? Why is he not explaining to me what is spoken or even the topic? Why is he not even chatting with me in English? The more I drank, the more angry I became. The more I drank, the more I started to blame him for the whole night being a failure. I drank and thought. Thought and drank. Negative rationales were brewing. My eyes started to water because I began to get depressed.
When we left with his friends (since we were staying at their place), I continued to act super involved in my game. I walked a little bit behind the three of them. The girl in the couple stopped and walked along with me for a bit and asked about the game. I pretended the game was more interesting than chit chatting with her. I have no idea what the couple and my boyfriend talked about (in their language) but it was obvious I was upset.
Back at the apartment, I went to our room right away. The couple offered us some beers but I refused. My boyfriend and I fought in the bedroom some. He did not understand why I wanted to stay in the bedroom. I was too embarassed at this point to want to have drinks with them. I cried myself to sleep alone.
The next morning, the couple was gone to work by the time I woke up. I had a hangover. But the awkwardness I created the night before was hurting more. We explored the city some but then were on our way. We never got to say bye to the couple in person. I asked my boyfriend to please apologize to them for my rude behaviour. “Just tell them I was drunk.”
The same excuse as usual.