Big Heart

I went to my first AA meeting since I got my 30 day chip. It was a 7am meeting and I went after I stayed up all night finishing Kristen Johnston’s Guts, watching a movie, doing laundry, and reading blogs. I felt great when I got to the meeting. The mood went down by the end.

I hate going there and leaving feeling guilty for the times I don’t go. I heard: “When I first got sober the only way I made it was to go to daily meetings.” “Work  the steps or this program won’t work.” “If you miss a meeting, you will want to drink.” “You need a sponsor to stay sober.”

Again, I got a list of names and phone numbers of the women in the meeting. Again, I thought “I am not gonna call any of them.” I would rather get to know someone before I would want to think of calling them. I understand the point behind giving out the numbers and I appreciate it. But I honestly would rather call my close friend in Virginia if I feel the need to drink. She knows I have gone sober. She told me to call anytime. Day or night. I guess that makes me lucky to know I have someone to call.

I could not follow most of the people that spoke. It seemed like tangents. All I really understood was that I better go to a meeting or else. The only way is the AA way. I will relapse if I don’t follow their rules. I swear it makes me want to stay sober and NOT go to meetings just to prove that I can. Take THAT! I will show them.

Ok that is stubborn me thinking. I am also tired and about to go to bed.

The one thing I got out of this meeting was thinking about my health. There was one guy sitting across the room that was yellow. He looked jaundice. I kept looking up at his pale, golden skin and thought “liver damage.” And that got me thinking of my heart.

I used to get tested for tuberculosis every year for my job. A TB test is a little shot under the skin in the arm and then have it read a few days later. I had them done for years. Then in 2010, my test reading was positive. This means I was exposed to tuberculosis somewhere. My guess is on a chicken bus in Bolivia. Or anywhere else in South America. My tests will always read positive so instead I need to get chest xrays every so often.

The report from my first xray said no lung problems.YEA! But it then said the words “cardiomegaly.” Enlarged heart.The doctor did not seem concerned. I was. I did what most hypochondrics do and I googled the causes. On webMD I found:

  • Viral infection of the heart
  • Abnormal heart valve
  • Pregnancy, with enlarged heart developing around the time of delivery (peripartum cardiomyopathy)
  • Kidney disease requiring dialysis
  • Alcohol or cocaine abuse
  • HIV infection
  • Genetic and inherited conditions

I had no viral symptoms, no valve problems, no pregnancy, no kidney issues, no HIV, and no genetic or inherited condition. (Oh except I inherited alcoholism from my dad.)  Alcohol abuse must be the cause! Oh my god my heart is going to explode because I was a lush! I overworked one of the most important organs in my body with booze. I was going to have a heart attack at the age of 35. My then-boyfriend tried to reassure me I was going to be okay. It just meant I have a big heart because I was such a caring person. I remember screaming at him “You have no medical background so shut up!”

It did not stop me from drinking.

Next few xrays, no mention of cardiomegaly again. One did mention scoliosis. Maybe from passing out on barstools.

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Mistake # 45- I was at a club with my two good friends. The female (the one I mentioned above that said I can call whenever), was drunk and passing out in the club. Our male friend was our ride. He was always our ride because he did not drink. He was lucky to be born with a liver condition so he avoided alcohol. (Please read the sarcasm when I say he was lucky.) He told me it was time to go home.

I did not want to leave. I wanted to stay and party. Can’t he just put her in the truck and let her sleep? He did take her outside of the club and sat her on the curb next to his truck. He then came back in and demanded I leave. I was stubborn and refused. So he picked me up, threw me over his shoulders, and carried my drunk ass outside of the club and to his truck. He put me down while he fumbled with our other friend to get her in the truck. I RAN back inside the club. He later said I looked like Phoebe from the TV show Friends when she would run crazy-like to scare away muggers. He got our other friend in the truck and came back looking for me. He said he found me squatting behind a guy trying to hide. I told the guy “Don’t let him take me.” My friend said “fuck you then! Find your own ride home.” He left.

I partied. I danced. I drank. I managed to find a ride home. Once I got home, I must have felt guilty. So I drove to my friend’s apartment. I don’t really remember doing that. He said he opened the door and I stood there crying. “I am so sorry” I bawled. He had me come inside while I cried and cried about being such a shitty friend. Then I cried myself to sleep on his couch. He was so mad at me that night but forgave me the next day.

We aren’t talking anymore. I sort of blamed him for my second DUI. Maybe I will reach out to him to make amends one day. Just not ready yet.

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2 thoughts on “Big Heart

  1. I relapsed so much that in the end meetings really helped me. But I sure felt the same when I stated, it all seems like to much! But it all works different for everyone. Take what you can and leave the rest. Or maybe you can go to a different one and see if it’s a better fit for you.

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