Alcoholics Anonymous


Today something wonderful happened, I actually managed to pray without that feeling of a lead lid on top of my head. I found a straight line to My Great Spaghetti monster and it felt good. I asked for guidance, I asked to be shown the right path and I asked to be accepted to do TGSm’s work.

You know what? I think it worked!

I fell asleep, my first dream being about flying in a hot air balloon. I have no idea why it was significant, but I know it was. I believe I was on my way to a meeting. Then my sponsor phoned and accidentally woke me up. A few words later and I was back to sleep.

Just before waking three hours later I had a dream about being at an AA meeting. One of my friends was also there, and it was clear to me that we had been going together to meetings for quite some time. The meeting was at my home group.

We had arrived slightly later than we usually did (I’m a notorious early comer these days) and the room was filled with people who don’t usually attend that meeting as well as those who do. The new comers turned out to be several people from my youth and it made me so happy to see them, but also so infinitely sad that they also had come to this…

Then I woke up.

Now I feel quite calm, quite content, quite mellow but also strangely elevated. Maybe I am being granted to get in touch with bits of myself again, I don’t know. Doesn’t really matter, what matters is that I feel good!

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I’m working my first step and my sponsor has asked me to write a page on how alcohol has made my life unmanageable. This is harder than I would have thought.

I mean, when you read the first step “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” it sounds quite obvious, of course we did or we wouldn’t have gone to AA in the first place. But then, to sit down and actually put it down in writing, all the horrid things that happen to you – or rather all the horrid things you, yourself, put yourself through when you’ve been drinking – the pieces of the puzzle falls together and you’re struck with remorse and fear.

I did this to myself. No one forced me, no one did this to me.

I’m not sure what’s worse – admitting my faults to myself or to my sponsor. I’ve always fought so hard to uphold a nice and flawless façade and now I have to shatter it. Clearly I realise that people have seen through this for a long time, but still it’s a struggle.

My work is about caring for people and those I care for most of the time has been granted the gift of living almost completely in the moment due to their affliction. They suffer from various kind of forgetfulness – some from Alzheimer ’s disease and some from other forms of dementia but all of them live here and now.

Sure, they remember the far past, and sure they sometimes worry about tomorrow, but for the most they are content in the moment and it’s a rare treasure to be allowed to share this way of life. I’m trying very hard to learn from them how to do this.

The point is, that most of my life I have been trying to avoid living in the true moment. I have been creating a make belief reality of today, been desperately attempting to forget about it the next day whilst planning the next escape for tomorrow. A most exhausting way to be!

I think the lesson to be learnt is written out quite clearly for us in the serenity prayer, but it’s a matter of trying to let go. At least I have such an enormous need for control – maybe because I feel I’m losing the grip of my own life so often. Possibly the losing the grip is a way of controlling my environment in a way too – by losing control I force the people around me to take it. Not a nice thought for someone who takes a pride in being empathic and caring.

I’m still struggling with the higher power bit. Partly I doubt that I would be such an important figure that a possible higher power would bother with me when he/she/it didn’t bother saving those kids on Utöya the other day.

I mean, why should he/she/it? I’m a pretty rotten individual once I swap into civilian clothes, even though I am an excellent professional – if I may say so myself. Without trying to wallow in self pity I’m a lousy friend, a rotten wife and a bad daughter and sister. Hopefully I will learn to get better at these things as I learn to live in the true moment. I really would love to be a decent human being – not just a good one, but a decent one.

They say I should pray but it feels as if though there is a lead lid on top of my head blocking my link to the higher power. The lid is thick by the guilt I feel for being a bad person. I feel I don’t deserve the love of a higher power. Don’t really feel I deserve the love of anyone, to be honest, and almost doubt the sanity of those who claim to love me. Can’t be right, can it?

Anyway, tomorrow I will really try to communicate my surrender to the higher power. If my poor long suffering Husband can love me, then maybe an all forgiving God(dess) can too. It is after all considered human to err but divine to forgive…

I’ll give it a try and report back on it later 🙂

So, I overcame my fear of rejection and got myself a sponsor and it wasn’t nearly half as difficult as I had imagined. I’d had this terrible image of me asking someone to sponsor me in the program and them laughing at me and rejecting me. Story of my life, really – never cool enough, or popular enough. Thing is the woman I asked, and had wanted to ask for quite some time, was really nice about it and accepting me no questions asked. I am most grateful!

This week I’m working the first step; “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

I wouldn’t actually say I’m completely powerless – the power I have is not to take the first drink. As long as I stay away from that I’m fine. It’s when I’ve let the alcohol into my body that I’m toast! Then I won’t stop until I’m pretty much unconscious. Like a Pringles ad; Once you pop you won’t stop! 🙂

Anyway, my sponsor wants me to work the first step, and I will 🙂

May God/Goddess/Higher Power/Great Spaghetti Monster strike you down with with impotence, baldness, bad breath and life long flatulence to bring you into hiding from the world and let the rest of us get on with our lives in peace.

I don’t care what you call your God/Goddess/Higher Power or political figure head. It is of absolutely NO importance to me what so ever whether you are white, black, red, blue or fecking pink with turquoise dots – if you’re a fanatic you are NOT welcome at my table!

I am sick and tired of being forced to live in fear, sick and tired of you feeling that it is your god given right to terrorise me and others.

Just bugger off!

My thoughts this evening is with the people of Norway. They have suffered a terrible blow and I remember vividly what it felt like living first in London – with the fear of terrorist threats there – and how it felt living through the (fortunately failed) bombing of Stockholm in the middle of the Christmas shopping last year.

Maybe I should head to town and find myself a fanatic to feed some industrial strength laxatives and watch them suffer… I’m just very, very PISSED OFF right now!

It’s been quiet from me this week since I’ve had a friend staying for five days. In some ways I’ve enjoyed the week – like when I’ve been playing the Little Tourist in my own city and actually seen and done things you never really get round to when you live somewhere – but it’s also been a stressful week I could have used for things like spending time with my poor long suffering Husband, or just going to meetings and doing some soul searching. At the end of the day, visit is over today, chappie is going home and I’m fairly grateful for it.

So, to the topic of this post; Pride and Prejudice.
I have a rather dark side to my soul, one I don’t often show to people, which I’m not proud of and I do try to work on it. It’s deeply rooted, but the willingness is there so bear with me.

I’m a snob.

There, I’ve said it. It’s probably more difficult to admit to than admitting to being an alcoholic.

The amount, and variety, of prejudice I carry around is vast. Maybe one could start a twelve step program to rid me of them? “We admitted we were powerless over our prejudice”…

Chappie and I went on a Booze Cruise over to the little island of Åland (one of the few Duty Free zones left in Europe) on Tuesday and I had a revelation. First of all that I could, in fact, enjoy just the trip without hitting the bar for a tall cold one, and secondly that drunk people really are cringe worthy.

Now, the drunk people on these ferries are kind of the worst sort. You know, just the type I carry some of my worst prejudice against. Life has worked very hard at teaching me time after time that these people can be – and often are – the salt of the earth and that I am no better than they are, but the little daemon on my shoulder is still whispering that I need to hold onto my hand bag when passing through the crowd.

There was this woman who looked 80 if she was a day, though I suspect her age may have been closer to 60. Anyway, she walked around in a skirt so short you saw frightening amounts of her stick thin legs which were carrying up a barrel like upper body – the typical body of an ageing female alcoholic. Her hair was long, with a raven black home dye, and teased into oblivion. We shan’t start to mention the state of her husband, but let’s just say he was wearing a cowboy hat in patent leather…

Then there was the family group with friends. The family was having “Gran” in tow and she was doing her very best to embarrass her son… No doubt this lady is perfectly sane and decent when sober, but drunk she was a disgrace! She was whispering things – which were clearly embarrassing – in her daughter in law’s ear and flirting shamelessly with her son’s friend. The family looked as if though they wanted to sink through the floor (sorry, decking!).

There were the people dragging home six cases of beer. We’re talking six 24 can cases here!

All this I watched with sober, and judging eyes, preferring to forget the sort of embarrassment I have caused my own family and the disgrace I have made of myself. Talk about being prejudice!

The fact is that all these people could easily have been me! But that is something I don’t even want to dwell on!

I’m proud of that I didn’t have a drink, though. Proud that I managed to take this trip and enjoy every minute of the picturesque town of Mariehamn sober. It really was lovely and I will take Husband with me there one of these weeks, just to have a splendid meal – sans the booze!

OK, so here is my major reservation on the whole AA thing – in fact, it’s the only objection I have on the whole twelve step life style – faith in that a higher power can relieve me from my short comings…

I find it very hard to believe that there should exist a benevolent, interfering higher power. Look at what is happening in the world! There are children starving, there are whole families destroyed by natures disasters, innocent people are being persecuted for no other reason but the colour of their skin or hair.

How can I put faith in that there should be an omnipotent power who will relieve me from my short comings and lift the craving for intoxication from a poor sinner like myself (and Heaven knows I’ve done some lousy things in my days) if the same power turns a deaf ear to the cries for mercy from the innocent?

Would that expectation not be presumptuous, and rather arrogant, of me?

I can buy the power of the collective of the group, I can buy the feeling of support from my peers all over the world, but I’m really struggling with the notion of a higher power…

I believe that if there is a higher power, as any form of existence, this power does not and can not – or indeed want not – interfere. It’s not that I disregard those who believe – quite the opposite – but that I find it very hard to locate that sort of faith within myself

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