…….only they’re not, but I’ll leave the title like that because it highlights what I want to say. Yes, I’ve been giving AA a lot more thought. How could I not? It’s a huge change to switch from abusing alcohol for over a decade to never touching a drink at all, and of course I turned to AA right from the start so it’s been a big part of it. I immediately got a copy of the Big Book, then a copy of Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions and even a sponsor within the first couple of weeks. What can I say, I’m a put-your-foot-on-it kinda gal. But as it eventually almost always does, common sense does catch up with me and so I did a bit of a u-turn. Well, not from sobriety – exactly seven weeks today that I decided I was done drinking! – but from AA and certainly from the sponsor thing, which I now look back on with a wry smile on my face. Good times.
It was over the weekend that I started to think about my now ex-sponsor, when I in fact was deciding whether I wanted to go to the Saturday meeting I’ve attended a few times or go for a long walk in the park. I decided on the latter and for one reason only: I felt like I SHOULD go to the AA meeting. Not because I’m struggling with sobriety or gagging for a drink, but because I felt guilty at the idea of not going. Now that’s just plain crazy, isn’t it? How many times did I call Ivy and others in AA because I truly wanted to as opposed to feeling like that’s what I should be doing? Pulling out of the sponsor thing was an absolute relief and the first time I actually called Ivy just because I really wanted to speak to HER and hear HER voice at that particular moment. And I’ve applied the same thought process to AA meetings too now: when I go, it’s because I want to go, not because I feel I should or end up feeling guilty if I don’t.
I think that’s why my ex-sponsor popped into my head. It was just as the weather started to turn horrible and I was going to her place. I cannot park to save my life so I texted to check if there’s off street parking – aka non-parallel parking options – where she lives. It was cold so I didn’t fancy getting on buses, or rather wait in the cold and the rain for buses to arrive, so I was checking my options for taking the car. Her response? “Nice try!” It was her assumption that I was trying to find, as the title here suggests, excuses not to go. It was a bit of a revelation but even then I knew it wasn’t really about me so I ignored it. But it just goes to show how people judge based on themselves and their own perspectives. I could have told her that the only alternative in my mind had been to get Ubers as not going hadn’t even entered my mind but I realised trying to argue would have been as useful as a cat flap in the Hoover Dam. She’d decided I wanted an out and there were lots of little digs throughout. And ironically, that’s what resulted in my “out”. Well, not out of sobriety and not out of AA but out of the sponsoring thing. I quickly got fed up with being made to feel rubbish.
Sure, if I’d collected the 24-hour sobriety chip every week for a month, you know, then I’d see how I might have given her a reason to keep on like that, but there I was – and still am – utterly overjoyed at having stopped drinking and loving the fact that I finally feel like myself again! And there are ways of sharing your experiences and perspective without knocking other people down. Perhaps she really struggled when she was where I am now. Perhaps she didn’t at ALL feel happy and calm and grateful? Perhaps sobriety at the time seemed to her like, well, she told me herself how she saw it so it’s not ‘perhaps’ at all, she very much saw it as “life was over“. So she treated me in a way that she knew worked for her when “life was over“. What I think she failed to see (and hear!) was that my life is anything BUT over and in fact I feel like I’m in the best place I could be now that I stopped drinking and when she accused me of slipping (!!) and of finding excuses you can probably imagine how that ended up grating on me quite a bit. I still feel a bit pissed off thinking about it – I’m allergic to being accused of stuff I’m not guilty of, it’s one of the things that make me see red actually – but try to recognise it for what it is. She has struggled with and fought hard for her sobriety so I should be respectful of that fact and just allow it to wash over me like water off a duck’s back.
Either way, I parked the sponsor thing for the time being, so that’s all done with for now anyway. I’m slowly but surely reading my way through 12 Steps & 12 Traditions and I also have a few chapters of the Big Book left, both books quite interesting so long as I ignore the things that don’t resonate and focus on the things that do. Some things just don’t make any sense, or rather, some things aren’t true for ME, but at the end of the day it’s a valuable resource and I’m making a point of reading a bit here and there each day, along with the app Sparks suggested called Each Day which has daily little snippets of wisdom. It’s a good way of staying focused, although I feel like drinking about as much as I feel like tucking into a bowl of fresh dog poo. This week I’m not sure about yet but contrary to what my ex-sponsor might suggest it’s simply down to allowing life to unfold whatever which way it likes and I just don’t know what my plans are yet. I’d like to go to the Tuesday meeting, it’s my favourite. Possibly the women’s meeting on Thursday, partly because the location is spectacularly lovely and there’s a step meeting in that same place today actually so perhaps I’ll make it part of my new daily routine of an hour long walk.
Yes, sobriety has strangely enough made me FAT!! I’m way too chubby now to run because things wobble that never wobbled before and I’ve always been wobbly in plenty of places but this I cannot handle so it’s hour-long brisk walks now for Chubby Chubbyson here for the foreseeable future.
You’d think that the removal of.. …let’s see… …in round numbers say 13 bottles of wine per week… HOLY SHIT IS THAT HOW MUCH I USED TO DRINK????? Well. I’ve calculated on five out of seven days. Usually it might have been four but there have been periods when it’s been more as well, so it’s a pretty fair calculation on balance I’d say. Two and a half bottles a pop. Sometimes closer to three. Yep, that’d make five evenings possibly a little bit more than 13 bottles but let’s stick with that, shall we? Anyway, this post is about my growing arse that now not only has its own postcode but its own time zone too, not about finances (but yes, let’s talk about the financial impact of drinking sometime!). A quick check on Google tells me that a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc contains just over 600 calories. So that’s 7,800 calories per week that I’ve said adieu to. I should be skinny by now! Instead, I’ve just purchased another pair of outrageously expensive jeans in the next size up. Even hubby had to admit I’ve put on a “little bit” of weight and he is deluded and thinks I’m magnificent even when I have morning breath so for him to be forced to notice probably means I am morbidly obese.
Not going to stand on the scales because I weighed a little more than I expected to after Christmas – 72 kilos! Impressive, eh! – so I am actually quite confident that I’ve smashed the 75 kilo barrier. I just don’t need to see it confirmed on the scales that’s all. Well, rather fat than dead, but perhaps I can be alive, sober AND in good shape? Going to give that a shot, so long walks it is until I get my breath back enough to start running. Good thing about exercise is you build up your stamina quite quickly. It’s actually a bit mad how you can go from a wheezing wreck to bouncing around a 5k loop within the space of just weeks. Given how out of shape I am though, not to mention FAT, it might take a couple of months this time, but hey it’ll be worth it.
So there we are. Monday and it’s raining. But I’m sober. I’m a bit fat but I’m sober CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! I remain on the pink cloud – fuck me, I love it here! – and I feel like myself again, it’s been so long I almost thought that chick who just went like a pendulum between being wasted and horribly hungover was my normal. It wasn’t. It was me under the destruction of alcohol. THIS is me! Calm(ish), happy, hopeful, excited, free and so full of love I almost don’t know what to do with it all. Please God, never allow me to be tricked by the illusion of alcohol again and let me always remember what I know now to be true: it does nothing for me whatsoever. Like eating dog shit. Never let me forget.
Today I won’t drink!