It’s raining today, but that’s OK – I like rain. Ideally I’d be curled up in a wicker chair on my mum’s glass veranda with a mug of Löfbergs Lila coffee and a really great book, but this will do. I’m facing a window so can look out at the rain even if there is no sound of it on to glass panels in here, and I do have coffee albeit instant. Still good though. Speaking of books, I’m quite pissed off! Bought one called the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari at the weekend and couldn’t wait to get stuck into it. I thought it was a true story, about a hot shot lawyer who turned his back on all things materialistic and found a life of serenity and true joy. Turns out it’s a fable! I’m really disappointed. I’m sure the message is the same as it would had it not been fictional, but still. That’ll teach me. I started it last night and I can’t say it’s the greatest work of prose I’ve ever held in my hands, but I’m going to finish it. There’ll be lots of good stuff in there I’m sure so I’ll give it a chance.
I now have three AA chips in my jewellery box: 24 hours, 1 month and 2 months. Yay! Weirdly, collecting the 24-hour one was the most significant. I collected it when I’d been sober over a week, and it was encouraged by Red that I bashfully raised my hand and went to receive it along with a bear hug from the lady who always hands them out. She’s lovely. I’m going to try to chat to her next time I see her, she seems really genuine and she’s always quite funny when she shares. That first chip felt like a commitment, my promise to myself to treat me better, to be kinder to me and look after me so I can happily grow old and not miss out on so much living from now on. It was the symbol of how I now wish to live my life – awake and present in each moment – and how this is now my path. I collected it with a smile at the same time as I in my mind gave Sauvignon Blanc the finger.
Month 1’s chip was nice to collect too, as was month 2’s yesterday – I’m not for a second going to diminish what it means for me to be sober and every chip is going to be a celebration of exactly that. These past two months I’ve felt so HEALTHY! I feel so good each morning after sleeping like a log (I never wake up in the night anymore like I used to), and my morning coffee is enough to make me so happy it makes me giggly (I couldn’t drink coffee with a hangover – which meant morning coffee was rare back then). And those are just very simple things. I’m really just talking about waking up and having coffee but you know you are on the right path when it’s the stuff you might not pay attention to normally that are so wonderful you have to stop in your tracks there and then and allow gratitude to vibrate throughout your being.
Worth celebrating indeed!
A lady I’ve seen a few times was there again last night and this time I did collar her. Well, it felt like I did because she seemed in a rush to leave. As it happens, I’ve written about her before, when at this Tuesday meeting a while back she was sharing how she was worried about going to Paris and how she feared she’d end up drinking. I really felt for her and was kicking myself for not seeking her out that time when my gut instinct had been telling me loud and clear to reach out, that even if I’m getting everything wrong I might still be able to say something that’ll make her feel a little better. At the time I was firmly on the Pink Cloud and feeling the opposite to what she was describing, only experiencing excitement at travelling now that I won’t ruin it by getting wasted, and I had wanted to reach out and see if I could have supported her somehow. Stupidly I didn’t, my shyness got the better of me, and I don’t know if she ended up drinking in Paris or not. What I do know is that she picked up her 2-month chip that evening and I picked up my 1-month chip. Last night she picked up the 24-hour chip. So I don’t know if it was anything to do with Paris but she slipped and had gone on a bender at the weekend. You could tell she was gutted and angry with herself. Powerless, I suppose.
Either way, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again so placed myself right in her path and asked how she was. I pretty much forced my number on her, told her I’m new-ish too and that I’m still fumbling around and trying to figure all this out. She did text me to say she’s in the same area and would love a coffee. I told her she can always reach out and that I’ll never judge if she slips as how next time it could be me. I don’t actually believe I’ll slip but I’m also not God so don’t know what the future holds and best therefore be at least a LITTLE humble. Anyway. Let’s call her Blue because her eyes are that bright, light blue colour of the sky when it’s -20C. I already know she finds this AA thing a lonely experience and isn’t it funny how the one who went on a bender just a few days ago is someone I can relate to more than someone who’s been sober for years but lives in fear? Disapproval and no more approaches if you don’t go to meetings everyday. Sparks wrote her off, for one – told me in that meeting just over a month ago that “oh, she’s probably already decided to drink in Paris and doesn’t do the AA work“. I’m not going to write Blue off though. Like Jet, she clearly wants to get out of this, and like I do Jet I admire Blue for coming along to yet another meeting when she is clearly finding it difficult. Hats off to both of them.
There are some exceptions – Willow is one, Butterbean another and now Blue – but given how few they seem to be I suppose they do confirm the rule, for me at least. With most others in AA that I’ve spoken with, it’s like you can’t break through and see the actual person – it’s like any conversation and interaction happens through an AA filter peppered with various AA mantras. I’ve found this frustrating, whereas with e.g. Willow I feel I’m getting to know someone I genuinely want to be friends with and couldn’t actually give a flying fuck what brought us together in the first place – OK, so it happens to be AA but I know I would have wanted to get to know her if we’d met under any other circumstances. Same for Butterbean and again, Blue, even though I suppose with Blue it was feeling a need to reach out and help that has initially drawn me to her. Still. It’s less important to me.
It’s funny, I almost felt afterwards that perhaps this would be really frowned upon and the Right Thing To Do would be for Blue (and me too) to sink like a stone over and over until we’re so broken we have no other way out and then hook up with sponsors and do the steps. Perhaps this is breaking the law, approaching someone when you yourself don’t quite buy into the whole AA thing fully. For that reason, I will make sure I tell her that she is probably best off trying to get a sponsor, to get that AA guidance in a pure form – I mean, what if I somehow put her off AA and she goes ahead and ruins her life as a result? Maybe it is at this precise moment Blue needs to hear AA is the only way and commit to it fully? Maybe now is when the last thing she needs to hear about is how I’m happy being sober yet I’m not doing the steps (yet?) or bothering with more than a couple of meetings per week? Maybe knowing me might be downright detrimental for Blue? If she finds herself slipping, she must have a reason to drink – there must be something in her mind that tells her that it brings something good with it, be it relief from pain or to celebrate something?
Oh, I don’t know, but I should probably tread carefully here. I will definitely recommend she listens to AA’s suggestions and recommendations. After all, it’s just not possible to get sober and happily so without AA, right? So maybe I’m just as bad for Blue as that glass of Sauvignon Blanc was for me once upon a time, full of promises and illusions of things that don’t exist….
Hm….. This got a little weirder than I intended so let’s round it up. Today I’m not going to drink.