Beauty in the midst of Chaos
Just a few brief thoughts, because of the business of my day. It’s a bold confession to admit to others, especially Christians, that you are an alcoholic. I can admit it to myself readily enough, although it did take me six years. But once the admission is made internally I do not feel ashamed.
The moment that one speaks publicly, the idea of being an addict feels shameful. I fear that others will perceive me as weak (an unspoken judgment that I used to make about other addicts, if I am utterly honest).
So little is understood about the nature of this disease, and after all my training I still find it hard to believe that alcoholism is a disease, like cancer or any other.
My own internal judgment, my low esteem for myself, my fear that I am simply a weak person all join forces to tell me that I have to do this alone!
And so, it took me nearly a year to walk into my first AA meeting. I’ve been sober since July 24th, 2008 but yesterday was my first meeting where by walking into that room filled with beautiful, amazing women, I was admitting that I was powerless over alcohol and I was acknowledging that I have been judgmental about others and have not wanted to be surrounded by what I had perceived, in advance of even meeting them, as slightly -odd, -crazy, -weak, definitely-weird overly needy strangers.
Forgive me, for my wrong thinking. For the last year I have found strength in feeling “above” those others: addicts who need AA. I felt superior, intelligent, stronger, better … I didn’t ‘need’ AA.
You know what I have to say to that? WHATEVER!!!
I am powerless. And yet for nearly a year I have stayed sober by isolation and sheer strength of will. I have worked on very many aspects of my life, spiritual and physical, emotional and psychological. I have quit smoking. I have become more centered. I have sought out strong influences.
And yet, I can not stay sober alone. And so I went to my first meeting and for the first time in ages I felt that I was not alone** in my addiction. I could sit and listen to others and not have to think so much, get out of my head into my heart, and just BE.
Keep coming back was a good message for me yesterday and I will.
So be it.
** alone – by that I do not mean unsupported. Tom and others have been encouraging and supportive, but not being addicts, there’s just something that can’t be said, understood, known.