I don’t know where that is in the books, but Mary posted it and I knew I had wanted to find it.
I was at a meeting where the topic was something like “How easy does it get?” I shared that for me, avoiding alcohol has become so easy it isn’t an issue. This does not mean that I’m not an alcoholic, that I’ll try drinking again, or that I will stop going to AA. It means I don’t think of drinking, I’m not temped to do so, for literally years at a time.
Someone else shared thoughts like these: “We are alcoholics. We will always think of drinking and always want to drink from time to time.” Sometimes I hesitate, mostly because of the place where I live now. I feel somehow, sometimes, like “my” AA is too liberal and if I speak my mind, I will cause someone to drink.
I’m just that powerful.
But no, I don’t think always fighting it is the fate of everyone and as Mary quoted, it is in the very books that this isn’t so.
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone — even alcohol.
For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor.
If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.
We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically.
We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given
us without any thought or effort on our part.
It just comes! That is the miracle of it.
We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation.
We feel as though we had been placed in a position of
neutrality safe and protected We have not even sworn off.
Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.
We are neither cocky nor are we afraid.
That is our experience.
That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.
The problem has been removed.
Other problems are still there. Friday night, I went to a party with Carole that one of her coworkers was having. This was a bad idea for many reasons, and I saw them all coming.
#1 – I know my limits. There have been times, say when one of my children was in the hospital, that I had to keep going all day and night. But most of the time, I need a better balance and I need time to do nothing. My job is very liberal with my time, and I get lots of time off and am basically free to not be there much of the time. If something is going on for me at night, I take part or all of the day off, or the day after, or the day before. But because I took a lot of time at Thanksgiving, and because we had government monitoring of our program for three days this past week, and because of extra end of the year meetings, I couldn’t take any time and had to actually stay late a bit.
#2 – Friday was also my work’s “Open House,” which is one of our biggest, busiest events all year. I had to walk around and socialize and be friendly all day with no let up.
#3 – Because of that, I couldn’t even take off my shoes when I got home, but had to go right out to drive an hour to the party.
#4 – Add to that the fact that Carole didn’t tell me about the Friday party until Wednesday because she forgot, and I didn’t have enough time to mentally prepare myself.
#5 – Add to the that the fact that under the very best circumstances, these events are terribly terribly difficult for me to smile through.
It was awful. I tried, but I choke up just thinking about it now. I had nothing to say to anyone and these people are very nice, and they tried hard to put me at ease, and that made everything worse. I don’t even know how long we stayed but if it had been much longer, I would have cried right there. As it was I held off until the street. Although I often unfortunately have a bad time at parties, this was a new low. It was awful. I think menopause hormone ebbs and surges may be making my emotions worse but I just couldn’t deal with it at all.
So there’s that. The reason I was so glad to see the sentences Mary copied is because at this party, there was alcohol.
Now through the years I have not attended events where drinking was the main activity, although of course I’ve been around alcohol at times, like any time I’ve visited my mother. And other times. But at this party I really saw and noted that so many people were drinking. They were not at all obnoxious or sloppy or anything like that, they were just drinking.
I looked at their drinks and I envied their ability to drink but I didn’t for one minute think that I could possibly join them. If they can drink and it puts them at ease I am very jealous, but not at all tempted. I know what happens to me when I drink and it is nothing good like being better able to socialize. Although it can draw you closer to people when you apologize for (fill in the blank) puking, crying, passing out, attempting suicide.
I’m sane as far as that goes. I recoil. It is poison.
But I think because I was having such an awful time, I concentrated more on the alcohol than I can ever remember doing. It just added a lot to my misery. A little piece of me is just a little bit worried that I don’t want any part of these alcohol occasions. I don’t participate when the people I work with go out to drink. I can understand Carole wanting to, in a way (she is incredibly, exponentially more social than I am) . . .
I guess I’m just sort of fascinated right now with my own reaction. I recoil as from a hot flame (though again, I am NOT tempted). What fun, I wonder, to watch people kiss the flame?