That’s a joke around these parts about what to say when you’re telling your story, giving your lead, and you lose your train of thought. Because with alcohol and the alcoholic, it always gets worse.
And with sobriety and the alcoholic, it always gets better. I know I’m not the only one, though, who often feels a bit behind because I also raise the bar on what is good, what is good enough.
A few days ago, I was worried about Erika’s car. It needed what seemed to be expensive repairs, and I don’t trust the mechanics, and I don’t trust the car, and I felt like I couldn’t be peaceful until she had her car and it was OK. She lives far away from me now, and she has no one to help her, really, and she needs to the car to get to school and work. Although, to make me even more worried, she will walk to school and work.
Anyway after much anxiety not a little money, she got her car Friday morning. Saturday night she was going out with some new friends (yay!) and she had her first car accident.
No one was hurt. No one was hurt. No one was hurt. She was very shaken up and honestly, I tried to be brave. Maybe I should note here that I’ve never had a car accident. I’ve scraped my car on things, including my mother’s car, but I haven’t yet had an accident.
This morning she called and let me know that her car is drivable, and she has an appointment with the insurance person for a preliminary estimate, and her deductible is $500, and the other guy is insured. and the preliminary estimator may be able to recommend a mechanic, and she’ll consider renting a car while this gets sorted.
Last night, when she called to let us know this had happened, we were with nine people from AA, at the meeting after the meeting. Of course in AA as everywhere people are immediately grateful that no one was hurt. One guy said something along the lines “you don’t mess with the mothers,” meaning he wouldn’t try to tell a woman upset about her child that “it’ll be OK” or some other platitude.
Another guy had the nerve to say something like, “She’ll handle it.”
I said, “What if she can’t?”
He said, “Then you’ll go help her.”
Oh, yeah. Actually, my job would let me do that, my wife would let me do that, I have the resources to do that.
I know I have focused a lot of my anxiety about Erika moving away on her car. Cars make me anxious in any case. For many years, I kept my old car around, just to have an extra. Just in case. I miss it. So this debacle is striking me in a very bad place. All I need now is for her to get a sinus infection and I’ll have had to face my worst scenarios.
I also have to confess that I can be a bit superstitious about the things I worry about. Friday, when I was anxious over her repair bill, I could almost hear karma planning something worse for me. Like, you want something to worry about? Here’s something to worry about. Like it will get worse until I can internalize and believe that we are all OK in this situation. And if we are all OK, I am so much better off than a huge number of my fellow human beings. That at times we haven’t all been OK and still, it’s been OK.
How lucky am I to understand that right now, there’s something wrong with me? And even luckier, I believe there is a solution.