September 25, 2011 (this day)

I was stuck for something to write about, then I checked out my own side bar.  I see that I am to concentrate on the character defects of “abrasiveness, hostility, belligerence, being generally bad-humored.”  That I can do (anyone old enough to remember A Chorus Line?)!

At my meeting last night, the topics that were suggested were (1) how have you changed? (2) why do you keep coming back? and (3) anger, fear, and resentment.  Not much to talk about there!  So putting these two together I thought about what happened after the meeting.

We traditionally have a meeting after the meeting.  Carole and I, as regulars, go out after, inviting all and sundry to come.  The tradition has changed a bit over time and what I had in mind at the beginning was to sort of recreate the diner experience I had when I first got sober.  I did that for years, then not so much as I moved many times in sobriety, then had kids at home I needed to get back to.  Now I’m free again.  Among other things, I do believe it helps newcomers socialize with AA folks in a non-meeting setting.

Because there are many financial situations represented at a meeting, I always push for a diner-type place to eat.  Somewhere that someone can have just a cup of coffee, or dessert, or a whole dinner.  I’m often over ruled though and we got to real restaurants with real dinners, and that’s what happened last night.

So on the way there, we saw fireworks.  Our town was shooting off fireworks, I don’t know why.  Our town is small and the fireworks are visible from all over.  They’re shot off less than two miles away and they shake the ground and are very loud.

And my dog is afraid, as are so many.  And I’m not happy when my dog is afraid.  We can comfort her to some extent, but she’s really still afraid even when we tell her not to be.  Fourth of July and Halloween (ringing door bells, lots of people walking around) are two times I make sure to be home with her.  I’ll add late September to that list, but last night I didn’t know about it.

On the way to the dinner, I really worried about her.  I was very torn about going home to be with her and letting Carole get a ride home, or coming back to get her.  I wouldn’t comfort the dog then go back out.  I think that would be worse.  I struggled with knowing the fireworks would be done by the time I got to the house, thinking the dog would still need some comfort, and the truth that at times I go away for more than a few hours, leaving the dog to cope with whatever comes, including, possibly, fireworks.

I stayed at the dinner.  It really put a damper on my experience and, from my above list, I’d have to say I was generally bad-humored.   I still feel kind of guilty about it.  Having made my decision and staying at the dinner, I couldn’t slough it off and just be happy with the company and the night.

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