In two different and somewhat wacky situations, Carole and I have visited two old institutions this month. These are asylums built in the 1840s and beyond, now abandoned.
In a different time I would have been locked up in one of these, if I was lucky. Until recently there was no AA, and I doubt that any of the previous or current, for that matter, treatments would have worked for me.
AA works for me and it has been for 31 years. I recently heard an “oldtimer” or three talk about the good old days of AA, 30 years ago or more, when they started. AA was better than, they say, and they worry about the future of it, it’s gotten into such a state.
All this talk does, I think, it possibly discourage the newcomer who has been unlucky enough to miss the glory days. I disagree with this. I think AA is just as vital and flourishing and wonderful as it ever has been in my 31 years of sobriety and 36 (7?) years of attending meetings. I would like to ask these oldtimers to talk amongst themselves, for goodness sake, and not express these things at a meeting that includes newcomers.
Anyway. I will soon fly far away and I’m still afraid of flying. Faithful long time readers and people who know me may remember that years ago I flew thousands of miles. I’m afraid to fly and I’m afraid to take drugs that will change my fear into something else chemically induced. I’m afraid I will love the drugs too much, and end up in a screened off room. I’m afraid I’ll have to fly regularly, and need the drug regularly. I’m afraid I’ll have to fly in some emergency without notice and not be able to secure the drug. For these reasons and because I’m an alcoholic, I choose not to take drugs to deal with fear, today. I may change my mind about that some day, but not today.
So instead I’d like to deal with my fear and get rid of it. I succeed at this to some degree because of what I’ve learned in AA and in childbirth. I’m thinking of it from the angle of sanity. It is not sane to fear flying, because flying is safe. Also from the angle of character defect. This fear is an invention of my over-evolved mind. What I focus on grows. Or my two favorite thoughts of the moment. One, my daughter is not in Greece! Two, there are many many people who have real problems.