For those of you here who followed my old blog, you know that I am an alcoholic actively seeking and working toward sobriety. For those of you who are just joining my life. Hi. My name is Carrie (and Kathryn) and I am an alcoholic.
So I haven’t made too far past that first step. That real genuine realization that as much as I would love to believe that I am capable of living a sober life on my own, I am slowly realizing that I not only need to make decisions, but I also need to allow people to help me with this new life choice. Alcohol has an insane grip on my mind and body and learning to let that go and live my life to the fullest is the most terrifying thing I have ever tried to do.
Yesterday, I attended my first A.A. meeting. Before walking in the room, I felt like I was going to throw up. I was anxious and scared. I was also excited and hopeful. The sheer amount of conflicting feelings I have toward myself and alcohol is enough to make me want to go on a huge bender. So far, I have managed to not do that. Baby steps.
I met a bunch of wonderful people, from all walks of life, at all stages in sobriety. From the person who arrived at the meeting drunk, to a woman who has been sober over 40 years. I certainly didn’t feel alone, and that feeling of being alone (or fear of being alone) has always been one of my reasons to drink. Just knowing that so many people out there have faced the same battles I am facing, had to make those same hard decisions and choices, and even after 40 years still live “one day at a time.”
I have a bad attitude about AA. Growing up I watched my Mom go to meetings (most of them court ordered because of a DUI), and I watched her not give a damn, or have any real intention of becoming a sober person. She kind of used AA as a way to meet men. I attended some meetings with her, but I was way too young to understand what was going on – but I understood enough that I thought AA was sheer bullshit. Shedding that notion is pretty empowering. AA is about your attitude. My Mom didn’t have the right attitude – but unlike my Mom, no one is forcing me to go, I already have the relationship I want, and the only thing I hope to gain from AA is the support and strength from others when I need it (which just might be every freaking day for the rest of my life).
I met a no-nonsense woman who offered to sponsor me immediately. While I have only known her for about an hour (in person), she’s got 24 years under her belt, and that gives me hope too. So many people have changed their lives by embracing the program that I am going to stop bitching and start participating.
The decision I have to make now is about rehab. I should go. I have the opportunity and the support and there is absolutely nothing bad that can come from it. I initially decided I didn’t need rehab, but with certain things coming to light in my life; I am rethinking that decision.
It’s all a process. It is a practice. I am ready to learn, grow and change. I am ready to accept help to do so.