I was lucky. I got the chance to grow up in pretty much White Bread (Wonder actually) household. Even though my Dad drank too much and he had some party friends. There was no hitting, no police, no one getting their clothes thrown out onto the front lawn being told to “GET OUT.” I will credit this to my Mom, her faith and her tolerance for some little more over the top frivolity that went on at our house. She drank very little and kept the “lid on” for us kids.
So fast forward to today. When I grew up the only people that had tattoos were men coming back from the military. It was some kind of brotherhood thing. And we all know now that tattoos are now being used as a way for people to express themselves though it does create a certain “aura” when people on the outside look at someone they may not know well or that they have never met.
What I Used to Think:
Lots of Tattoos=Scary
Cuffs and studs in odd places – tongues, cheeks, lips =Scary
Scary = Losers = Criminals
When I sit in a room of people that introduce themselves as Alcoholic or Alcoholic/Addict and then have my own turn it’s a very humbling experience. On top of meeting at a homeless or rescue shelter when I always used to cast a disparaging eye on those wanderers and dumpster divers. We are all fighting the same demon. This reminds me of how we are God’s children no matter what we look on the outside. Clean clothes, old clothes, neither Our Creator or alcohol cares about any of those things. I have also been in meetings with people that drive Hummers and Mercedes with fresh manicures and cologne. All of us have been bruised and broken by alcohol.
Takes no prisoners.
You survive it or it destroys you.
If you have never been to a meeting and are avoiding them, reread what I wrote about above. Then read this. The meetings are full of “Thank You” , “Please”, “God Bless You”. And hugs. Who would believe that I would be hugging someone that 3 weeks ago would have scared the crap out of me? Certainly not I. Perhaps that “disparaging eye” was out of deep seeded fear that maybe I was closer to their homeless reality than I was to the world I thought was better than theirs, better than them. I was not like “those people.”
After the meetings – I think. Sometimes it isn’t all good, well how about MOST times it isn’t all good. My old friends in recovery tell me that is normal. I am just 9 days into this “thing.” Being sober is hard work. All of a sudden that crutch I poured out of a bottle or drank out of a can has broken and I cannot use it anymore. The meetings make me think of life in different ways and how I got to this place. Why I think like I do, why I become overwhelmed by the things I do. Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel the feelings but if I don’t feel them then I cannot deal with them. It’s time.
I hope anyone that reads this understands that this is part of my therapy too. I hope just like the meetings some of us go to JUST hearing someone say (or in this case – READ) something that you can identify with and may help reinforce a good day or hold your hand during a rough patch. Everything about this blog is anonymous. The name, the email it goes to but there is a real alcoholic behind it sharing her thoughts. But these are my own experiences and we are all so different. Though my intention wasn’t to wrote something necessarily for other people to read, I am happy to see I have a few subscribers. I wrote it here because I am a keyboard and computer person and my journals are normally done using these tools and not pencil and paper. Writing is my way of sorting things out.
Please feel free to drop me an email or comment, especially comments – remember your manners this is like an AA meeting, without seeing the tattoos! As a man said the other day as we joined hands and said the Lords Prayer, “God gave us rivers and can help us save our livers.”
Just For Today.