I will never forget the day a woman I knew told me she and her husband were getting a divorce. I have had a divorce and because of my experience, I learned never to judge other people’s relationships with their significant others, my divorce hurt me terribly. But having friends choose sides, talk behind my back and fill in blanks that they had no business doing was worse than the death of my marriage.
New Year’s Resolutions
That year, I made two New Year’s Resolutions and I have stuck to them ever since (more than 10 years ago).
- Never make judgements
- Take nothing for granted
When someone tells me something, anything, I really try to keep an open mind. This is when I was still drinking and way before I started feeling the effects of alcoholism.
Some People Are Annoying
The woman that I mentioned above I find very annoying. She has a tendency to be cruel when she talks about anyone and it is difficult to wonder what she says to other people about me. While deep down inside, I know that people like this are insecure and put others down in order to make themselves feel better about themselves and their own shortcomings. I still remember when she chirped, “Well HE is an alcoholic!” As the reason for their divorce, said with such conviction that it gave her a “pass” on any wrongs. At the time, I remember thinking to myself, “Well, I would be an alcoholic too, if I was married to you.”
She’s Not the Only One
For me, one of the reasons being an alcoholic was such a dig to my ego, was because when people I knew used the term, it was not said with compassion, it was said with indignance. Often the person saying it was absolving themselves of any faults like they were a candidate for sainthood. In our “out loud” readings, we read the words, “We are not saints.” Alcoholics know they are not saints. At every meeting, we hear it or read it.
“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”
One thing I am learning at AA, is that you get support from people that are fighting the battle that you are and they are honest about it. We learn that we are powerless over alcohol and our lives were unmanageable because of it, we had to come to accept it. That isn’t easy. Many others that have so much to say about us alcoholics may be afraid that they might “catch it.” Or may be they are one themselves? Anything that was ever wrong in the world, we did it because we are alcoholics when sometimes the non-alcoholic has their own part in any given situation. It takes two to tango, Alcoholic or not.
Sorting Things Out
I am not known for my patience and I am pretty hard on myself. As I grow as a person, doing it without alcohol and learning what really makes me tick, is difficult. I know other alcoholics are working on themselves more intensely than most non-alcoholics or those that haven’t joined us at AA yet. We know we need to change and to figure out what we need to escape and why we felt we needed to escape in the first place.
Hard to Swallow
I am still pretty anonymous with my old friends (aka drinking buddies), my family and other people that I have known for a long time. Not everyone needs to know my business. Not everyone would understand. I do not want to be the poster child for AA. So I will sort this out, “One Day at a Time,” as well as not drink today. Stay Tuned.