When I was drinking a lot and every day a lot- it was just a bunch of us in a group “drinking buddies,” making the rounds always having an excuse to meet for a drink some place, no matter the time of day or day of the week. There was always a “reason.”
The Wheels Came Off
We all have friends or people that we know that are not great friends and many more of these people we know are just not good people to begin with. As I write about this, I am thinking of some non-alcoholic people in particular, that I know. These folks find the “weakling,” pass judgment, make the situations public news, telling everyone what they saw or heard and drag that person’s life (certainly not their own!) through the mud and naturally, it would make the “reporter” feel better about themselves at the expense of someone else. Oftentimes that “someone else” has no idea that this is happening, so the escapades go on and so do the stories.
This post is in no way saying that we (as the afflicted) are not to be responsible for our own actions. But alcoholics are people too. People in trouble. If they are still drinking, never to have found AA or have relapsed, they need compassion, help and love even when it isn’t easy. If outside folks are unable to provide any of the aforementioned, then move away from the person and don’t add fuel to the fire by trashing them all over town. Life sucks enough all ready.
Blood In the Water
I live in a small city and am pretty well connected. I know a lot of people. This story is about a friend of mine that through no knowledge of her own was the last straw that got me to my first AA Meeting. She is still drinking at the pace I was just 36 days ago. Through many people talking about her, staging their own “amateur interventions” these people all have their own baggage and not all of them alcohol. It gives them some “jollies” to bash her, when it is so obvious she is struggling. We have another friend that is doing the same and he is such a sweet person and yet the bottle is doing him in also. Yet people I know, the holier than thou types, drop in to see “Good Time Charlie” with a pizza, booze or beer for a visit and after a few hours in either or both places they have enough ammunition to satisfy their yearning to feed the “rumor mill.” They know there is blood in the water which is why they stop in. 9 chances out of 10 someone will be dumping wine into a coffee cup as they enter through the door.
I know I am so green at this it isn’t funny. I know I am one drink away from disaster. I am working through the Big Book and can see the compassion that folks in AA (before it was even called AA) showed to people in crisis. And they retreated when the person just “wasn’t ready” to accept powerlessness over alcohol, most still in a hospital bed.
Like the two people (I had known in college and hadn’t seen since) that contacted me last summer and shared their alcohol issues and one was making amends (to something I had long forgotten), I watched them on Facebook while I was still living the “HIGH” life. I knew they had something I wanted, only I wasn’t ready to go after it. They continued on in their own recoveries (20+ years EACH) while I watched and read. Then it happened. My friend got a DWI, lost her license, name in the COURT NEWS section of the paper. She was wild. The rumors flew AGAIN. A few months after that blew over she shows up at my house at a business group networking event and passes out. She was well on her way before she had even arrived.
No Rest for the Wicked
I knew then I needed to do something, to not end up that way. Not be front page news. There is a short time when you go from “Life of the Party” to “Drunk” and I did not want to crash and burn in front of every one I knew or in front of enough people that knew me that they would tell everyone else. I felt like my Higher Power was telling me, “What more do you need to see to realize what direction you are going in?”
One Day At A Time
Yes, it has only been a little over a month but people who haven’t seen much of me have noticed change. Today, one woman actually told me how healthy my hair looked! (These people know nothing of me going to AA.) So maybe in my own little way, I can be an example for those in the struggle that may want to know how they can get some of what I have?