AA Meetings are full of cliche’s, sayings, all kinds of anecdotes that probably the person that you heard it from didn’t invent themselves but since YOU heard it from them first, it becomes theirs you just need to be listening for it.
About a year ago, I moved. Just across the river and down the street, it was a move for the better for me, though it seemed to “do me in” stress wise. Along with whatever was going on in my life, work, sick parents, being point man for everything it seemed. I buy a house and the first thing that happens is, I get a contractor that rips out my kitchen and disappears for 5 months-kitchen in an uproar. This is probably something some folks can just shrug off but I really think that this accelerated my trip deeper into alcoholism. Don’t get me wrong I was well on my way before this but this made things more upside down and my drinking increased and the wheel went ’round and ’round.
When I first started AA, I found myself able to start thinking about sorting through things I was unable to get my head around before while I was drinking. The bonus was, I started finding all kinds of things I had been looking for. For example, I found the match to some of my favorite earrings. And in conversation with some of my women alcoholic friends earrings seem to be something we lose a lot of! I have filled boxes of papers that I should have thrown out and not moved and now I am throwing out these outdated things that I have not needed for a long while. ( I am still sorting but making some steady progress!)
At the Shelter
In a meeting last week at the shelter, this man shares how many times he has been in and out of the program, how he gets frustrated with himself, he just has a hard time sticking with it even though he knows he must not drink if we wants to stay alive. He goes down a list of losses because of his disease: Relationships, vehicles, drivers license, places to live. He then ends his thought with, “All these ‘things’ that I have lost are just that – ‘THINGS.’ What I lost to alcoholism first was worst of all, I lost myself.”
So simple but so honest. In my throat instantly was a lump. He hit the nail on the head. I had lost myself. When it became my turn I could barely speak. When I lost myself or forget who I am and who I want to be, the rest of it piles up and gets packed into boxes most of them without labels because I just didn’t care anymore about much of anything. Those boxes became symptomatic of what was to come for me.
Someone, somewhere was looking out for me. I am not sure why and I am not going to wonder. I am just happy that it happened and take it as a sign that I am not alone when I unpack these boxes, sort out my feelings, my life, one box at a time.