Telling those you love that you are going to AA is a real challenge for the “newcomer.” (At least it was for me) I didn’t even want to say it to myself much less to someone else!
Not So Edgy…
My mom and I have a great relationship. I know I am fortunate and I must say it wasn’t always that way. (That is a subject for another day). As the years wore on my mom and I started spending more time together. We live two hours away from each other and have a family camp that we meet at often. So even though we do live a distance from one another we do see each other and talk on the phone almost every day. She has seen quite a lot of me in these past 70 “chem-free” days.
Stopping the Lies
Since I spend so much time with my mother, I have been “sneaking around” for years. Stashing my booze in places she wouldn’t find it. Kinda felt like I was in high school! If she found my booze what would I say? “No Mom, I am holding it for a friend.” Say what? We would drink together at dinner or a celebratory drink when we saw each other at camp. So it wasn’t like she cared if I drank. But I knew if she knew, HOW I drank and HOW MUCH I drank and HOW OFTEN I drank she would be horrified, disappointed and VERY anxious. I never wanted that. But I digress. I decided relatively early on, I needed to tell her it was AA Meetings I was going to and not just taking off to go to some bar (which could have been the case). She didn’t ask much at the time but what could I expect? I honestly – even now believe that she had no idea that alcohol was running my life. I am sure she felt that I drank too much but what equals “TOO MUCH” ?
In her “Mom sort of a way” she did her on research on what AA was. She has a friend that is a nurse and I think she has asked her about it. I would rather her not tell her friend I am in AA, because she is somewhat of a “Chatty Cathy” but if talking to her friend that is a big AA supporter apparently gives her some peace as to my new habits then, hey that is a good thing! Every once in a while she may drop a “those people are good to each other,” “they really support each other”, stuff like that. I answer the questions she asks me honestly and there are more of them now that time has gone on. This past weekend as I had to do a “command performance” for work-and she was there, she said, “I am so proud of you. I am so proud that you are doing AA.”
After we got home
We were talking about the day and I asked her if she thought I had changed since I started going to AA or just that I have stopped drinking all together. She said, “Well you LOOK better, so healthy and content. And not so ‘edgy.’ ”
I found that interesting that she used the term ‘edgy.’ NO DOUBT I was edgy. Edgy was becoming my middle name, I felt paranoid all the time, almost like someone was going to shoot me out of a cannon or was watching everything I was doing in order to criticize me. Or worse yet, find out I was a drunk and completely spiraling out of control.
Every Day is a New Day, A Fresh Start
In our early morning meetings there is a man that frequently attends and is new in the program like me. He says that almost every time he speaks and he is right. I am so happy that I don’t feel like people can see my heart pounding from outside my chest anymore because it isn’t. And when I do find myself getting a bit “squirrelly” I just stop and think and slow down the madness and don’t run for a drink!! It is a new day, BRING IT.