Recovery is a dish best served cold.

{I wrote this post a few weeks ago.  I’ve been immersed in my recovery and have not wanted to share this yet.  I’m ready now.  A few posts regarding my recovery – from alcoholism, addiction and depression – will be following shortly.  What is important is that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I now know that there is light, and oh my god how good that feels.}

I wait nervously outside of the hall.

It’s been a long time getting here.  I feel shame about that.  If only I hadn’t left.  I would be so much better than I am now.

But you’re here now.

I take a deep breath and walk in.

I am greeted with smiles and introductions.  Immediately my racing heart calms and I sit down.

I listen.

It’s a Big Book meeting.  The Big Book.  The bible for Alcoholics Anonymous.

I have owned two copies of the Big Book (or Alcoholics Anonymous as it is correctly titled) for the longest age, but I have never really read it.  I couldn’t get passed the spiritual thing and I wasn’t prepared to keep an open mind, wasn’t prepared to at least try.

Arrogance.  The killer of sanity.

I listen intently to the words.  I need to get well.  I absorb.

Wise people in the group speak of how the book came about, how the steps came about too.  Context.  It all starts to make sense.  I am thankful to those who started this group.  I am thankful to those who started the movement of AA.  The support it offers, freely, for those who are willing to show up.

I leave feeling hopeful.

Hope.  A word, a feeling, that has eluded me for the longest time.  It is so dark in that place.

I leave knowing I have to put in some work.  I have to keep pushing.  I have to keep moving forward.

I get home and look at my Recovery Wheel {I will do another post on this soon}.

None of the things on the list I have done.  That needs to change.

The following night I attend another meeting.  This one is larger, stronger, more traditional.  I am asked to share.  I don’t want to.  I don’t feel I have anything to contribute, anything worth saying.

You have to start DOING Sarah!

I get up and I speak.

I talk of how I have been sober for 7 years, but how for the last 6 years I have not been living.  I talk how giving up alcohol is not enough.  It is the living sober that is so damn hard.  I talk of my mental break down, my hospitalisation, how spiritually and emotionally bereft I had become, how I had finally come home to AA because I want to start living, no longer simply existing, stuck in that void of wanting to die, but being desperately afraid to die at the same time.  I talk of how I have struggled for so long, and how I want to be well.  I talk of the isolation, the lack of connection, my inherent lack of sense of self and self worth.  I talk of how I no longer want to live like that, of how I want to grow up and be a functional adult, able to experience love, laughter and indeed sadness without fear of some catastrophic meltdown.  I simply want serenity.  And that is why I am here.

Lots of nodding, and agreement.

Afterwards people come up to me to shake my hand, to tell me how well I spoke and to welcome me back to the family.  I feel connected.

Connected.  I have been so disconnected for so long.

I am given details of upcoming workshops to help me on my journey.

I download an app called Al-Anon Audio companion.  An app filled with talks from AA and Al-Anon speakers alike.  It also has the Big Book in audio form, as well steps workshops too.

I listen to it in the car, at home, any time I can.  I need to work at my recovery daily.  I see a part of myself in every one of the stories.  I belong here.  I surrender to the knowledge, the acceptance, that I belong here.  That the requirement for membership has been satisfied.

I start reading the big book.  It’s hard going.  There is a lot of talk of God (or the higher power of your understanding).  I have to work extremely hard at keeping an open mind.  Someone once told me that their higher power was AA.  Something bigger than themselves that they could believe in.  They just handed their shit over to AA when it got too hard.  I could do that, but in the back of my mind, I want something more.  I just don’t know what that is.  I resolve to simply keep moving forward, keeping as open mind as I possibly can.

I am embroiled in a daily battle with my brain.

My brain that wants to kill me.

Why are you even going?  You don’t believe in God.  Are you becoming weak now, giving into something that doesn’t exist.  Don’t go to that meeting tonight.  It’s cold, you know you don’t really want to go.  You are living a lie.  You will never be well.  You are too intellectual to really find peace.  And you know people don’t really like you.  Why are you even bothering.  Humans are social and need connection, but you are an anomaly.  You don’t connect.  Far better to be alone.

I have to fight to push through.  It feels like I’m doing it cold turkey.  It’s the only way.  Just do it. One day at a time, just fucking do it.

Keep coming back.

That’s what they say in recovery programs.

Don’t drink one day at a time, and keep coming back.

It’s like learning to walk.  Except we are learning to live, learning to connect, learning to trust life.  For us, for me, that is hard.

I attend another meeting.  A discussion meeting.  I voice a couple of my fears.  People reach out, tell me that all AAs feel the same way, struggle with the same things.  They tell me how alcoholism wants to isolate us, destroy us.  It helps to think of my disease and dis-ease as seperate from me.  Like an unwelcome guest I have to learn to live with.  It gives me a sense of power rather than trying to control or be a victim.

Routine.

I have started a Bullet Journal routine.  I am slow to this world of bullet journalling, but it has been vital in helping get me out of bed and into the land of the living. I tried the analogue version, but even this proved too much work for me right now.  I now have an app (god love technology!).  Every night I set out my tasks for the following day:

• Get out of bed • Shower • Get dressed • Eat breakfast • Call the caterer • Do the food shopping • Make a card • Do a load of laundry • Eat lunch • feed the dog • listen to some music • sing

Simple things.  Mundane things.  Things I used to run from.  Things I used to feel were destroying me. Simple things that feed the soul.  Prompts to remind me to live.  Living life by numbers.  Connecting the dots as I work through my day.  There is a sense of satisfaction in ticking off the steps to living a simple life.

These are my first steps to recovery.

They have not been easy.

But in that pit where I have found myself, I have looked up and seen a sliver of light.

Light.  I want to feel light, see the light, touch the light.

And now I have begun.

Until next time,

 

 

 

Advertisements

Let me know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s