Today is March 21, 2018. Exactly two years ago today I went to my first AA meeting. Desperate, out of excuses, and about to give up, I dragged myself to a very unfamiliar place. I finally felt understood.
This morning, I returned to AA after almost two years without it (I only went for a month or two in the beginning). I relapsed this past weekend after 4 months sober and after speaking with a few veteran sober alcoholics in my life, they all had the same advice: get your ass to meetings. I have the same feeling I had the first time: I am understood.
“AA just wasn’t for me, but if it works for you, more power to you”
“I just found AA to force people to stay in a cycle of shame and guilt and I really didn’t like that about it”
“I don’t believe in God”
“I am not ready to admit that I am an alcoholic and have absolutely no control over it”, OK I never said that one, but I might as well have.
The first time, I blamed the Higher Power concept. I think. I can’t really recall why I stopped going. I think I convinced myself that the idea of God having control over me was too out of whack with my beliefs and that I could do it on my own. I also remember reaching out to an older woman about being my sponsor and she ghosted me, which made me associate the whole thing with being flaky and unreliable; I have abandonment issues, to begin with.
Two years and four relapses later, I have to admit that I have no control over this disease. I’m ready to admit that I am an alcoholic. I’m ready to admit that I have to take this one day at a time and stop obsessing over the idea that I will magically wake up one day and “know” that I will never have another drink.
“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity” + Albert Einstein
I have tried doing this on my own, it keeps leading me to the same place: denial, justification, my addiction takes over, and I relapse.
I am sober today, and I am going to try to only look at the 24 hours ahead of me instead of deep into my future and see what this different way of thinking does. In the next 24 hours, I can say I will not have a drink, and I will get my ass to another meeting.
Also, kind of a weird coincidence in case you didn’t catch it (I didn’t realize this until I was leaving the meeting today): I attended my first meeting ever on March 21, 2016, exactly two years ago. Maybe that’s all I need to realize my Higher Power doesn’t have to be defined; it is everywhere all the time.