Not yet, at least

I’ve been getting caught up in my mind about AA and am starting to get agitated.

AA can be so helpful. But with every story of DUI, divorce, incarceration, etc., I (thankfully) have to add my “not yet” ending. These things had “not yet” happened to me, but I quit drinking anyway.

But it’s getting harder to connect, rather than easier. There are some truly broken people in those rooms. I am so glad that they are there, surrounded by people who get it and get them.

But I don’t really get them. And I don’t think they really get me. And I feel like an impostor.

Some of their stories are so funny the entire room laughs out loud. Some of their stories are so sad that there is barely a breath taken and the silence is all consuming.

But not one of their stories is like my story. Not yet.

When I read the sober blogs, I say “yep, that’s me.” Pretty much every time I am reading one of you, I feel a connection, albeit virtually. But that doesn’t happen in AA they way I want it to and they way I need it to. I can almost talk myself into drinking again, just so I can get really shitty and then fit in at AA.

How fucked up is that?

I’m reading Brenee Brown and she keeps talking about the human need to connect … she keeps saying how we are “hard wired for connection” and has all this data to make her point. I don’t need that much evidence to convince me. I know the power of having someone say “Me Too.” It’s better than any bottle of wine ever was.

I know I want to live my life clearly and intentionally. And “clearly and intentionally” do not happen when I am drinking. A lot of other things do not happen when I drink either. For instance, I do not “break out in handcuffs” or punch coworkers or climb into random limousines.

Not yet.

The truth is “not yet” feels a hell of a lot like “at least.” And there is no connection with “at least.” Instead, it’s all judgement and distance and “I’m so glad that’s not me,” rather than “that is exactly like me.”

I don’t know what any of this means. I love the spirituality of AA. I love the honesty of AA. I love the acknowledgement of brokenness at AA.

But I don’t love AA.

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15 thoughts on “Not yet, at least

  1. Perhaps you need to try a few different meetings…

    Or try again and listen not to the stories of how bad people were, but how badly they felt. The compulsive drinking that people wanted to stop but couldn’t. The loneliness. The fear.

    I can’t say I had any really outward consequences of drinking, but inside I was so tired and lost.
    Brene Brown is right. We need connection.

    Anne

  2. Do whatever works for you. I’ve still not ventured to AA and at 600 days I don’t think I ever will. I connect with my virtual friends too. And if I need a little extra encouragement I need only email them. They’re real people too, I feel connected to them, no different than if my IRL person lived a few miles away. I’d probably text them instead of call anyway. I also feel confident that if I asked one of my online comrades for a phone number for emergencies, they’d offer, as I would them. Yes it would be nice to have coffee with someone like me now and then but I can live and thrive without that. Be comfortable in what you do to stay sober. Whatever it may be.
    Sharon

    • Thanks, Sharon. I am relaxing into sobriety and trying to ignore the voice that says “if you don’t go to AA you’ll drink again” as well a the voice that says “you are not alcoholic and you don’t belong in AA.” Neither one of those voices feels right to me today. If I feel myself slipping, I know right where to go. I am trying to not be manic in any way and just let the day unfold without putting restrictions around it – other than not to drink.

      Congrats on 600 days!!

  3. I know what you mean as I have just started to venture into the rooms on a more regular basis to try to forge a connection and it isn’t coming naturally. I was at a meeting last night and was listening for the similarities not the differences and that makes it easier to find that connection. If it doesn’t come I shall try another meeting 🙂

  4. I’m with you on this on this one. You’ve written what I have wanted to say for so long. I’m happy to hear that it has not altered your ability to stay sober.

    I lasted for 6 months the first time I attempted sobriety and I truly wonder if it had anything to do with that feeling of not being connected to anyone in a non-virtual supportive way.

    Take Care,

    Tina

    • I lasted for 4 months last year. I started going to AA meetings this time b/c I am open to whatever is going to keep me sober and happy – and keep me from over questioning my decision to stop drinking. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  5. Who says you have to love AA? I think what this community of bloggers has taught me (and what saved me) is that I found my connection right here in the sober world and in the many books I found (my “drunk books”). Those are my people…my tribe. That’s where I say “me too” and understand I’m not alone.

    All I knew is that I had to stay sober “by any means necessary” and that, for me, did not include AA on a long term basis. Find what works for you and then connect.

    Sherry

  6. I so relate to everything you said. Like you, I found it very difficult to relate to a lot of the people in those rooms, despite being amazed by what many of them had overcome. Yet I have found so many ‘relatable’ women here in the sobersphere. What Sherry said – get and stay sober ‘by any means necessary’ – and let go of what doesn’t work or what makes you uncomfortable.

    Thanks for this.

    Hugs,

    SR

  7. I hear you on this, too, and I’m glad you wrote about it. I agree with what everyone says about finding your own way. And yet, I think actually being around real flesh and blood people can be helpful in ways that online isn’t, especially if you want to meet some sober people. I’m trying meetings too, and I’m hit and miss on whether I think it’s helpful. I’ve been deeply moved, but I’ve also had that sense of alienation you talk about, and I think that’s not good for me. I’m awfully glad these blogs are here, because that’s where I experience those necessary “me, too” moments you’re talking about. I hope you’re doing well, and I hope you figure this out in a way that works for you. (And me too!) xo

  8. First, I am truly mystified how I am just finding this blog… we have much in common, and I look forward to reading more! To comment on this specific post, I can totally relate. When I attended my very first meetings, my thought was like many… there is NO ONE here like me! Then I stayed away for a while, hit my bottom, and started not to care whether or not anyone was like me, I just wanted to get sober. In doing that, I was able to find what I needed.

    As time moved on and I got more comfortable in sobriety, those feelings resurfaced. There was one meeting in particular that I still think of fondly; I tend to say that was the meeting that got me sober. But I started to realize the regulars and I had very little in common, and I found I was getting less and less out of the meeting. So I decided to branch out a little, and voila! Problem solved. I go to way less meetings now than when I first started, but the ones I go to I’ve done my due diligence, and I know these are people with whom I connect.

    So short story long: check out some new meetings. Unless you live somewhere remote (and sorry to say I haven’t read enough of your blog to deduce that!), chances are there are hundreds within your reach.

    I am so happy to have found you, and I can’t wait to read more. Thanks so much for this post!

  9. Ditto all the above. I’m thinking of going back to meetings. I went 20 years ago and got sober for 2 years. I struggled to identify as I had not been hospitalized or arrested . But alcohol was ruining my life and I met some good folk. Unfortunately I convinced myself I wasn’t that bad and am now thinking of returning. I live in a remote area and as a health care worker I have been scared to go to a local meeting in case I know someone but might give it a go this week. I agree with the person who said live contact with people sometimes helps where online is not as personal ( which is sometimes a good thing ) . Good luck to all

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