Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Sobriety Worries, Bad Economic News

(c) Andy Ternay

  • Yesterday I went to an AA meeting and had a distinctly uncomfortable experience. The topic was Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.. They read the passage from the Big Book (forgive me, I do not have one handy at the moment) on page 24 which talks about how alcoholics do not have the ability to remember with enough force the consequences of the last week or even yesterday’s drinking. It ends with a line along the lines of Once again, the alcoholic is without defense against the first drink.

    I looked around the room and suddenly realized that I had nothing to say about powerlessness and unmanageability. It was as though I did not belong in the room. I could not relate. The longer I was there the more uncomfortable I got. My fear was that they would call on me and I would not know what to say. The things being shared by other alcoholics did not make sense to me, I could not relate them to my life. Then I got called on, I said something bullshit filled about God and shut up fast.

    I felt like I did not belong, like I was an unwelcome intruder.

    Let me be clear here. I am not questioning whether or not I am an alcoholic. I know that I am powerless over alcohol. I know I cannot manage my own life. My biology has been hardwired, whether through genetics or years of using alcohol as a solution, to obsess over drinking as an answer. I have no doubt that if I tasted alcohol I would be off and running because I would have awakened the physical craving.

    I also am aware that the only mental defense I have against the first drink is the Goddess that I accept as my Higher Power. If I don’t keep doing AA, if I don’t keep attending meetings, calling my sponsor, working the steps, sharing what I have been given and reading the literature then somehow, someday I will be uncomfortable in my own skin. I will crave that sense of ease and comfort that comes at once from taking a few drinks. My mind will remember alcohol as a solution and not a problem. I will drink, awaken the physical craving and I will be off.

    So what is going on with me that I attend an AA meeting and feel like an unwelcome alien there? It’s not like these people—whom I have now known for years—are doing anything to single me out. It’s inside me. I know this.

    So what is up?

    I’m not 100% sure, but I think I have a pretty good idea. My sponsor will be back from Mexico shortly and I will have to meet with her. We need to talk. I need to talk. For the first time in years, maybe even since we first started working together, Nici is worried about my sobriety. I can hear it in her voice over the phone. I am too. I’m not in a good place in my mind. In fact, I am in an awful place.

    It is a very uncomfortable feeling.

    I have also made an appointment to see my therapist this coming Saturday. I have not seen her in a while because my insurance sucks. I am actually very frightened about my therapist and insurance. They will be cutting benefits this coming year.

    Oh, and heads up for higher prices after Christmas. I work for a manufacturer; we make pet products, products for electronic equipment, tile flooring, and much more. Over the past three months the cost of raw goods has risen significantly for us. We are passing along cost increases to our customers. They, in turn will pass them to dealers, who will pass them to you. How bad? We raised prices 3-5%. That should be about a 6-10% retail price increase. I think inflation is finally here.

    We may not be able to afford our Prius (in terms of interest rates) by the time it arrives.

    Good Morning Goddess Brigit, my name is Andy and I am an alcoholic. I have been kept sober by Your grace and Your grace alone since Imbolc, 2001. I’d like to take this moment to thank You, my Higher Power, for this my daily reprieve. Today is a good day to be sober.

    Please, Great One, be with me today all through the day and help me to stay sober all day long. Show me Your will for me and grant me the power to carry that out. Thy will, not mine be done. Thank You. Blessed Be.