Still Here…Still Learning…Still Growing

Sometimes I don’t even want to come post when I don’t have good news to report. I wonder how many people unfollow me because they don’t want to hear about my slips. This last one was a little more than a slip…it was more of a relapse. I don’t know all the days of when and how it started, but I thought I was back on track on Mother’s Day. And then I got sadder and sadder as the day went on. And instead of accepting that sadness, I exascerbated (I think that’s the word I want) that sadness by drinking. Somehow I justified that if my husband’s cousin was coming (with his mom) and since said cousin enjoys a glass of wine or two, how can I let her drink by herself. I know…your head is shaking and your eyes are rolling. Just being honest here. So then of course I got weepy and melodramatic and lost my sparkle.

I try to replay it and I think I felt resentful that I found out at about 11 AM that they were coming for an early dinner. Now I LOVE to cook so you’d think I would look forward to this, but I’m starting to sense a pattern that I can use these resentful feelings as an excuse to let loose and do what I want.

So had to do the whole reporting in that I was back to Day One and still had a fit and start but I’m back on track. Nothing is ever for naught – we continue to grow and learn and each step we take in our journey that is in the right direction is big. So I’ve continued to self-reflect (amidst the self-abuse) and luckily I had an appointment with my therapist on Wednesday.

And then I got the dreaded text from my friend who was the one who introduced me to AA, for which I am VERY grateful. She wanted to know how I was doing and i honestly answered not the best I can, but I’m continuing to make progress. About 70 sober days out of 80 compared to what would have been about 10 in the past. It was then I was told that I NEED a sponsor. And I CAN’T do this on my own. And it’s ridiculous to think that I can MAKE UP my own program. I get it. I totally know she is coming from a place of concern and well intended. But as much as I don’t want to be treated with kid gloves, I also don’t want to feel that it’s her way or the highway.

I very politely and respectfully responded with my text that let her know that I do appreciate her concern and well intentions. But this is my journey and not hers. And the more she tells me what I MUST do and not do, the more resentful I will be. That’s not only human nature, but most likely a trait of alcoholics. I have a hard enough time with self esteem and never feeling that I’m “enough”. Even though I have had some bumps in my road, I don’t hate myself and I don’t think I’m hopeless. But her words, though I understand how she meant them, made me feel hopeless and experience some self loathing. I reminded her that the only requirement to go to AA is a desire to stop drinking. I have that. I applaud the program for the success it has had in the past with SO MANY individuals – but I also know of so many examples out here in the sobersphere who have done this without AA. I am NOT “anti-AA” – but I am slowly feeling like I am “LESS” because I don’t live up to their expectations.

So…on to more motivational things. I absolutely LOVE the Brave Girls’ Club group on Facebook and I really hope everyone will read this. These words will motivate me much more than someone telling me I can’t or I won’t. These words inspire me and make me really really think about what I want for MYSELF – not what I want for others. These words remind me that this is my fucking journey. If I am disappointing others, then I hate that, but I have to continue to dust myself off and get back on board. Each time I fail, my resolve and motivation grows.

PLEASE take the time to open the link and read the advice. I couldn’t figure out how to make it more user friendly so that it would appear in my blog.

To any whom I have disappointed, I apologize. Hopefully you can come and read my blog and applaud yourself for how well you are doing. All I know is that I’m not giving up on myself. No way Jose.


17 thoughts on “Still Here…Still Learning…Still Growing

  1. i love this! Sounds like you are wiser than your friend. You speak the truth when you say the ONLY requirement for AA membership is the desire to stop drinking. 70 days out of 80 is awesome. I remember being in relapse, slip, white chip mode and I would go back in with my tail between my legs feeling like such a failure. I was told I was a winner because I’m there and I’m trying. I too get squeamish at the ones who say I HAVE to do this or MUST do that in AA. My sponsor beautifully and delicately shows me what works for her and is sure to tell me hers are only suggestions.This makes me feel respected and welcome. Some people get one white chip and stay sober for 20 years. Others, like me, it takes what it takes and I had to learn to ignore the judgment of others (no matter how subtle, I still always perceived it).

    • I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to me since i know that you are a proponent of AA. Just feeling like im not crazy helps. I have missed meetings for about two weeks. I was already to go back on Monday when I got the text and very much considered not going back. Then I realized that’s letting her win.

      So I will use her “advice” to create an even stronger resolve to figure this shit out. I was just beginning to look into a sponsor when I started hearing “you have to”…and I was rubbed the wrong way. I hope to find a sponsor like you have and feel that I will in time. For now I can just focus on me and start building up days and then weeks again.

      I think anytime ANYTHING is forcefully pushed on someone, the reaction will be similar to mine. So I “own” my stuff and will continue to carry on

      PS. I hope she doesn’t come to the meeting I want to come back to. And if she does its okay. I’m just as allowed to be there as she is.

  2. You were so right when you told your friend that this is YOUR journey. You have to do it for yourself or it’s not going to “stick” anyway.

    As for whether or not I’m “disappointed” in you or that I’ll feel better about myself because you’ve relapsed let me say this…it’s not my job to judge you or be disappointed in you (I think the D word should only be used by parents and very sparingly…otherwise it just comes off as condescending). It’s my job to be here to listen and be your friend. To let you rant and cry and celebrate and laugh. To just BE HERE.

    At least that’s how I see it. Just my two cents.

    You’re going to be fine and I know you can do this. You have all the tools inside you to make this happen. We all do.


  3. I think I’ve said this before, but for me, slips and “relapses” were IMPERATIVE to my recovery, which is a trial-and-error process. My slips helped me to see just how much drinking didn’t help what I was trying to fix, and just how much my brain was trapped into thinking that it would. BIG difference between knowing what you know about why you drink, and this mentality that you don’t know, or you don’t have any control. At the end of the day, the person that’s helping you not drink is you; the person supporting you in thinking it through and pinpointing the triggers and cravings is you; the person who you are relying on–and who is 100 percent capable of pulling through and not drinking–it’s you! It IS your own, very personal journey, which is why it’s so hard: there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your drinking problem is as personal as your life story. I’m so glad you’ve shared this!!! It helps me a LOT to see that others struggle, too… xx

    • Thanks DDG! Just so no one thinks it, I’m not looking for either forgiveness for past drinking or permission to drink in the future. But you are right that I am the one working through this journey and that every slip something is learned that I can use moving forward. Thanks so much for being my sober buddy!!!

  4. I think starting and stopping and the slips are part of the process. I know each one was a crucial moment for me as I became more and more convinced I couldn’t drink in moderation and needed to stop completely. Good for you for getting back into the car and resetting the timer, you’re gonna do just fine 🙂

  5. Thank you for this post. Your honesty is brave and very commendable. I relate to it very much. You can most certainly stay sober with…or without AA. I was a valiant member for 6 1/2 years and stopped going about 2 months ago. I have heard everything from-I am making a grave mistake to hope you are able to make it back…..I’m still sober and am not anti AA either. It was time to start my own journey as well. You. Can. Do. It.

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement. I have jumped back into the meetings and have found all of the folks in my group to be SO supportive and non-judgmental. THOSE are the types of folks I want to hang out with for sure 🙂

  6. Like you said, it’s your journey and I applaud you for your honesty. My relapse was imperative to my recovery, so I get it. You just get up again and keep going and doing what you’re doing. Like the song says, “When you’re going through Hell, keep on going.” Be kind to yourself along the way.

    • I love that song about “going through Hell”…I just hope that I can really get to where I want to be at some point in time. It’s frustrating to relapse, but as long as I learn something and continue to move forward, I will keep on truckin’.

  7. I feel like this is my story! I had several (okay many) relapses while I was going to AA. I heard varying things from people. Some told me that I should just keep coming back and eventually it would work. Others told me I wasn’t ready to quit. People said that there was no way I was going to get sober without a sponsor. One woman actually told me to “go home, get sober for 30 days and then come back.” Trust me…none of it worked. The only thing that worked was doing it MY way. I still go to AA some and believe that I deserve to be there. I meet the only requirement – I have a desire to quit drinking. Hang in there…be kind to yourself. This is your journey and it will play out exactly the way it is supposed to. Just because someone in AA has an idea of how its supposed to work, doesn’t mean they are right. You should be proud of yourself for all you have accomplished and your willingness to keep trying!

    • Wow Simpson – I am amazed that someone told you to go home, get sober for 30 days and come back. That is just crazy! Ironically, the title of the second reading in yesterday’s meeting was “the only requirement for AA is the desire to stop drinking”. I am glad that this person who read me the riot act does NOT go to the meeting that I go to. I feel like a broken record sometimes, but I also feel like I AM gonna get there!

    • Thanks Carnia! “Believe in your ability to stop” – that says it all. Not sure if it’s fear or something else holding me back, but that has been a stumbling block for me. I need to be on my own side along with you wonderful people 🙂

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