Talk about a crazy emotional can’t stop crying day (yesterday the 29th)! I guess that’s what happens when you have a meeting with your substance abuse counselor and then decide to suck it up, be brave and walk into your first AA meeting that same day. Definitely a recipe for an emotional day!
Meeting the 2nd Time with My Substance Abuse Counselor
Once again it was hell. But hell in a good way. (I still don’t know how that make sense but to me it just does). This time we got down deep and dirty into so many things about my drinking. It wasn’t pretty to talk about everything we talked about especially because my panic/anxiety over attending an AA meeting was something we really focused on.
I’ve been avoiding going to an AA meeting. Any and every excuse I could think of I found so I didn’t have to go. My biggest excuse was my fear and the panic attack I just knew I would have stepping foot into a room full of people I didn’t know.
But my counselor pushed the issue, pulled out a piece of paper and pen and told me to create two columns. One was for my ‘fear’ (of going to an AA meeting) and the other was for the ‘reality’ of going to one. For example one of my fears was people judging me but the reality of that fear was why would a bunch of other people struggling with the same thing judge me. The longer she made me write my fears and realities the sillier all my fears became and I realized I needed to attend a meeting.
My First AA Meeting
I walked through the door of my very first AA meeting (last night – March 29th). It was an all women’s meeting and I believe it was no coincidence that I ended up at an all women’s meeting for my first one! I’m not going to lie – I was scared. I was scared shitless. All those fears I had earlier during my substance abuse counseling appointment seemed even more silly as the meeting took place. These women embraced me with open arms. I can’t even explain how it felt to be in a room full of people that knew exactly what I was feeling, what I was going through. But even more important than that, these women made me feel like there was hope for me.
The meeting was so good I actually stayed for the next meeting which was at 8pm. It was a co-ed meeting and a lot different than the meeting I’d just sat through. But it was still good and I got a lot out of that meeting as well.
I walked out of that building after 2 great AA meetings feeling on top of the world and that “I got this”. Boy…talk about not having this. I ended up at a bonfire drinking about 3 hours after I left that last AA meeting. Yep, what a loser – I mean seriously who goes to not one but two AA meetings only to turn around and drink a couple hours later???
I’m ashamed that I wasn’t strong enough to resist the urge to go to that bonfire and drink. I’m ashamed I was too embarrassed to pick up the phone and call someone I had just met at the AA meeting. Instead it was easier to go to that party and drink than it was to call ‘strangers’ and admit I was having a weak moment. I’m ashamed I didn’t have the courage to tell two friends, I was texting with about having just went to two great meetings, what was going on.
Interestingly though, as I sat at that bonfire drinking my first, second and third beer all those faces from those AA meetings started to appear to me in my head. Then I suddenly started hearing the words of the women and their stories and I wasn’t able to drink anymore. But the thing I’m most ashamed of and angry at myself about is the fact I drank. It doesn’t matter if it was two sips of beer or those three beers – I still freaking drank! 🙁
Until next time…
photo credit: nubuck