I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I’m resisting going back to AA. Resisting is exactly the word for it. For months, I have been making excuses to myself about why I don’t want to go back. Excuses. Which are rooted in fear.
I just started reading this beautiful book called Terry by George McGovern. He was a senator who wrote this wonderful and tragic book about the life and death of his alcoholic daughter, Terry. After a life long battle with the disease, he was informed on his doorstep late one night by two cops that his daughter was dead. She stumbled out of a bar in Minnesota into a snow drift while very drunk, and passed out and froze to death.
The story breaks my heart. I am surprised that I relate to almost every word about this woman.
This scares me. I am not that bad. I could never die from drinking. I am not really that flawed, but I just need to stop drinking because my family wants me to.
That’s what I have been telling myself lately. And it scares me.
I am having such a conflict with this whole alcoholism thing since I stood up and announced to the world last November that I have. Since then, I have dramatically reduced my drinking, but by no means stopped 100%.
I know I should. I know I’m “supposed” to. I know I could get in “trouble” for drinking, or disappoint many people in my life because of it. Yet, I continue to drink, just on a much reduced level, and hide it much better.
This scares me. My love for the alcohol, and the fact that it runs so deep, and risks so much scares me. I only drink alone now. And it pretty much sucks. I don’t have that denial so much anymore that used to cushion me from I feeling the guilt and paranoia and shame. And then I feel stupid after the fact. Maybe it’s because I know I’m sick. It’s no fun. Yet I still crave it, and fantasize about being able to run away to an island where no one knows my alcoholic history, and I can drink socially again.
So I’m resisting AA. I think I’ve become what they call a ‘dry drunk’. I’ve pretty much stopped drinking, except once every few weeks or so. But nothing is cured in me. I worry that nothing is changed. Nothing is healed.
I’ve been reading books about alcoholism for the past few months. I’ve been devouring them. I’ve embraced the fact that I am an alcoholic. I’m not really even ashamed to say it to most people. I am such an alcoholic that it’s impossible to deny. But I’m still resisting healing myself.
Part of me is in love with alcohol. Part of me loves the escape, and the ultimate anti-anxiety and sleeping pill that it is. It’s the only thing that shuts off my over active brain.
So, I guess I am overwhelmed with the thought that I have such a long way to go in this journey. I will stop drinking 100% and attend AA regularly (it’s really inevitable, but I’m working on indefinitly postponing my active participation in it) but right now I really don’t want to go back.
I’m resisting “drinking the koolaid”. I’m afraid that AA has all of the aspects that I despise about organized religion- groupthink without questioning, chants and rituals.
I’m worried that I will go back, and never learn to like it, and it won’t work for me. And then what am I going to do.
I’m pretty certain about a few things: I’m an alcoholic. I need more support and help from others to get better. I am really sick in my head, genetically and physiologically I am made up to be addicted to something. I don’t know how to do this on my own. This much I know is true.
And AA says it’s exactly for people like me. They told me to “keep coming back” over and over again. They forced me into hugs while my skin was crawling with discomfort, and I just was trying to slip out the back door. They all repeat these phrases, that maybe annoy me so much because I know they are true. Maybe I don’t want to join the group of these obnoxiously happy recovered folks, who make me stand up in front of groups exactly like I hate and dread. So I’m procrastinating being a part of AA. I fear that I will become like one of them, yet I know I am already one of them, and I also crave that belonging and oneness that they all annoyingly preach about.
I worry that if I begin to charge into recovery, it will consume me. I fear that I will turn AA into my new drug. I fear that I’ll never develop friendships, and never fit in, eternally be the new, uncomfortable kid. I’m so sick of thinking of every negative possible outcome, and not really believing that anything good will every happen. I believe in positivity. I believe in not complaining. But sometimes at the root of it, I don’t believe that I deserve good things to happen to me or that they ever will. I’m not sure why I am resisting life so much, but I know I need to figure out a different game plan to get better and be better than I am today.