Since Sunday I have been going to AA meetings. So far, most of these meetings have been compiled of a bunch of gay boys and then there’s me. The token lesbian. Needless to say, I stick out in my flannel shirt, cargo shorts and Birkenstocks (just kidding, I do not wear cargo shorts…yet). But anyways, everyone is so warm and inviting and gay men love boobs and, well, I have enough to go around. I’ve already been asked out on two dates. And, although the dates are with gay men and involve a meeting and a coffee, I still feel really popular.
(I still don’t know if AA is for me. Not because I don’t like it, I do. I just don’t like the reliance on God and the overuse of his almighty power in the program. Perhaps if I think of a “higher power” as something other than an all knowing God (maybe like the fat little Buddha man) then it will be more so for me. And please no hateful comments about me not believing in this almighty God (Grandma)).
So far I’ve learned that I am not alone in this struggle AND alcoholics are really fucking funny. Typically, the people who make up the masses at AA were the life of the party in their drinking days. And some of the shit they did when drinking is just insane. From ending up in jail, buying a one way ticket to Europe, peeing on police cars, stealing police cars — you name it, they done it. The meetings are never short of laughs. But, despite all these laughs about drunk times, most if not all of the stories end on a sad note with someone hitting their rock bottom, hence their attendance at AA.
I was talking to my dad today (who is 14 years sober himself) on my way to work and he asked how I was doing. I told him the truth: I feel great. I really do feel great about this decision (granted it’s Day 5 and I haven’t been put in a situation where I want to drink). But I do feel super confident that this decision is for the best and I’m feeling great (other than the fact that my animals are driving me fucking insane and I’m thinking about putting them all on craigslist under the free section). Back to my dad, I used to hate when I would ask him in the beginning stages of his recovery if he thought he would ever drink or do drugs again. He would always reply the same way, “not today.” UGH! It would frustrate the hell out of me. I just wanted him to fucking tell me “No Brittany, I’ll never drink or do drugs again. Ever.” But for him, it is literally one day at a time. As frustrated as I was with him saying that, I now find myself saying the same thing. Funny how that works. Or not funny at all.
In our conversation, my dad was also telling me that he is proud of me because I am so much like him and he doesn’t want to see me end up like him. I proceeded to tell him that since I am younger and at a stage in my life where I don’t own a home, don’t have any children and have far less to lose than he did, my rock bottom is quite different than his. I didn’t lose a family and a mortgage and a job before I sobered up. What he told me is everyone’s rock bottom is different. Every single person has a different rock bottom. And it doesn’t make anyone’s lesser than the other. Or better. Or more of a rock bottom. Damn it. He’s right. (He won’t read this because he’s not keen on the interwebs and technology so thank God he’ll never know that I said he was accurate).
But rock bottom. Rock bottom makes you quit drinking. Whatever your rock bottom is you don’t quit because of a drunk dial or text to an ex or even a Girls Gone Wild moment – you quit because of something bigger than that. Your own rock bottom. Whatever that may be. You quit because something about you being drunk scares the shit out of you. You quit because, as bad as it’s gotten, you know that it could and will only continue to get worse.
I may come across as nonchalant and funny from time to time (because I am funny) but this is truly a terrifying experience. Putting myself out there the way that I am and declaring sobriety is terrifying because, well, what if I fail? What if I can’t to do this? I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know what the next week will bring. But what I do know is that bottle of craft beer is not gonna get drank. Today.
“Life is about change, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful but most of the time it’s both.”