Sunday, 30 September 2012

Another meeting, another chair! Keep death off the roads!

So I went along to the meeting on Friday that I'd mentioned - it is a little way from me but one I've been to over the years, it does have cross over of some membership with my Monday meeting but also new and different faces including some old ones not seen for a while. One of those is a guy who got sober same time as me, one of the class of 2004, who used to go to the same meetings as I for a while, but work, life etc. mean our paths rarely cross, probably a year since I last saw him.  He came up gave me a huge hug and big smile.  It was worth going for that alone - truly linked to these people through mutual pain and understanding and through a love and fellowship you can't describe (I've paraphrased the quote apologies).

Then another old friend is now secretary there, bizarrely we drank in the same pub for years and were nodding acquaintances there.  As I got my coffee and biscuit he said "Would you mind doing the chair?".   I had to chuckle but agreed - when I'm asked to do these things there is probably some  reason behind it I don't understand and I honestly don't mind, it is good for me to listen to myself sometimes and hopefully others get something out of it, if only that AA and the programme have worked for me one day at a time to stay away from a drink for over 8 years, and I have a relationship with my family and friends I never had before, and a changed attitude to life where I don't judge and measure my success (or failure) against size of bank account, car, house, holiday etc.  I judge my success against how I feel inside, how my spirit guides me and is guided itself.   So I did the chair and enjoyed it, even if I did nearly cry when talking about something - but again I'm no long ashamed of that, the things I did in my drinking that hurt my family hurt me too now and that is precious to me.  Talking about my daughter telling me only in the last few months how she used to lock herself in the bathroom, shaking with fear as I raged about the house drunkenly shouting and screaming hurts me now because I cannot believe I behaved like that and didn't realise how it affected others - but then that is what alcohol will do to me, make me do things I don't want to do and anaesthetise me to both my feelings and the feelings of others too.  It is important for me to remind myself on a regular basis of those things. So mixing up my meetings is working, I'll continue to do it I've decided - it helps improve the level of charge in my spiritual battery.

A quick warning - I've just helped my daughter apply for her first driving licence... yes...  I know... I should be more responsible to the people in my area...  Where the hell is the time going... oh yes finally do actually turn 50 for real on Wednesday as well.


  1. Changing things up can do wonders for point of view - and it seems you are taking steps to head off potential autumn depression. What a wonderful degree of self-awareness!

  2. Bless your heart, this is a very moving post. You have come a long way.
    My eldest just failed his driving theory (by one point) on Tuesday . . £31 a go, he's booked another. Someone's on the make eh.
    I'll try and remebember to come here on Wednesday to say happy 50th, I'm not far behind you ;-)

  3. It must take a lot of guts to sit there and reveal all. I think a lot of us try to hide our inner demons from everyone, including ourselves.

    Happy birthday again, and I'm now very glad I'm 13,000 miles away from your new driver-to-be.

  4. Those memories must be the best insurance against not relapsing. I've

  5. Always happy to hear how you're living your live of contented sobriety. And helping others to do the same.

    Not sure about the age in your place, but your other experience reminds me of a poem:

    Daddy has a little car
    he feeds it gasoline
    and everywhere he goes — he walks
    because his girl's 18.

    And an early Happy Birthday!

  6. My son just got his license a month ago. It's nerve-wracking.

    I'm lucky that my son has no recollection of me being drunk even though he was 10 by the time I went to rehab. I count that as a major blessing because his memory is pretty sharp. I was, however, a pretty lame drunk. Thank god.

  7. You don't need me to tell you that it takes a huge amount of courage to look at yourself the way you have done, and you are living proof of the genuine rewards it can bring. My alcoholic father never had the guts or motivation to take the route you chose, and succeeded in drinking himself to death well before I ever got my driving licence. So, while watching your daughter kangaroo-start down the road might be a bit tough on your nerves, at least you're there to see it!

    Not a bad place to be contemplating 50 from, I'd say. Good on you, G.

  8. Well, happy birthday. I'll toast you with something innocent.

    We who have never been in the grips of alcohol need to read stuff like this to be made aware of the invisible struggles that occur all around our walking lives.

  9. Happy Birthday for "real", Graham - I think this is the third time I've said it ha ha ha

    Great to hear you made it to the other meeting and saw an old friend and even better to hear that he is doing well too. Your humbleness and your happiness resonates in this post. You really sound at peace with yourself - you sound good!

  10. My father was an alcoholic and I'm familiar with the drink induced rages. And, like your daughter, I can remember as a small child hiding in my closet, trembling, during his rages. Be thankful you have the relationship with your daughter you now have, and try not to dwell on past hurts, but simply enjoy the present sobriety and closeness you have with your family. My father died when I was 31 yrs old (drank himself to death), and we never reconciled prior to his death...and now I carry around some of that misplaced guilt and regret.

    Also, my oldest daughter is about to turn 17, and she has no interest in obtaining her driver's license (in the USA you are eligible at 16 yrs old). I have no concept as to why she doesn't crave the freedom of having her own license, other than she's waaaay too comfortable at home. If not for her, I need to prod her into getting it for ME, so she can then handle the mundane drives to the store to run errands while I'm drinking coffee on the sofa and watching sports on tv!

  11. Fantastic, Furtheron. You know your story will have rung true with others and helped them.