I found this picture of me while looking through some old photos. It is one of very few pictures ever taken of me that I actually didn't hate. Notice I did not say I actually liked it, I just don't hate it and for me that is progress today. I have also been visiting different blogs that were on my list. Sadly some of the blogs have been removed totally, and others have had no new postings for quite a while. Lucky for me and many others like me, most of my favorites are still alive and going strong. THANK YOU to all of you who are still here and willing to share with others.
From time to time when I was still 'out there' I would breeze by and catch up on y'all, there was a part of me who desperately wanted to reach out and comment, but knowing that I was in relapse, I convinced myself that I would have nothing of any value to say. Funny that I often feel that way even when I'm sober. One thing that I took note of was that for the most part people had changed. They had changed addresses, or hair styles, some had become married or divorced, there were babies born, and loved ones lost, they had new cars, new jobs, new wrinkles... but change they did. I think in the preamble, or somewhere in AA it says 'change we must'. There are all kinds of clues and catch phrases to this extent....'if nothing changes, nothing changes', or the definition of insanity 'doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results'. I could go on but I think you get the point.
My point is that for all of my years of sobriety, therapy, groups, rehab and AA, how much did I actually change? On many levels I felt that I had changed and mostly for the better, but there are still many other things about me that need to be changed. My dilemma had always been that I was always afraid of change, anybody remember the many things on my phobia list?
Well, ever since I was little I had been afraid of new things, schools, people, sports, tasks, basically anything that I had never done before. I remember when I was in high school and computers were just being invented, many people embraced this new technology and jumped on the bandwagon. Me? I wanted nothing to do with this new fangled invention, I thought it was stupid and who the heck would want one of those things anyway, it took up a whole room!!! Boy was I wrong lol!
For me to make lasting changes in my life, I guess, I always wanted some kind of guarantee that things wouldn't be WORSE that they were before. If I lived with an abusive boyfriend, for example it would take me years to get out because the fear of starting over would be too great,or the fear of meeting someone more abusive would keep me where I was. I did however receive one guarantee when I first came to the program- someone said ..."if you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it.... and if you are not happy we will refund your misery". Now there was an offer I could not refuse, ya mean I can get sober and work on the program, the steps, and learn a new way of life and if I don't like it I can go back to the way things were? Boy oh boy, now there's an understatement.
Sure we can give up all that we accomplished and go back to using, but we get so much more than just misery in return. I often felt the need to tell people that I was an alcoholic- talk about a buzz kill! And alot of meetings were on the path between my home and the bar- stupid AA, though I tried to avoid eye contact, many of y'all recognized me and wanted to exchange pleasantries, stupid recovering alcoholics! Last summer I would have been sober two years had I not started smoking dope again, even though I hadn't yet 'drank' I knew I relapsed, so I stopped going to meetings. I worked at an outdoor fruit and vegetable market and many people from the program were customers. It is hard to be polite and do ones job when we think that all these people were coming just to re-recruit me into AA, even if they purchased pounds of fruit and vegetables. To further add to my guilt and rain on my party-timin, they would say things like how are you doing? or I've missed you where have you been?
I guess one thing I have come to realize is that the majority of AAers are people who really and truly mean what they say, and when they say "Welcome" to the newcomers it is because we newbies have a way of reminding the oldtimers of how sick they can become if they pick up that first drink. I know personally if I would see someone relapse I would be grateful for the research they had done and I could take their word for it that it doesn't get better out there. All in all I guess I must have changed somewhat, it only took me about a year to get back into recovery this time. I have not avoided all human contact this time. Most importantly, I get to use my compy to forward information to the masses- and who said they'd never last? Have a great and ever changing day all, I think I will too!