And so another beautiful pre-spring day here in Londinium. Oh fuck, I was right in serene and philosophical mode there with beauty and spring and Roman day London and then Willow texts me to say the creepy banana eating GIF she meant to send me yesterday had accidentally gone to someone else who wasn’t part of our discussion about the merits of keeping eye contact when you eat a banana. I don’t see how I can get back to serenity from there. Now, I’m all about the crazy but if Willow had sent me that thing out of context I honestly think I would have had to consult other people regarding our budding friendship. Apparently the recipient didn’t ask for any explanation whatsoever so I can only conclude they are deliciously warped.
I swear I’m trying really hard here to not think about bananas. At least if it had been grapes it might have been a tiny bit relevant to this blog but there we are.
Most mornings I take a longcut to work. It’s a bit like meditation for me, although I think (correct me if I’m wrong though) when you meditate you’re meant to clear your mind and not fill it with thoughts, no? Well. My take on meditation are those moments I’m alone with my thoughts, when I just allow my mind to wander – normally it’s quite random – and I find it really relaxing – and this morning when I was driving around west London in the early spring sunshine I found myself thinking about this woman in AA whom I’ve seen at the women’s meeting on Thursdays a few times. I don’t know her personally but will code name her Jet. The times I’ve noticed her she has cried when sharing. It’s hard not to notice that. So another warrior lady right there who appears to have lost hope yet drags herself to meetings – it’s stuff like that that impresses the fuck out of me. If I felt that sad I don’t know that I’d have the courage and strength to go and sit in a room full of what’s essentially strangers to fight this fucking thing I’m miserable because I’m struggling to escape. Kudos.
Beyond admiring how she has the guts to defy a monster that’s clearly getting the better of her, I started to wonder what it might be like as well as realise I’m nowhere near as strong as that. Hell, I’m only not drinking because I don’t want to. I have zero will power. This chick seems like she’s firmly in the grip of addiction, which in all likelihood means every fibre of her being is screaming out for a drink, yet she is fighting back. Last week she volunteered to do service at the women’s meeting with the simple and heartbreaking motivation “it’ll keep [me] coming back“. And despite tears and clearly feeling broken, she shares. The more I think about Jet, the more I realise how strong she is and how weak I am. Most of all I am reminded once again of how lucky I am. Please God, strike me down with some awful disease sooner than you allow me to want a drink again. Please. Or, should I say, some disease even more awful than alcoholism if we stick for a moment at least with the view that alcoholism is just that: a disease. (For the record, I tend to agree with this view for the most part).
What happens when you feel that way? Even if you ignore the reason you feel you have to drink, what must it be like to fight against something we actually want to do? Or fight against something we don’t want to do because we know it’s killing us but finding that we’re unable to resist urges we cannot control? From Jet’s tears I am going to guess that she desperately wants to get out of this, with a generous sprinkling of feeling desperate and frightened too. Like sitting in front of your doctor begging him to cut that tumour out and put you through any treatment required to get well, no matter how much pain it’ll take to come out the other side and you’ll do whatever it takes. And AA is a little bit like that, even though I got a sponsor and then changed my mind: are you willing to go to any length to get sober? When I think of Jet, I see someone who is. Why else would – or could – she find it within herself to get to a meeting? It’s so clear that she is desperate to get well. When I think about that I feel like a real arsehole because my biggest issue today is whether I use this evening’s meeting as today’s exercise by walking there and back. And I feel like an arsehole because I’m the git who sits in the same meeting not saying a word, never mind volunteering for service, and wondering why people still want to drink. I should just shut the fuck up (like I do in meetings), go give Jet a big pat on the back, tell her she’s incredible and that I pray that I will one day if I need it be as brave as she is.
That’s one of the most valuable things about AA for me – listening to amazing people share their strength, fears, hopes and whatever else. Quite often there is something that gets this little brain of mine into high gear and that can only be a good thing. I often feel I think too much, but I just don’t know how else to be.
Ah! Ivy just replied to my text and she’s heading to the meeting tonight. Ivy with the dirty laugh that I freaking LOVE. She tells me she’s confronting her fears bit by bit. See? Yet another warrior queen right there. And then there’s me and I’m confronting fuck all. I know I’m no better or worse than anyone else, so why is it that seemingly everyone in AA gets it and I don’t? I’m just not there (yet?). Or maybe I’m just stubborn and even though I’m not consciously resisting – the opposite in fact – it just takes longer for some people and I’ll get it eventually? All I know is that I can’t stop drinking if I start and I also know I don’t want to drink but perhaps that’s better than nothing.
Today I’m not going to drink. Probably because I don’t want to and still can’t think of a single good reason to do so.