Day 98 Alcohol Free

So, tonight I’m going to my first ever recovery-focused meetup. It’s not AA, specifically, but it’s a “weekly practice” that is based in mindfulness, recovery & the 12 step program.

I’m excited, nervous, a little hesitant, and scared. I’ll be going with a friend of mine who has been going to AA religiously for the past 6 years (she has nearly 4 years under her belt) and she’s going to introduce me to some of her sober lady friends, which I really need.

I’ve been resistant to the idea of doing anything AA because I’m not religious; I mentioned that to my counselor today and she said that religion doesn’t even have to be part of the process. What’s important is acknowledging that you are not god and that there’s something else bigger than yourself that is driving the car (so to speak), that it’s okay to say that you don’t have control when you drink. And really, at the core, it’s about the community. Focusing on the religious aspect of the program may only serve to detract from the overall message or effectiveness of the program, which is that of openness to the process, being focused on recovery, and accepting positive outside influence – whatever that influence might be.

For me, I’m an agnostic/anti-theist who tends to find spiritual comfort in the cosmos; though I don’t believe in an omnipresent, omnipotent Godlike figure, I do believe that there is an undercurrent to the universe that ebbs and flows through everyone. I believe that there is a connection between each and every one of us, alive or not, and that even if my life means nothing in the context of forever, my time is best spent having a positive and honest influence on those around me. There is a pulse to the universe that drives the same life force within us all; really, we are all the universe observing and experiencing itself. To me, there’s no image of spirituality better than that.

Really, it’s one of the things that has helped me get and stay sober so far. The existentialist in me says two things: “there is no point in anything, so there’s no reason not to drink. Why stay sober?” and “there is no point in anything, so there’s no reason to prolong your misery by using alcohol. Why stay drunk when you can experience the world and everything is has to offer with such great clarity?”

I choose to listen to the second voice these days – though, that wasn’t always the case.

Heh, look at me, getting all wide-eyed and gushy about the universe any philosophy.

Sigh. Anyway.

Even if this mindfulness group doesn’t end up being “the group” for me, it will be so nice to get out and be around people who sort of understand, you know, what it’s like to be a non-drinker in a world that’s constantly drunk. I’ve talked quite a bit about needing community in the past, and this is one small step toward creating it. I’ve talked about needing to find people who I can hang out with outside of my relationship – here it is. I’ve talked about making deeper connections with people, something that has been very hard for me to do in recent years. Here I go, trying to do it.

I’ve lived a life very withdrawn and buttoned-up; my typical demeanor is friendly but reserved. I want to start breaking cracks in that facade. I want to really start uncovering the person beneath it all. I have a feeling I might surprise myself.

Day 98

3 thoughts on “Day 98 Alcohol Free

  1. damien says:

    I’ve found that the connections in my 12 step group Street much more important that any notion of religion inherent in the steps. The language of the steps was very much influenced by protestant thought of the 1930s but that doesn’t mean we have to buy in this particular belief set. Your description of the cosmos and the connections news of everything is very close to what I personally refer to as my Higher Power, which I chose not to name. I hope the group setting was welcoming and comfortable for you. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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