Here I am, live on the scene of Sobriety, and ready to fill you in on a few things I have come across, as well as a few things I don’t know what the fuck to think about them (Jim, you’re supposed to bleep out the cuss words – this is prime time).
First, I have mentioned before that I have been listening to the Bubble Hour (here), and I am finding the stories on it to be incredibly compelling. I particularly find myself relating to Ellie, as she is a little sharper around the edges, and I connect to her ‘calling a spade a spade’ style. Amanda and Jean I am grateful for because they are so loving and open with the Love. Ellie has moments like that, too, and I realize in my huffing and puffing morning runs, that I am a judgmental fucker most of the time. Part of the reason I love listening to TBH is because it reminds me to get over myself, and to widen my scope, and to appreciate people’s stories who I wouldn’t stop to listen to before. … Personal note, I am realizing just how thick these cinderblock walls are, which I’ve built up around me. It is taking a lot of effort to even knock one down, let alone all of them. But I’m working on it. I swear. (Fuck.) See? I mean it.
Second, and related to the TBH, I have found a couple of documentaries because of one of the episodes aired in the past little while. The first is called Lipstick & Liquor: Secrets in the Suburbs (here), and I have to admit to being a little judgy/snobby in the editing and choices made in production, but I got over myself (see above paragraph), and found myself really connecting to the women’s stories. I was incredibly humbled by their willingness to share their difficult stories, and was encouraged by the joy they have for Life in their sobriety. Each one of them seems so promising of what can happen by choosing not to drink. … And I don’t just mean their fancy houses, or nice clothes, but even just the way they looked at their families. Gah. Really touching and beautiful. … SideNote: I loved the interview on TBH with the director, and was personally touched by her journey in the making of the film. I almost wished Lori Butterfield had documented her own process in front of her lens, because her compassion and gentleness is so comforting (read about Lori here). I think other ‘normies’ who know alcoholics, or who love alcoholics may really find inspiration from her and her discoveries in the making of this movie.
Third, my Amazon account kicked me with a ‘So you liked this, we think you would like this’ sort of a thing after I finished L&L. The movie is called My Name Was Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic (find it here). This time, the film was made by this woman’s, by Bette’s daughter. The facts alone regarding the ways in which alcohol affects our bodies in the long term is just terrifying. And, again, the personal narrative and commentaries by people who knew and loved this woman, were also compelling. I appreciated the added consideration for social stigmas and social norms through the years as the disease was affecting Bette, and changing her. I am sorry the addiction was such a debilitating and completely ravaging experience for her and all who knew her, but I am so floored by the bravery and intention to educate others in the making of the film by her family. I feel like my experience was perhaps a shadow, a tenth of what Bette experienced, and yet, to have her story there to look at what might have been, is a wake-up call. Facts to hold onto.
Third, I read the first seven pages of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol (here), and I am already fascinated and in love with it. I found a hard copy of it at the book store yesterday and started reading it, but then had to put it back. So, I found a copy on Kindle last night, and found an introduction that just reached into my gut and grabbed all my insides, pulled them out, mixed them up for awhile, put them back into my gut, and sealed me back up. (Gross.) But? If you can’t tell, it really affected me. So strong and so descriptive of what it feels like to love something so bad for me. Gah. Can’t wait to read more…
Fourth, as promised, I went to an AA meeting this am. It was a 12 by 12 meeting, and wow, was it well-attended. People getting ready for the holiday weekend, I suspect. The age range really geared towards ‘quite a bit older than me,’ as I am only 31 and completely on the young-side of life. And the majority of them were men, as well. I came in a few minutes late, so I missed the opening, but people were so kind. The woman I sat next to, especially, was so genuine and eager to help me. When we went around the room to reflect and connect to the principles being discussed today, I said it was my first sober AA meeting, and they all clapped. Then someone brought me a 24-hour coin, as well as a meeting schedule and phone list. Wow. I talked about my self-discipline (one of today’s principles), and also the idea of forgiveness, and that I still am working on forgiving myself for wasting so much of my life (almost a decade!) on the boozin’. Then, one of the older men was so kind, he looked right at me when it was his turn and said he had to learn that forgiveness meant ‘letting go,’ and oh, did that hit me. So powerful and kind-hearted. It felt really nice to be there with people who understood. There was a lot of maleness in the room, so it wasn’t all huggy and lovey, but I expect if I keep going once a week (my goal), that I will make some good connections.
Finally, I lied at the top. There aren’t a ‘few things’ I don’t understand. There’s only really one. … And that’s how to talk about this with the hubs. He was great this morning, but wasn’t sure how to react to the whole going to meeting himself when I asked to go. I thought he was upset when I left, but he told me when I returned that he still just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand how I can be addicted, what my relationship to alcohol is and has been, and he just …doesn’t get it, for lack of a better way to say it. So, here I am trying to figure out how to tell him. And I don’t really quite know how. My first thought is to have him read the intro to Drink, which I mentioned above. I think that would be one great thing for him to connect to, but? It still feels a little hollow. I want him to know my journey and how I found myself here with the goal of getting and staying sober. … I’m going to have to think on that a bit longer. Maybe I invite him to read my blog? Hrm. Not ready for that. We shall see. Any thoughts from all of you lovelies? Let me know.* And thank you in advance.
Day 25’s Book Report, A+!
p.s. 25/100 days for the First Challenge, baby! Fuck yeah!