However, at today’s meeting I’ve begun to feel a little….what’s the word, suffocated. I remember this feeling from when I was a freshman in college and the Campus Crusade for Christ vultures came down upon my dorm and love-bombed me. I didn’t mind taking a little here and there, but when I wouldn’t jump whenever they snapped their fingers and made it clear I didn’t want to join their little pyramid/cult – we were suddenly no longer ‘friends’ anymore.
I’m not saying AA is like that, but I am beginning to feel a little overwhelmed. I’m being encouraged to get this person’s number, that person’s number. Filling up my phone with 6 girls that I don’t know. Mind you, they all seem very cool and I would probably hang out with them anyway. But the point is, I don’t like to be forced to socialize with people. I don’t like to have my week mapped out for me when I actually have my own busy life and plans. “You should meet her for coffee.” “You should go to this Friday night meeting.”
I know that all of this comes from a good place. They are doubtless picturing me a ‘newcomer’ sitting home alone frothing at the mouth for a Johnny Walker or ‘gasp’ talking or hanging out with my drinking friends. Truth be told, it really is great to have the support of people who get your addiction, but I think I’ve got it from here, thanks. My biggest fear is that these people expect me to put tattoos on my fingers and attend meetings for the rest of my life! This is what some of them do! Uh, yeah, no, thank you. You call this living? I call that existing. I planned to commit for about 3 months and go through their little program. But I think it’s extremely disempowering and questionable to trade an alcohol addiction for a lifetime commitment of sitting around a circle one hour every day for the rest of your life and listen to people cry and talk about how grateful they are that they are sober.
I’ve already started preparing my little speech for my sponsor so as not to disappoint her. I don’t want her to have any long-range expectations. Worse yet, I don’t want to get so turned off by this feel-good, cultlike, AA for life atmosphere that I totally wretch, then rebel and react by drinking to spite them. I really don’t want to do that.
So I’m trying to view this all from a bird’s eye perspective and realize that I control my own time and no one can ‘make’ me do anything. Well meaning or not, I drank more than enough Kool-Aid when I was 6. Let’s leave it there.