digression: the rooms
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in 12 step programs. A couple tours it was court-ordered. A couple others, I felt really serious about drying myself. Not forever, I had not misconceptions about that, but just for a while and going to meetings helps focus me during bouts with sobriety. A few other times, I’ve come to meetings out of sheer morbid curiosity. I’ll see a mismatched, informal collection of folks, making small talk or smoking cigarettes in front of church, and if I have time, I’ll amble in to take a folding chair near the back. The stories you hear at AA or NA meetings are remarkable, told in hindsight, you’ll get raw tales of humanity at it’s most self-destructive. As long as you have a darker sense of humor, that is. Listening to clear-eyed, deeply personal dissections of relationships ruined, jobs fucked up beyond belief, people hurt or maimed, kids that hate their parents, forgiveness that never comes is just damn interesting.
Most of all, I come out a sense of respect. Many of these friends of Bill W, every day, when they wake in the morning, the first thing they have to think about, even if they’ve been sober for years, is “How the fuck am I gonna get through today without drinking myself to blackout?” The disease metaphor is so apt. It’s a chronic sickness, and I identify with it. No, my I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I may be a heavy drinker, but it’s not my defining characteristic. You see, at my core I’m addicted to heartbreak.
I can’t help but set myself up to get knocked down. I’ve sworn it off a hundred times, but it’s never worked. It’s who I am. What fuels it? Maybe my mom disappearing, maybe something innate, my need for fuel for my nonexistent artwork. If there were a 12-step program for it, I’d sign up for it. But even if there were others like me, the program would never work, because we’d all fall for each other and then we ‘d wind up hurting ourselves. And then what are you gonna do? Go back to meetings? There’s no respite. All I have is this goddamn blog and it doesn’t work either. So, yeah, AA meetings are a nice diversion, while I avoid more serious life-hurdles. I recommend to addicts and non-addicts alike.
Filed under: stories of heartbreak | 1 Comment