Friday, July 28, 2017

Day 427 - Thankful Thursday...which is really Friday - The Grateful Alcoholic and Anger

As a part of active recovery, a gratitude list is paramount for me.
What I want to do here weekly is not just be thankful for the easy stuff (although that does have a place)...but I want to take the negative and spin it positive.

So, no negatives here.  
Only positive.

1. AA - Always my number 1.  
This past week has been a hard one.  
I've been numb some (but not by alcohol).  
Active recovery means that even though you are no longer drinking, you still have to deal with STUFF.
Dealing with stuff may honestly be more difficult than not drinking.

I've binge watched some Netflix and gone to bed too night I saw the sun rise :(  
I cancelled my therapy appt. because I just didn't want to talk about the things she makes me talk about.  
Self-Esteem.  Who gives a crap?  
(I realize this isn't very positive so far, but hang in there with me).
I've been quick to anger around everyone in my work, at home, etc.  
I've hidden more than I've shown my face.  
I've napped.

The only thing I looked forward to this week was my Sobriety Sisters meeting Wednesday night. 

When the group leader started discussing our theme for the night and talking about being a grateful alcoholic, I began to wonder how the hell I would ever become a "grateful alcoholic." 

I also immediately started thinking that I wasn't going to have anything to share that night.
So much for the meeting I was looking forward to.

Grateful alcoholic is not a phrase that could describe me this past week.
And may never be a phrase that describes me...although I still have hopes.

And then the discussion leader started talking about anger.
She regained my attention at that point.

As she continued to talk, I realized that I was, indeed, angry.

I don't get angry because everybody at the table has a drink but me.
I don't want a drink.
I sit at the table angry because I don't have a choice.
I want to choose not to have a drink.
Which in some way I do.
But, there is no other good option for me.
So I'm not sure that counts as a choice.

I couldn't have a drink if I wanted one.
And that pisses me off.

I'm broken in a way.
And I don't like it.

I don't want to be weak.
I don't want to need to go to meetings.
I don't want to need medication.
I don't want to.
I am not grateful that I am an alcoholic.
And, when it was time to share, I shared.

As I shared, I realized just how angry I really still was.
Heads around me nodded in agreement...they understood.
They too are still angry.
Not angry and in danger of losing their sobriety but just angry.
You may have to be an alcoholic to understand this part.

Even those in the room who are in long term recovery at this point still agreed that anger was a part of who they are sometimes.
Because of this disease.
Angry but Accepting at the same time.

One of the younger, more recently (one month) sober members of the group came up to me after the meeting and hugged me. 
She's angry too.
And right now she can't see past the anger at all.
She still wants a drink and still is searching for some explanation besides being an addict.
She knows in her heart that there is no other explanation.  She just doesn't want to know it.

Our discussion leader mentioned working the steps everyday...even in long term recovery, she includes the steps into various parts of her day.
I'm 15 months sober.
I haven't actively worked the steps yet.
I may just now be beginning to understand what that really means.

I don't think I'm a grateful alcoholic.
I think I'm an alcoholic who is grateful.

All of this negative rambling comes to this positivity:

1.  I'm thankful for AA.
2.  I'm thankful for my Sobriety Sisters.
3.  I'm thankful for those who have more recovery under their belt than I do.
4.  I'm thankful for those who have less recovery under their belt than I do.
5.  I'm thankful for discussions that help me realize what's truly going on in my head.
6.  I'm thankful for Wednesday nights.
7.  I'm thankful for Netflix.
8.  I'm thankful for my therapist even though I still don't want to talk about self-esteem.
9.  I'm thankful for naps.
10.  I'm grateful for anger that demands my attention.
11.  I'm grateful that I truly don't want a drink even when I'm the only person around the table who isn't drinking.
12.  I'm thankful for brokenness.  How else is light supposed to get in?
13.  I'm thankful for weakness.  Without weakness, I would't be able to ask for and receive help.
14.  I'm grateful that medication exists.  How the heck did women in the past deal with all this crap???
15.  I'm thankful to have a room full of women each Wednesday night who truly understand.
16.  I'm thankful for the steps.
17.  I'm thankful for the Aha moments.
18.  I'm thankful for the past 15 months.
19.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a person someone younger looks up to.
20.  Maybe I am a grateful alcoholic after all?

21.  On an unrelated note: I'm also grateful that summer school is almost over and I will be reading books again instead of student written research papers!