I sat surly and attention deficit in AA last night. I wanted to be anywhere but there and kept looking at my watch. That hour passed by excruciatingly slow. One elderly lady talked for twenty minutes about her pets and the hell they have been giving her lately. Yawn.
"This is when you need a meeting the most," I thought as I sat there drinking really bad coffee as I fiddled with the dollar bill I would later place in the donation basket.
The meeting ended with the entire group standing around in a circle reciting the Lord's Prayer. I couldn't wait to bolt out the door and light up a cigarette. My good friend Wanda was sitting next to the door of the porch puffing on a cigarette as well.
"You never share in these meetings anymore," she told me. "I haven't heard you share in weeks."
"I just haven't had much to say," I replied, apologetically.
"Well, when you share it really helps others."
I don't need this shit.
"I'll try to share tomorrow night," I replied.
There really aren't too many bad things going on in my life at the moment to bitch about. I have those minor quibbles with my father and his role as the family fixer, but other than that things have been good. I shudder to think if this is the calm before the storm as it often is. My natural tendency for self destruction often occurs when the pasture is greenest so to speak.
"Have you been working the steps?" Wanda then asked of those fabled twelve steps.
"I stopped at step two," I replied. "I just can't believe some mythical power higher than me is going to take away the urge to drink."
"It's a God of your understanding," Wanda said, correcting me and growing frustrated with my lack of belief.
"I just can't understand any gods," I replied.
I could see from the look on Wanda's face that she was growing exasperated. She had that "this guy is going to drink any day now" look I see often in AA. The people in AA think their way is the only way, but if you look at the statistics, the numbers that get sober with AA are abysmally small. I would love to see the results of a double blind research study with sugar water as the magical elixir placebo as it compares to going to these meetings.
"Who do you consider your higher power?" I ask Wanda.
I already knew the answer.
"My lord and God, Jesus," she replied.
I sighed as I put out my cigarette in the ashtray and bid Wanda goodnight. I walked home thinking about the steps and they just seemed so daunting to me. It reminded me of the trouble I had with college and those rigidly set paths to certain goals.
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
I took comfort in that I could at least get one step right: step one. I doubt I will ever get beyond step two. There is just something terribly distasteful about not taking responsibility for my past addictions and throwing it into the hands of some grand mythical pooh bah in the sky. I will take my chances with reality. I've had enough delusion in my life due to schizophrenia to last a lifetime. I don't want anymore.