I didn’t want to go to AA tonight and they say in AA that’s when you need to go the most. I have been completely engrossed by the Internet these past two days. It was the 7pm clubhouse meeting in town with all the cranky old timers. The 8pm meeting in Lagrange is just too late for me including the hour drive on top of an hour meeting. I had to remind myself of that important saying in AA: principles over personalities – to not let those cranky old stodgy men to turn me away from something that is so vitally important to me.
I walked through my neighborhood feeling kind of panicky. I passed the First Baptist Church and sat on the front steps for a few moments to rest and smoke. Could I make it? I was certainly giving it my best try having walked so far. The AA meeting hall was just down the road and it was 6:50pm.
I sat in the very back of the room and just listened not choosing to share tonight. They went around the room and when it got my time to share, I said, “I’m Andrew and I’m an alcoholic. My higher power told me it was best I shut up and listen tonight. Thank you.”
A few men chuckled.
“I would get so drunk I wouldn’t remember how I got somewhere,” one shaky looking unshaven fellow then said during his turn to share after me. “My car would be outside and I couldn’t remember driving. It would scare the shit outta me. I realized then I had a problem. They put me in treatment for two weeks and I ended up here afterwards.”
I knew I had a problem from an early age. My first drink was probably around the age of eleven or twelve and I drank two bottles of wine. The very first time I drank I got drunk. I thought it was the best thing I had ever felt – it was the most intoxicating and titillating experience in my life figuratively and literally. I would even drink cooking sherry as a child to get drunk and you all know how salty that stuff is. It is amazing I got through high school without more problems than I had. There is a long history of addiction on both sides of the family and it seems to have genetically amalgamated in me. It is a sad shame really. I had so much promise and talent as a singer and piano player. Drinking took that away and gave me back a completely different life – a life I have chosen to no longer live. It’s really liberating to finally realize you have a choice and you don’t have to be a drunk anymore.
Good night dear friends. I am headed to bed early with my Maggie and my fan blowing the cool evening air on me. Dad will be here soon enough with medications.