Every now and then people post comments here (usually after I've talked about feeling like a lonely non-drinking loser) that I should get myself to an AA meeting to feel the love from a group of like-minded soberistas (I made that word up).
And I had a lovely comment recently from someone who said they thought it was 'amazing' that I was doing this sober thing on my own without the support of a group or sponsor. That was very nice to hear. I do feel proud of myself, definitely, that I am doing this. But not proud because I'm doing it alone. I think I'd feel just as proud if I was going to meetings every Tuesday and calling a sponsor when I needed or having coffees with other group members.
Because whether you do it with the support of a group or do it with just the support of friends and family ultimately you're just doing it alone aren't you? We all have to find our own inner strength to stop boozing. At the end of the day no-one else can stop you from lifting your arm, bending it at the elbow, putting a glass to your lips and pouring alcohol down your throat, can they?
I have actually looked at the local AA website and seen where meetings are in my area and there's one at the church opposite where I go to the gym. But I've never contemplated going. Yes I feel a bit nervous about parking and walking in, I'll be honest about that. But more to the point is that I don't feel like I need to bring other lovely strangers into my world to help me do this. That's it really. I know those strangers could quite easily become friends, and believe me I love meeting new people, but I'm ok with who I've got round me right now.
And BIG TIME blogger has played a HUGE part in my recovery. Writing this blog, thinking of it as a diary to chart my feelings and emotions has been REALLY helpful (use of caps to emphasise point!). Thinking about things that happen, or what I am feeling at any given time, then writing it down into words is a very powerful tool for me. Those words linger with me for days, my own words. And then... the words of others commenting to me! What a joy! And I can comment back! Reading about other sober bloggers struggles and victories is also very helpful and reassuring. I don't feel alone.
So that's why I don't do AA. But I tell you what. If I relapse, or if I stumble or falter on this path of staying sober, I will be running to that church and camping on the doorstep until the next meeting starts. I'm not a complete idiot and if extra support and the addition of local like-minded sober battlers is what I need to make sure I stay a non-drinker then an AA member I'll become. You can hold me to that.
Love, Mrs D xxx