That Was Tough

Whew.  That was tough.  A dear friend’s cousin had passed away.  Months ago.  Today, friends and family gathered in a local tavern to remember and celebrate his life.  I had been invited to bless the ashes.  Although I’ve never been quite sure what such a blessing is supposed to accomplish, I was more than happy to oblige.  Anyway, I went knowing that this would be the first pastoral act of any sort I had done since rehab.  It was also going to be the first significant chunk of time I spent in a tap room as well.

Of course I wanted a drink.  Not because I wanted to consume alcohol for alcohol’s sake, but simply because a cocktail would have given (at least me) the illusion of my somehow fitting in with this crowd of strangers.  Or, maybe it had more to do with my wishing I could somehow transport myself back to a time when holding a wine glass was second nature.  I opted for a tall glass of club soda instead and settled in against the wall and out of the way.

Now, I’ve been in pubs since getting sober.  For whatever reason, cheeseburgers just taste better in places that also happen to have a liquor license.  And I certainly have been to people’s homes for dinner and the like where alcohol and wine have been served.  Today was different.  I tried to look like everything was perfectly okay.  But it wasn’t.  Don’t get me wrong.  I was there for all the right reasons and I would do it all over again.  It was just tough.

I can understand why some people in recovery go (what seems to me anyway) a bit overboard with their involvement in AA.  AA comes with a whole new set of friends and oodles of meetings and activities to keep one out and about and social.  I don’t want a new set of AA friends though.  I love the friends I’ve got and, even if I wanted to make new ones, I’d rather those friendships develop out of shared interests and hobbies.   I want more out of life than to live and breathe AA.

I do realize all this has everything to do with me and little if anything to do with anyone else.  I know no one pays attention to what anyone else is drinking.  And, so long as the bartender gets a tip, she or he doesn’t care either.  There is absolutely nothing weird about not drinking and I love everything about my life as a sober woman.  I guess it’s just that I would give anything if my life could be all that it is becoming without my having to bear the stigma of being an alcoholic.

But that’s just how I’m feeling right now in this moment.  The sun will set and Christ will rise and everything will be brand new all over again.  Now that I’ve actually typed these words, they are already beginning to look quite petty and ridiculous.  Still, such were my feelings and the words were true, even if only for an instant, and above all things, I am trying to be more honest these days.  So there you have it.  The pickled pastor pastored in a pickle shop today.  Now, what do ya think of that?

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17 thoughts on “That Was Tough

  1. Deep thoughts.
    I just don’t take on the mantle of alcoholic well either.
    But I have met some amazing women solely because we are all sober. So I don’t want to just become a non drinker and meld back into a life of masks and pretend friendships.

    I know things will work themselves out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t get me wrong. I love my home group. Starting my day with a meeting (we meet at 7:30 AM) resets my reality and keeps me on course. I don’t ever entertain the idea of navigating through life sober without the support of the people I have come to know in AA. I know I would get myself lost on stormy seas in no time. I like to think of AA as the rudder that is making the rest of my life possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel ya. I don’t want the program to become my only program. It does make for some tension and struggle though. I have made some great new friends in meetings and have been shocked to discover which of my old friends really weren’t friends. I skipped my regular meeting last night for church. It was worth it but I wish I could have done both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been fortunate in that I have not been working, so AA has actually been a blessing. It gives me some place to go and something to do each day. Still, I have settled on an early morning meeting as my home group. The rest of my day (and evening) is then open to accommodate those other things that are all working together to recreate my life.

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      1. It is a blessing! I don’t “work” either (two kids isn’t work?) and getting out of the house and knowing I will be welcomed when I show up is a huge step for me. I spent too many years cooped up alone at home. And writing again is big for me. My last years in the fog I’d forgotten what it was I need to be doing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done you. I find some weeks, I’ll go to five meetings and some weeks one. I just go with how I’m feeling. I’ve met some amazing women through meetings, but I realise this isn’t necessarily the experience of everyone who goes to AA. I’ve been very blessed. Your true friends won’t care if you’re a drinker or a non drinker, they’ll just be happy to see you. It was lovely of you to do the blessing. Sending you much love on this Easter Sunday PP x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, HTVP. I have come to enjoy visiting your blog and having you over to “my place” as well. I am finding the community of sober bloggers here on WordPress to be an incredible blessing. Wishing you a joyous Easter!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The way we share our stories helps heal in different ways. I prefer to write my feelings rather than talk about them. When you say how your emotions look after you type them, that is powerful. Written words give distance, perspective and clarity. Spoken words seem to come across jumbled and incomplete. I am new to your blog but I love reading your stories. Lori

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I may be missing the point slightly here. I enjoyed reading your post, but the bit that really resonated with me just now was the comment at the end.
    The bit about when you read through what you’d written that it already ‘looked pretty ridiculous’. Thank you for sharing that, thank you for posting anyway.

    I say that because I’ve often written a post at speed only to reread it and realise that my head is already in a different space from when I wrote it. I think it is the very act of writing that dislodges a feeling for me, in a good way. Start the processing.

    Any way I found it useful that you said it out loud. All the best. I like your blog.

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    1. Good for you.

      If I moved to a new place and were meeting new people and making new friends, I might dare to be “smug” about not drinking. As it is, however, so many of the people I know (and once numbered as my friends) are but reminders of mistakes made and damage done.

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