When Gratitude isn’t Just a step to the left. Saditude b4 Gratitude

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Some days are “tra lala lala” effortless. Some are “Are you fu@king kidding Me!?”

When dealing with the latter, I don’t fall victim to immediately gratitude journaling. I need a bridge and a guide to Kumbaya. OR a river, a creek , a balloon, whatever. I need help with the transport feeling to get me to gratitude. I can’t Time Warp or Wrinkle in time there. This bridge step is un-skippable when Im ultra agitated or sad. I cant be all like, “Presto! Silken Scarves of gratitude surround me now!”

If you are glaring at an Instagram picture of your friend holding a yoga pose and you think “I believe in Peace Bitch”. Know that :

1) Tori Amos says that same sentence in The Waitress and 2) I’m with you.

So I grant ye permission not to be grateful for 20 minutes or 20 days. You will most likely slide into home plate of grateful much more easily without the pressure. Take however long it takes to do what you need to do to move in the direction of true North/Namaste.

This bridge could be bitching , writing , feeling, scream-singing, punching, crying, cleaning, smooshing, chopping, swaying, hanging, breathing, dangling or kicking , gerund, gerund, gerund.*
It could be none of those. Who says you have to end up at a journal unless that works for you. Some call this acceptance, but to me it seems a titch more dynamic than that word.

Finally you may arrive back where it is “just a jump to the left and then a step to the right.”

*Oh!, and sleeping

That Creep in your Zoom meeting #4 Day25

Are you new or trying Sober and getting creeped out by Older White guys? You are not alone. If you’re a newcomer and identify as female and experience anything like this, here are some comments, and tips on how to navigate or unf*ck the experience and stay on path.

The meeting I go to are 85% white hence “creepy WHITE guy ” So this is only my experience. Pick your poison and your predator according to yours.

I went to CO ED AA zoom meeting and and identified as a newcomer. I received a private chat message from a regular in this group that said “I love you xxxxx” I have never spoken to this man When I received the chat message, I looked and saw who sent it. Ewwww. I did not reply and let the secretary know. It’s gross. Im older and have been around. What if I was new new?

WOULD THIS HAPPEN AT A MEETING IRL? NO

Stick with the women unless they drive you more crazy and don’t have what you want.

Try other 12 step meetings- PINK CLOUD is a great tool to find them and you can filter by Women only OR the focus of the meeting

use an alias /change your name if it makes you feel more comfortable

Try alternatives to AA if the guy and/OR the 12 steps are not a match for you- there are plenty of other programs and alternatives . Its all part of Life’s Rich pageant to find the one that works for you. Who cares how you get sober. I welcome you if you are trying or have tried.

Belle Roberston has a totally anonymous program

Kevin Griffin weaves the 12 steps and Buddhism Together and is an older white guy who is NOT gross or Predatory at all.

WFS is another Women centered resource

Other alternatives to 12 steps.

I need to remind myself that the good guys are plentiful in meetings too. I’ve met a lot of male folk who have helped me along the way over the years and who are NOT creeps. There are also women creeps. Sometimes Ive been a creep ( althought not in a sexual predatory way -more in a snarky gossipy way) than they have been. This doesn’t excuse or negate White male creepery, which is rampant , but paints the fuller picture.

Day 25 for me. Lots of zoom meetings involving ACA and AA and Alanon. It helps me. I also listen to Belle Robertson and Recovery Elevator, and Kevin Griffin. I Find more resources every day. I give 50% airtime to what I disagree with and 50% to what I espouse in these meetings, podcasts, blogs. Thats all I can hope for. I feel better after a meeting/listen and maybe I can help someone. So the pros far outweigh the cons in this Pandemic climate. When they don’t, I’ll know and I’ll keep discovering , ideally while remaining alcohol free.

#2 Stop Grading your problems . Day 23 -“You mean all this time we could have been Friends?”

The last time I drank alcohol was not spectacular or worth a short film. On March 19th when The mayor issued the order that non essential workers in my city go home, I was not unhappy. The part time job was a necessary drudge that I showed up for the best I could. Let me also say I have known of no one in my small circle who has died or been catastrophically affected physically by COVID 19.

Loss. Grief. Fear. Whose is greater? Whose wins? Stop grading and take care of your own first. It counts. If you’re in your 50s and you’re trying to reconcile crepe-ing arms OR you are 40 and going through a loss of a parent OR you are 15 and getting bullied or you’re 55 and getting bullied OR your Public identity is OVER because of COVID 19, the body isn’t making note of the specifics. Do you think your adrenal glands, cortisol levels, limbic system are all talking to each other going , “Actually, lets just fire at a level 2 Fear because she should be over this shit”. No. The monster under the bed is REAL to your body. Whatever age or whatever longitude and latitude coordinates you occupy. #Compareanddespairanddonothing.

When the Pandemic order was issued , I hadn’t had a drink for 20 something days. I could just take it or leave it. My desire for alcohol was further lifted and I continued not giving a shit about it (meaning booze) UNTIL the beginning of May. Then I thought, I’ll have 3 beers. This was not a secret plan it was a declaration. An experiment. I was not “supposed” to be sober. Nobody but me was judging/not judging . I walked and bought a 6 pack of Racer 5 IPA from the liquor store. I still have the receipt.

Ensconced at home, couched with my partner, I took a sip. This doesn’t taste good. My body doesn’t like it. SIP. Its like too bubbly? But I really want this to work. SIP. Sort of tastes toxic. SIP. Its not that bad. SIP. It will be fun to host virtual game night with my friends tonight. REST-no sips. Game Night began, the sipping tripled. I was chasing the dream.

Later at 11:20pm after 4-5 beers and an Ativan , I laid on my carpet and drooled. Alone. My boyfriend was snug as a bug in bed. There had been no judgement or altercation. I imagined myself floating away and wanting to sink into the carpet ala “Trainspotting” This isn’t me. This is a sort of death but I’m not ready. I knew what I had to do. Purge and Primp.

I went to the bathroom and induced regurgitation. ACID extravaganza. The next day was lost to physical pain but I didn’t really experience the second arrow of shame which was UNUSUAL.

I’ve gone 5 years and 9 months and 2 months and 6 months without drinking in in AA but the large percentage of that time just felt like I was holding my breath and waiting for a reward from GOD.

On May 2nd, There was a monster under the bed that I skated over and I drank. I’m psychologically astute enough to know I don’t just drink because …whatever. I have no external problems compared to some and maybe a lot compared to the other “some”. As a human (most likely), I have the ability to face fear/loss and the requisite emotions that tap my on the shoulder and then throw bricks if I don’t pay attention.. If I stop grading and comparing my fear, “problems” then I can see them or it. CLARITY. Ohhhh!!! Fiona Fear how are you? Come to Tea this afternoon ( Buddhist reference I know) and I can say “FIRE, walk with me!” (David Lynch credit) Let’s be partners. If not friends then fellows ? fiends? In my experience , this lessens the burden and I incrementally lose the desire to drink , or to (insert buffering behavior)one friendly fear fire at a time. This is ACCEPTANCE and ACTION.

Now here I am with choice. Day 23 goal 30 virtual meetings in 30 days . MY preference is to be alcohol free NOT sentenced by shame to be alcohol free. Will I stay the course? I don’t know. I don’t have to know. I’m not throwing AA out but I’m adding Kevin Griffin and Belle Robertson and Recovery Elevator and this blog. I’m tracking Fiona Fear on an excel spread sheet.