5,000 Pound Fucking Phones and Fucking

Been a little while. So this one’s likely to go a bit long on me.

Last week I had what I’m pretty sure amounts to an anxiety attack of sorts. That’s what I’m calling it, anyway, with the caveat that I’ve not got the medical expertise to actually label it that and that I’ve never had one before and therefore don’t have much to compare it to. I don’t think it was the full-on real deal, but it did last about 18 hours, including sleep (I dreamt that my brother and I killed someone or possibly two someones and I was freaking out about hiding the evidence and the bodies and wondering what the fuck had just happened – I may be rethinking this whole Wishing I Could Remember My Dreams thing). It was incredibly surreal and uncomfortable and once again, there was no wall of whiskey to protect me from whatever it was. I have absolutely no desire to do that ever ever ever again. I’m pretty sure that it was kicked off by all the stress surrounding the uncertainty of whether or not I will be keeping my job, but it spiraled out into all kinds of other things that were very unfocused and difficult to keep track of. During this whole thing, it never even occurred to me to call someone, anyone at all until someone pointed out to me that I should call someone. Even then, though, I couldn’t do it.

In small group this week (technically, continuing care, but really, it’s small group therapy), this became the topic of conversation, and the counselor said that it was a self-esteem issue for me. Although I hadn’t connected that particular underlying issue to that particular dot, I probably should have, and regardless, it hasn’t made it any easier to pick up the fucking phone. I did get over it a little and call my sponsor and meet with him last week, but haven’t talked or e-mailed or anything with him since then; I don’t know if I thought getting over it once would suddenly remove the difficulty or what. No magic pills here, little lion man. Ugh.

I do also confess to being a little annoyed at the counselor’s diagnosis of self-esteem because when I told her the very first time that I had met her that this was an issue for me, she solved the problem in 10 seconds or less by telling me that the solution was to help others. OK, fine and wonderful, and not to say that it isn’t true either, but – won’t be going to you for individual therapy. Or perhaps I should get over that annoyance and go to her anyway. On the other hand, though, I’d prefer to keep one-on-one and small group counseling separate, I think.

It did also come out that I am ‘not religious’ at small group, which was, oddly enough, related to the isolation topic. When I was religious, that was the entirety of my social group. Then I went into the military, where the drinking began to get serious. Then I got out. Then I became not religious. I have not gone out and made social connections that had nothing to do with booze or God in so long that I am completely at a loss. No idea what I’m doing. Not even a little.

Moving back a little, counselor’s reaction: “What do you mean by you’re not religious anymore?”

“I mean that I’ve come to the conclusion that there probably is no God.” Confused look on her face. “It’s just that simple, I’m not angry about it or anything like that, it just is part of who I am, and that’s all. Nothing to it.”

“Okay, well, what was your social group outside of religion back then?” Give the lady credit for getting over the no-God and moving on pretty quickly.

“That was it.”

Then the conversation progressed a bit further and we went around the room. Turns out, I’m not the only alcoholic in the room that tends to isolate. Most of us in that group do. So now I have homework. Call this other guy in the group, even if it’s just to say, “Hey, calling because I’m doing what I said I’d do and, you know, calling.”

Which brings me to the last little thing for this blog entry, and it’s either really funny or really frustrating. When asked if I had a home group yet, I talked about one meeting I’ve been going to pretty regularly that meets at 6:15 in the morning 3 days a week that I really like. I mentioned that the only down side was the lack of women in the group. “What, for dating?” Shit, she caught me off guard, dating is the very fucking last thing I was thinking about when I mentioned that. In fact, the only reason I had mentioned it was because the one or two women that show up for that group had mentioned how nice it was when another woman showed up. “Umm, no. I just like more balance. No dating.” “You know, you shouldn’t do that in the first year of sobriety.” “Yes, I know. Dating is… well, it’s not… well, it’s complicated.” I left it at that, hoping it would go away. Nope. Kept getting shit for it. Somebody mentioned a possible meeting that I might like. Counselor: “Are there girls there? You know, for balance.” “Look, I’m not a dude’s dude! I don’t like talking about guns & shooting shit or fixing cars, I like talking about books & politics & shit!” Jesus, I wish I’d kept my fucking mouth shut just then.

Ok, but here’s the question that occurred to me later, which I did in fact have the good sense to keep inside my mouth: Why do all the married or otherwise coupled couples get to couple in their first year of goddamned sobriety? Why do they get the incredible comfort of another human being’s skin and breath next to theirs, another human being’s fingers to tangle in theirs, another human being’s chest to rise and fall against their back all night long, and the rest of us just have to fucking do without fucking? Just wondering.

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1 Comment

Filed under AA, alcoholic, atheist, Uncategorized

One response to “5,000 Pound Fucking Phones and Fucking

  1. I never called anyone either, and I was also isolated, until I began doing service work. You know–‘helping others’–except I don’t do it to help others, I do it to help me, and the end result is that 2 (or more) people get ‘helped’. When Bill W. sought out Dr. Bob for their first one-on-one, he wasn’t doing it for Bob; he was doing it for himself, and Bob saw how that worked and so he started helping others to help himself.

    I don’t mean I ’empty ashtrays’, though when we could smoke in the rooms, I sometimes did that because it needed doing. No, I became my group’s GSR and went to district business meetings; then I helped start the local intergroup; then I started a local A.A. Group (atheist/agnostic) with an official registration number from AAWS, no less.

    Now I’m the office manager for the intergroup; I’m a DCM for the district; I’ve been to one Regional Conference, one Intergroup Conference, took care of the hospitality room for 3 days for the ‘Delegates Past and Present’ conference that was held locally last year–and you know what? I’m happy because I’m fulfilling the selfish side of me, always needing to stay busy so I can’t find reasons or excuses for drinking.

    As for the dating thing, don’t fall for their dogma, but do take it ‘nice-n-easy’, because you won’t recognize all the traps the women will sometimes unwittingly set for you. Others are co-dependent and just need someone else in a relationship that won’t be good for you or her; you’ll break her heart, or she’ll break you down and set you back by all the months you’ve been sane in your sobriety. That is what you’ll loose–the sanity–if you don’t go slow (and if you choose the wrong woman, or if you don’t play the field by going only on 1 date then thinking about it, then choosing someone else.

    This does two things: 1) it gets you back in the game; 2) it gives you some idea of what to expect in a relationship with another alcoholic; and oh, ok, there’s 3) it shows them you are not going to be taken advantage of and you won’t ‘settle’ until you are ready to, if ever.

    BTW, it sounds to me like you’re doing ok. You’re thinking–using your head, and you’re also listening. So listen when she says ‘help others’ but do it for you, not ‘for others’. What they get out of it is secondary, if anything. They may not even notice you. The point is, you’ll be helping yourself, and perhaps finding a social life in there some where.

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