The first I ran into outside while smoking a cigarette before the meeting (I tend to light up when I'm nervous). He didn't recognize me... disaster/embarrassment averted. I would later see him outside after the meeting, and fess up to the fact that I was too embarrassed to say anything, to which he replied "I figured, but you don't have to be embarrassed. I've been coming here a long time, and you my friend are going to see a lot of people you'd never expect to see here. A LOT of people you know."
It hit me hard.
Once inside the meeting I looked up and realized the person running it was someone I used to drink with. I can't figure out where exactly, but I've definitely been wasted with him a time or two. The meeting was an open discussion, and he started it off. HOLY SHIT did his story hit close to home.
He started talking about how he was seeing this girl, and how they had shut themselves off from everyone in their lives because of their drinking and drug use. The two of them enabled each other so much so that his only friend was her. They would ALWAYS drink together, and once drunk they would usually end up in a huge fight, and when they fought - he had nobody.
I started thinking about the last year of my life, and how my best friend and I had enabled each other. We became best friends without excessive drinking, but quickly enabled each other to the point where we'd skip work, class - life in general just to drink. It got to the point where we shut everyone else out of our lives. The first three months we were together constantly, and never fought. Around that third month is when I think we really kicked the drinking into high gear, and that's when the fighting started. We'd go out, get shit faced, and end up in huge pointless fights. The fear of having nobody would set in, I'd panic, and go drink alone.
His story brought me some real clarity. I realized that our fighting wasn't caused by us hating each other, it wasn't caused because either one of us was a mean or violent person, it was caused by our alcoholism.
I now look back at the last year and realize how much I truly hurt someone I love so much. How much we both hurt each other. Not only by being enablers, but by our actions when we would drink. I can't go backwards... all I can do is take it one day at a time, and look forward. Look forward to the hope of having the amazing, sober friendship I once had.
I need to do this for me. Being sober will not only better my life, but allow me to be the person I've always been. I'm a genuinely good person, a kind soul who's gotten lost the last year or so. I've lost touch with my core, and haven't been me in quite sometime.
I'm excited to be the person I once was. I'm excited to not have to hide the fact that I'm drunk or at the least intoxicated most of the time - because I'll finally be sober.
Only problem is on my way home from the meeting I once again pulled into a bar. Even now I find myself with an overwhelming desire to just say fuck it, and pound 'just 1 beer.' A fellow recovering friend told me to keep my chip in my pocket as a reminder. I pulled it out and was instantly reminded that I'm not alone, and decided maybe 'just 1 drink' wasn't a great idea... so here I am blogging away.
This process, this program isn't going to be easy for me. Will I stumble? Sure! Might I fall a few times along the way? I don't plan on it... but I'm only human.