The thoughts that I’d been having over the past few days stuck with me into the evening yesterday. Despite my best efforts to occupy my mind with other things including listening to music, playing my acoustic guitar, opening up my electric guitar to see if I could fix it (it’s busted and probably will not be worth repairing), and taking a long walk in the cold air, I had trouble shaking those thoughts.
So, I went to a meeting. And that helped. As I walked into the meeting I thought to myself, “I sure hope this speaker is a good one.” And she was. She had a story to tell, but more importantly she was good at conveying a message of hope. I went to bed last night with good thoughts in my mind.
And then this morning came around. I went to my morning meeting and felt anxious all through it. Sometimes, you feel like the topics of the shares are directed at you. I knew they weren’t because no one knew what was going on in my head, but they sure felt like they were. Some felt comforting, some felt like attacks.
After the meeting I agreed to meet my sponsor for breakfast after dropping off Mr. Grey at school. Over coffee and eggs, I opened up about the fact that I’ve been kind of feeling sorry for myself about not being able to drink again. And you know what, he understood.
He also talked with me about the stages of loss. I’m very familiar with these stages, having lost many people over the years, but I hadn’t thought about them in relation to my decision to stop drinking.
On the scale of DABDA (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) I think I’m in the depression phase. There is a part of me that recognizes that I could be in the anger phase, but I don’t feel angry about not being able to drink, just down about it. I think I went through the denial, anger and bargaining phases long before I decided to seek help in AA.
The good news about this is that it may mean that I’m closer to acceptance. The bad news is that the depression phase can last a long time. I know this from experience.
With that in mind, I’ve got to start working on figuring out how to minimize this phase. While my sponsor and I are in agreement that step 1 happens before you walk in the door at an AA meeting, I am starting with exercises focused on step 1 this week.
This is where I am, and this gives me hope.