I went to a party last night for some old neighborhood friends who are moving to Chicago. I haven't seen them in awhile since we moved away and our sons who were elementary and middle school friends drifted apart as kids can sometimes do as they move into high school and college. It was good to see them and a few other parents who showed up. The elementary school our children attended was a very special neighborhood school and there is a certain bond there, even if our kids don't necessarily feel it anymore. And even though I too felt the bond, this was a place that I remember well in terms of hiding my drinking. I can remember many many hungover mornings walking my children to school. I waitressed at night then and would drink every night after my shift until the wee hours. Avoiding talking to the parents on the playground worried that I reeked of the night before. I never did really take a morning drink to quell the feeling. I just suffered through until my next shift, sometimes downing a few beers beforehand just to get to work. I remember calling in "sick" to my stint reading stories to the kids, my parent volunteer shift in the library or field trip chaperone. Or not calling in sick but suffering through and not really enjoying the moment but feeling that constant state of panic, anxiety and fear. Until it would be over and I could go home and have a glass of wine which always turned into more. I tried to do what was right for my kids and I managed in the way a "functioning" alcoholic manages. Getting by for appearances sake. And looking back its hard not to wonder just how well I functioned. Well, I don't wonder, I know what I missed. It makes me sad sometimes. This is me, not shutting the door on it.
Anyway, there were all sorts of people at the party. Parents from the neighborhood, family, old childhood friends, co-workers. And many were drinking up a storm. In the backyard they had this luge thing made out of ice that you see pictured above and they would pour the alcohol of your choice down the luge to your waiting mouth. I would have loved that back in the day, though it was said that the ice sucked up a lot of the alcohol. What was really great about the party for me was that my friends mother is also an alcoholic. I saw her at a few meetings early on, which of course freaked me out the first time...OMG, my cover is blown....and she had given me her number to call. As my program progressed, I never used it and we apparantly attend different meetings as I don't see her too much. Once in awhile from across the room. The first thing she said to me when I arrived at the party was how are you doing? I knew what she meant. It wasn't as the mother of my friend looking for small talk but as a fellow member of AA. Are you sober? And I said I was great. When the luging started and our little group of neighborhood parents started jumping on the bandwagon, she looked at me and said..I won't be doing any luges and I looked at her and said the same thing. It felt great to have that comraderie that only she and I knew about.
So today is Sunday morning..i was going to go kayaking with a church group but they cancelled under threat of rain. It's beautiful so I will go to a meeting...one that I haven't attended in quite some time as it fell to the side as I explored churches and found something there. At the time. Today, I need to hear the Big Book and then I will take my kayak out on our little lake and maybe do some writing out there. Try my hand at making a Cioppino, south beach style. And then WORLD CUP!. I've really enjoyed the games and though USA did not make it I have watched the teams progress. Was hoping Germany could etch it out since my daughter is there now and it would have been a lot of fun for her. As it is, she is consoling her German friends who were in tears and couldn't even watch the consolation game yesterday. Europeans take their soccer..futbol...seriously. I'm going to take my program seriously today..have a good one! xo
"But the first salt wind from the east, the first sight of the lighthouse set boldly on its outer rock, the flash of a gull, the waiting procession of seaward-bound firs on an island, made me feel solid and definate again..."
-Sarah Orne Jewitt
From the Bondage of Self Going Sober: June 11, 2007
To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. --Henri J. M. Nouwen
So Far Away by Stain'd
And So It Continues....
"There were in her at the moment two beings, one drawing deep breaths of freedom and exhilaration, the other gasping for air in a little black prison-house of fears. But gradually the captive's gasps grew fainter, or the other paid less heed to them; the horizon expanded, the air grew stronger, and the free spirit quivered for flight." Edith Wharton