Saturday, 13 August 2011

Utter lack of compassion

I can pat myself on the back all day long for the fact that I'm sober and not picking up a drink but there is something obviously missing in my recovery so far and that is compassion for people who relapse. A woman I know had a rough day and ended up drinking (again) and came to the meeting I went to earlier this evening. She was loud and disruptive throughout and I was amazed at the patience everyone showed. She obviously needed a meeting but I'm seriously doubting how much she got out of being there in that state. She interfered in other people's shares and shared three times herself and I just found myself wanting to leave. Towards the end I actually went to the ladies' room even though I didn't really need to, just to get away for a few minutes. I feel like a horrible person but I could not stop feeling uncomfortable and essentially unsafe. I go to meetings because they are safe, they are filled with people like me, the only drink available is tea and coffee. Sitting next to someone who reeks of vodka just doesn't suit me right now. Call me selfish. I desperately want to feel differently and do hope I acted differently (I talked to her and tried to encourage her about starting again tomorrow, keep coming back etc etc) yet I'm so wound up. Maybe it's just a reflection on how early on in my recovery I still am - there's still a lot of work to do. My sponsor suggested that I might feel like this because I'm trying to help this woman in recovery, which I have tried doing over a period of time, and that seeing her struggle gets to me because of that. Maybe. She is probably right as usual. One day I might end up in a big mess myself, relapse, and need the support of AA members to get on my feet again, but I'd hate to think that I'd go to a meeting drunk and potentially make other people uncomfortable. My head is a mess and it's time to think about gratitude.

I am grateful for having had a couple of nice days and nights with my partner. I feel that we've reconnected somehow which is really lovely. I am grateful that one of my best friends is coming home for two weeks on Monday and that I'm gonna be spending some much needed time with her. I can't wait! I'm grateful for the fact that I'm not restricted by alcohol anymore - that I was able to get up this morning, put my trainers on, march over to the gym, do some shopping, and march back home again. Even though it's Saturday night I can look forward to waking up tomorrow with a clear head and choosing if I want to stay in bed and be lazy just because I can, or go to the gym... also just because I can! It's the simple things in life...


  1. I understand your feelings of being uncomfortable and upset. In the beginning few months of my sobriety a women (who constantly relapses and also wants to be the biggest AA spokes person) brought a friend to a meeting. Her friend was drunk and she plopped her next to me because they lady wanted to socialize before the meeting. I didn't realize at first what was wrong, I just thought she may be a bit off, but then I smelled her and I really lost it, I had to move my sit, it was a huge trigger for me, I may even had been jealous that she WAS drunk and I wasn't!! That whole meeting she and the other women were very disruptive. I guess though the "old timers" knew what was up so they steered the meeting into a theme of being powerless over alcohol and how they found their way to AA. I never saw that new women again, but her friend has been in the program longer than me. She relapses frequently, some people do, some people get it from the start. Honestly I hate to say this, and I don 't mean to be mean, but some people I think deep in their mind somewhere LIKE to relapse. They like to get responses from the group, a little extra TLC, now that is just me and not everyone has that option. The one person I know in particular I think thrive off of it, she gets no attention from her family and she is always complaining at meetings that nobody cares about her, she is very needy, as most of us are in the beginning. The only thing I can say is learn from someone else's relapse so YOU don't have one. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the drunk person in the group to the people with more time. Sometimes you can handle it, sometimes you can't, it's not for you to worry about. YOUR sobriety is #1!!

    Your doing great and your seeing what alcohol can do/did to us. Have a great day!!

  2. For me having a "wet one" at a meeting is a good reminder of what can happen if I put down the spiritual tool kit, stop working the steps and attending meetings. Just like a newcomer the wet one takes me back and keeps me humble.

    Not sure the size of your meeting but from my experience the person chairing the meeting should have allow the wet one to speak, then kindly controlled any further interruptions from her. It is uncomfortable for the chair person to do, I have had to do this but for the sake of the group as a whole it needs to be done. This was a good experience for you even if it made you feel uncomfortable. The longer you stay sober the more of this you will see. My hope is the wet person will pick up a little something in the meeting that will click and they will start doing positive things to keep themselves from picking up the next drink, we never know what will cause a person to change for the better.

    Good on you for focusing on gratitude!!