Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 63; Courage

Usually, when I blog, I come up with my title after I've written the text.   Today I know what I want it to be.

This morning, upon awakening, I checked my blog to see if I had any comments and lo and behold, I did!   It is always with slight trepidation that I click on them to see what they say.   In the great wide world of the interwebs, you just never know.

Today was no different.   A reader had left three very serious, important comments.  They are important because the reader took the time to actually post her thoughts.   That means more to me than I ever thought possible.   And yet, I wasn't thrilled with the things she wrote.    As I read the comments over again, I genuinely considered deleting them.  I'd seen what she had to say, I didn't need to post them on my blog for anyone else to read.   But I knew that was the coward's way out and if I've learned anything this past year, it's that courage will serve me better than fear.   With a bit of a pit in my stomach, I hit "publish" and moved on.

You see, a while back, I blogged about my alcohol consumption and how it scared me.  I decided I needed to attend AA meetings.   I went to one, truly tried to take it all in and analyze the situation, and then use that knowledge to make an informed decision about where I am in life as it relates to that.

I've come to the conclusion that I am not an alcoholic.   I think I have tendencies that could be alarming at times, but I also know my mental state on a day to day basis and I honestly don't scare or worry myself, despite what some of my journaling might indicate.

I liken it to this.

Once, long ago, I met a woman who I wanted  to be my mentor and friend.  I knew of her through another friend and couldn't wait to spend time with her to pick her brain on all of her life experiences and how she managed to rise above everything she'd gone through.   We spent a nice day together talking and delving deep, and then even deeper,  into the meaning of life.

As the day ended, with several friends sharing a hotel room, three of us crawled into a king sized bed to sleep.   We talked a bit more, until sleep overtook us and I thought that was the end of the night.   A bit later, I awoke to find my new friend touching me in my sleep!   I was shocked, scared, surprised, and even a bit excited.   In the darkness, my eyes bugged out and I grinned a sheepish grin.   Could this really be happening to me and why was I not throwing her out of the bed?   The thing is, on some level, a bit of me liked it.   It felt nice to be gently caressed, wanted by someone you'd least expect.   But, just because I liked it, by no means did I act out on it, nor do I consider myself to be a lesbian.    I don't see it that way. 

Nothing happened between the two of us.  I rolled over and made it clear I wasn't interested in partaking and that was the end of it all.

And that's a bit how I feel about my attending an AA meeting and my social drinking.   Because I drink from time to time and sometimes more than I should, I don't  think I'm an alcoholic.  The two don't have to go hand in hand.    I'm not trying to stick my head in the sand.    I opened up and blogged about my experiences during this very brief, sad, sad time in my life, but looking at the entire, collective history and picture of who I am, where I've been, and where I know I am headed, I honestly and sincerely know I am fine.

I fully anticipate further comments on this and what could very well  be perceived as my denial.   As scary as it is for me to receive well meaning advice from others, I think it would be even scarier for me to pretend like I was never challenged or called on my behavior.  

I have to not only face others, I have to face myself.   I think I'm doing it.  I think my big mouth gets me into trouble sometimes on this blog, but when I reflect on it, I sincerely don't think I could be any other way.  

And rather than berate myself for having no filter and posting anything and everything I think, I plan to learn to accept and even try to love that part of me.

Today A and I spent our morning talking and it's an amazing thing.   It requires courage, but we know, in our hearts, that we will be alright.

I am beginning to see the rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds and they are hauntingly beautiful.

With courage as my ally, I am on my right path.


  1. Absolutely true.
    Occasionally drinking to the point that you don't remember what happened, and waking up filled with remorse for what might have happened (if only you could be sure...), and starting arguments over things that happened years ago does not, perforce, equal alcoholism.

    I'm glad for you on many levels:
    that you took my comments in the spirit in which they were written;
    that you are not, as I pictured you, facing alone a rock monolith of fear, filled with determination to get to the top and over it but with no tools at hand;
    that you are committed to facing whatever presents itself, evaluating it on its own terms and assimilating it. (Or deciding that you needn't.)

    What you say doesn't necessarily mean "in denial" to me. Some alcoholics think everybody else is too; I'm not like that. It's just that I found, in AA, lots of help in learning how to think in a way that made life a lot more positive and less irritating, and thought you might find that too.

  2. Thank you for sharing your insight. I appreciate everything you've said.

  3. Wow-I'm speachless. I love how you, honestly and without barriers, put it all out there. I think writing makes one feel so much more in control of their own thoughts and trials in daily life.

    Also, writing for me stops it from spinning around my head at rapid speeds, saves me from overly thinking certain things, and is such a release.

    I love your blog!

  4. Thank you! That means a lot to me.