I chaired my first meeting in Richmond tonight. My heart was pounding so hard that I was sure it made the top of my red sundress move involuntarily. I scrambled to find the right words. Then I remembered there is no such thing. I turned my recovery inside out for a group of randoms whom I loved before I met. I cursed, I apologized for cursing, then I dropped a few more fuck bombs for continuity. I made my point, is the point.
I scoured my brain to find a topic which fell out of my mouth before I could approve: expectations. I accidentally chose this topic because I’ve had it up to –>here with my own set of them. I felt a heat wave of irrational anger just minutes before the meeting started because I hate when I don’t understand my own heart. I cried to my mother in the car on the drive to Richmond about all the ways I couldn’t make sense of the arc of my life. Why have I not had a long-term relationship? Why don’t I own a home? When will I ever afford a car again? FEELINGS.
I played verbal hopscotch all over that group of unsuspecting AAers. And out of the blue I referenced a page number from the literature like the fucking Rain Man. I don’t really remember what I said, but I know that I shared the page number accurately because I double-checked when I got home. I felt a bit better after the meeting, but the miasma of my thoughts lingered. (Note: I have now Rain Manned twice–I read the word “miasma” in a book like two months ago and it stuck. For fuck’s sake.)
It feels like [all of the feelings of ever] to go through life sober. I told my sponsor tonight that I feel like Katherine Heigel in Knocked Up when her blowhard of a doctor won’t give her anesthesia before she gives birth. She Satan-screams “I FEEL EVERYTHING!” and I’m all, “I FEEL YOU GIRL, ME TOO.” Except she fake-births a child and I real-birthed a new life. I don’t know what I expected would happen. One removes the numbing agent, one feels all of the things. If, then. Cause, effect. Me plus you equals us. Math. And, oh, physics.
My sponsor walked me through step work a few nights ago, pointing to a page out of the book on FaceTime. She says, “You are here.” What a profound bird, she is. I am a speck in the Milky Way, even when it feels like milk was a bad choice. The significance of my ego’s insignificance shocks and awes me to no end. Who am I to say that I should have things or that anything could be different? Here, now, present.
I expect joy. I know that I won’t have PTSD brain forever. I feel like I got a do-over in life. I witnessed in myself a profound sense of gratitude tonight. There was this endearing moment when I looked down during another person’s share to see that a row of men were all wearing top-siders or some alternative form of boat shoe. What an adorable local quirk. And oh! A friend from my Hopewell group traveled to come support me while I led. This guy is an amazing preacher-man who says shit that hits me like an A-bomb all the time. Then he laughs at my stunned face. What’s more, I might have said something remotely compelling to make someone feel less like drinking tonight. Or more like laughing.
Expectations, they say, are future resentments. The future doesn’t exist, though. Ipso facto, neither do my resentments. It’s a choice. Our human minds construct time and ideas to make sense of the present in all of its forms. Human alcoholic minds fixate on resentments to make us drink over the past and/or the future. At present, I don’t have to drink tonight. Neither do those preppy dudes at the meeting. I can’t filter the present through the past or the future when I am here. Sober.
R.I.P. Expectations. You did me dirty, you tetchy bastards. But tonight I say, au revoir.
Photo courtesy of www.motherandbaby.co.uk