This is a difficult post for me to write. Difficult because I may offend, difficult because others may not realize that the story is about me and not them, difficult because I must examine some of my deep character defects, difficult because I still care too much about what others think of me and am I afraid of their disapproval of what I may write here,. It must be written however, I must accept my character defects without acting on them, this keeps me sober.
A few months ago I joined a private Facebook group, alcoholics helping each other. I discovered it was mostly women, interesting because I have been intrigued with the “wine drinking mom” epidemic that seems to be sweeping suburbia these days. I announced my presence and gender, and was assured that I was welcome, which I was. The group was a mix of folks who embraced AA, some who didn’t, some who had strong recovery, and some who didn’t. I found it helpful, I participated, I hope I posted some things that helped others. It was good….until it wasn’t….
In the past couple of weeks I became fixated on the failures and excuses. People who wanted to get better but couldn’t go 2 days without drinking. I cannot go to AA because my town is too small, I am too prominent, I don’t believe in God, maybe instead I should focus on my sugar addiction, I cannot deal with sober sex, I am stressed by my kids, I must achieve my desires before I can be happy , etc.- so I drink. The majority of the responses to these drove me equally crazy: it’s ok, we love you anyway, you should do something good for yourself, etc. Where is the “tough love”? Who is going to tell them to quit making excuses and do the work so they can stop drinking? Maybe the ultimate authority Lance needs to get in there and tell these people what they should fucking do. I convinced myself I “just wanted to help” and I had something to offer, fortunately I knew that somewhere deep inside it was my character defects that were camouflaged in the denial of helpfulness. I also became disappointed in myself, being an alcoholic, and understanding the insanity that brings, how could I not find empathy for these women? Thankfully, I did find restraint of tongue, pen, and keyboard. However, I unjoined the group – click, poof, gone, abandonment complete. It was difficult but I felt like I was at the crossroads, I would either leave or end up acting on my character defects and posting a long diatribe on what people needed to do to get it right (MY way of course).
I took this issue to my therapist and he found it fascinating. He dug some thoughts out of me that illuminated my defects: “whiny women”, why cannot they just do the work that I am doing – how unfair. Jealousy. Superiority. Grandiosity. Ego. We both felt that I did the right thing at the time by leaving, because my first priority is to protect my sobriety by not acting on my character defects. He did however point out that there is a better way, by recognizing my defects and making my amends, hence this post. I think some of the group may see this as they know about my blog. My therapist went a step further and suggested I rejoin the group and tell them what I said here – still working on that one…