Woke up to pounding rain and a hard wind, realised I would not be able to go out and walk. My heart sinking. Yesterday I was able to keep busy, kneading and rolling out the silky dough for homemde pasta, walking up to the mountain road above the village and then to the library for research, working on a borrowed computer for an hour or two. Weeding and planting out seedlings in the garden. Chatting to neighbours.
Today I will be alone with drafts of fiction in a moleskine and needing to live with, tolerate if not embrace my own thoughts and feelings. No money for phone calls, no computer, no music. Financial struggle is not easy and I am especially vulnerable at the moment. Things were not handled well while I was away and I am in part to blame for that. Now there needs to be a tightening of belts and very careful budgeting.
The vulnerability at the moment is very intense. I feel broken and inadequate and a failure in so many ways. I made a bad mistake and it is costing me a great deal.
Here in the mountains there are no AA meetings and I have no money for travel, for petrol costs. The nearest meeting would be more than two hours away. Overseas I had that sheer luxury of being able to get to three or four meetings a week. It enrages me when I think how alcoholics in the UK do not appreciate what they have on their doorstep. AA is not a right, it is a privilege.
But although nothing can substitute for face-to-face meetings, I have sober friends emailing me and I have online AA, the precious community of recovering bloggers, forums, cyber-support. That will carry me through the hours when I am unable to get access to a computr.
And by the grace of my Higher Power, I have no desire to drink. This is what my life is like now and I accept the brokenness and struggle with gratitude. I made a stupid error of judgement in early sobriety and I am living sober through the painful and degrading consequences.
It feels as if much of the hope that has sustained me in the last year and a half has been crushed. But perhaps I needed to live more realistically, enter into the truth of my own limitations and the failure of relationship on many levels. Human selfishness is a fact and the harm we do to one another cannot be wished away as an inconvenience or assuaged by glib apologies.
At night I wake in fear, the old terror that those I trust are lying to me and will abandon me or let me down. Then at last the morning light begins to warm the room and I can get up and make coffee and begin another day, sober and accepting of what cannot be changed. Learning to put my trust elsewhere.
I would give anything to be able to go and sit in my women’s group in Hereford, strong and loving women sharing their stories, reminding one another how we have stayed sober and what it was like before, the miracle we each experience now, one day at a time. The rooms represent my faith in human community. Although I cannot be there, I know they are continuing to meet each week and that comforts me, I live on those memories.
Little by little it will get better, so long as I stay sober and keep working the Steps. I am reading my copy of the BIg Book that I have so often taken for granted, and I am able to keep working the Steps. In many ways I feel the Steps are a process carrying me through this time, that so long as I stay open and receptive to the mystery — the grief and consolations and upheavals — it will all be well in the end.
Always before, I fled these opportunities for growth, refused to deepen my understanding of the brokennes within. Resentment and self-pity were much easier crusts to gnaw on, the whining and self-justifying.
Now I am staying with the truth about myself and learning to trust the process and the Higher Power guiding that process. The old patterns are dissolving and one of these mornings I shall wake up and the light will be breaking through.