12 weeks

It’s hard to believe that 12 weeks have passed by since that dark day when I cried ‘enough!’ I’m still feeling generally good about being sober. I can’t say for certain I’m headed for long-term success (can we ever?) but my mind feels more resolute than it ever has on previous attempts.

I think a new SMART recovery meeting has started in my town and I’m considering going. I’ve search for meeting options many times before but have never found anything that would fit around my strange working hours or that wasn’t too close to where I work. I don’t know why I searched again last week but I did and up popped a new, suitable option. I still have a strong aversion to walking into that sort of situation but I know that I need to stray from my comfort zone to bring growth into my sober life.

Let me tell you a story about a time I tried to do this sort of thing before. It’s kind of funny (in hindsight) but will also give you an idea of why I am a bit paranoid about going to meetings around any touchy or taboo subjects.

A few years ago, after splitting up with my ex I did one of my rare ‘bite the bullet’ experiments and went to a social gathering for people who are inclined towards the ’50 shades’ end of the sexual spectrum. It was in the next town, where I didn’t know anybody. It was in an out of the way pub that I’d never been to and never would go to again if necessary. I was terrified but I figured it would be an experiment that never had to be repeated if anything went badly. I didn’t have to give anybody my real name, or tell them anything about my life. I would basically be anonymous.

I drove to the pub, sat outside in my car feeling so nervous I almost threw up. I almost drove away again but gritted my teeth and forced myself to go in. They met under the guise of being a photography club. It was all ‘undercover’, normal clothing, no rubber, whips or chains to be seen. I shakingly grabbed a drink (non-alcoholic) at the bar, took a deep breath and walked into the area at the back of the pub reserved for their meeting.

Walking into this kind of situation is my idea of living hell. I nervously scanned the 15 or so people already sitting and chatting. I felt like a rabbit in headlights while I tried to find a friendly face and work out where to sit. And then, to my utter disbelieving horror, I made eye contact with…

… my next door neighbour. WTF!? Awkward!

It actually turned out fine. I ended up chatting with him and his new partner. He’d recently separated from his wife and moved out from the family home next door. It had been a long time coming, they’d stayed together for the kids until they couldn’t do it any longer. He showed me some beautiful, professionally shot photos of his partner squatting on his chest wearing stiletto heels. She was tiny but it still looked scarily like a recipe for a punctured lung.

They gave me their number, inviting me to go with them to any club events realising that it would be extremely intimidating for me to go alone. I really appreciated them reaching out to support me like that but a combination of me being socially reclusive and meeting my partner a couple of weeks later meant I never took them up on it or explored any further.

It’s not really surprising that I’m touchy about sensitive meetings after that πŸ˜€ I have visions of walking in and finding a neighbour or somebody from work sitting there. I suppose if I did then they would be in the same situation and would most likely be discreet and supportive but I’m still paranoid about it. I’m not ashamed of my substance abuse problems it’s more that I am extremely introverted and do not want to be forced into difficult conversations about it. I am open about it with people that I choose but definitely not with anybody else.

I’m really going to try to go to SMART next Friday though. I know I need to add some extra support, try everything possible to strengthen my recovery efforts. It’s a week away and I already feel nervous though…

It’s almost 5am and I’m sitting up in bed writing this. I love being awake when most other people are asleep. I love the peace and stillness. My cat is fast asleep, dream twitching against my leg. I have a good book waiting for me when I finish writing, or maybe I’ll meditate for a while. I’m grateful for this simple, sober moment.

Have a good weekend everybody, whatever you’re up to. Sending supportive vibes to anybody who’s struggling at the moment x



31 thoughts on “12 weeks

  1. Blahdablahdablah April 22, 2017 / 5:54 am

    Fancy meeting your neighbour at that gathering, how awkward! I have no idea what the 50 shades of the sexual spectrum is but it sounds intriguing. I have obviously been married for way too many years and am showing my age!!
    Congratulations on twelve weeks xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 6:19 am

      Hi and thank you πŸ™‚ I checked out your blog and you have 5 and a half months which is huge! The 50 shades is a reference to the book/film 50 shades of grey that brought a BDSM story to a mainstream audience. It’s not something I would generally write about here but I can’t escape the paranoia about meetings that that awkward moment left me with lol! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hurrahforcoffee April 22, 2017 / 7:03 am

    That is hilarious! You should totally write a short story about that. I completely understand your trepidation about meetings. I haven’t mustered up the courage to go to AA again. I may check out the smart recovery meetings too. One day I’d like to arrange a UK blogging meetup, might be nice to make real life connections☺ xx

    Liked by 2 people

      • soberisland April 22, 2017 / 1:10 pm

        If I didn’t miss my dog so much I would consider hanging around in Europe for longer. And I can do a British accent so no one would be the wiser.

        Liked by 2 people

      • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 1:30 pm

        Yeah, I went away for 2 nights this week and I missed my cat so I can’t imagine weeks on end. Maybe another time, although sadly you’ll have to stop thinking of us as Europe fairly soon 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      • soberisland April 22, 2017 / 3:05 pm

        After a few conversations with my 82 year old Cambridge professor friend, I understand the complexities of the Brexit. He said not too worry too much, he was at Harvard when Kennedy was assassinated and it felt like the world was ending then, but it didn’t.

        Liked by 2 people

      • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 3:59 pm

        Oh wow! Sounds like he’s led an interesting life πŸ™‚ I hope I can still hike like that if I make it to 82.

        Liked by 2 people

      • soberisland April 22, 2017 / 4:23 pm

        He didn’t like it when I called him a smartypants but yes.

        Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 12:42 pm

      I don’t know where I’d put a story about that, it’s not exactly something I’d shout about – similar perceived stigma level as alcohol abuse I guess. Was your previous experience at AA unsatisfactory or is it just trepidation and intertia holding you back? A blogging meetup would definitely be interesting, as long as my next door neighbour doesn’t turn up ;D xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hurrahforcoffee April 22, 2017 / 2:56 pm

        I’ve gone a couple of times and everytime it was just a bunch of older men. I’m not so keen on sharing my most vulnarble and intimate shame and guilt with dudes that may not relate. May try to find women’s only meetings, there don’t seem to be that many around. x

        Liked by 3 people

      • ainsobriety April 22, 2017 / 4:14 pm

        I love the older men. If you really listen they are just lonely and scared and I am always reminded that inside we are all the same…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hurrahforcoffee April 22, 2017 / 6:15 pm

        I agree we are, it’s just a bit tricky when it get’s to sharing there are certain topics that are sensitive that I dont really feel very comfortable sharing with men my dad’s age. x

        Liked by 2 people

  3. soberisland April 22, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Wow. I never would have pegged you to be the type. I think I would be mortified but I am definitely a prude. If you can do that you can definitely go to a SMART meeting. People will be welcoming and you don’t have to talk. Only share as much as you are comfortable with and it is a slow process, no need to rush in telling your story. And everyone feels awkward in the beginning. It’s totally natural to be anxious. I agree with hurrah- it’s hilarious and you should write a short story. Let us know how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      There’s not a type as such, it’s a spectrum and I’m only fairly mildly on it, some people are into some heavy duty stuff that would freak me out. I wouldn’t have said you were a prude either. When I was considering writing this I was thinking, SI told us about an ex’s spendid penis so it’s probably ok to go a bit into a sex-related subject too lol! What you say about the meetings makes total sense, thanks for the support. I’ll update here on how it goes, if I make it that far!

      Liked by 2 people

      • soberisland April 22, 2017 / 12:59 pm

        Haha. I know- I was going to go back and edit that part out but I forgot πŸ™‚ alcohol and sex seem to go hand in hand with decision making and lifestyle choices. I am totally not judging in any way shape or form.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. youboozeyoulooze April 22, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    This made me laugh out loud! All that effort to remain inconspicuous only to see your next door neighbour! Brilliant.

    I guess the only way I’d get through the “fear” of attending a recovery meeting would be to remind myself that if I bumped into anybody I knew, they’d also be there for the same reason. You probably shouldn’t take any notice of me though – I’m only starting out (again) today and can’t imagine I’d ever be brave enough to go to a meeting. Reading your post has made me google SMART though – I’d never heard of them before and I’m in the UK. My new knowledge for the day!

    Congrats on the 12 weeks : )

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      Hi! Thank you for dropping by and for your lovely comment. It’s true that anybody we bumped into would probably be equally terrified of consequences. I wish I was more of a hands on hips, loud and proud kind of a gal but I’m really not. SMART looks like it’s based on CBT sorts of techniques, taking control of your thinking to change your behaviour. I’ll update here if I make it to the meeting πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. habitdone April 22, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Reading all this this morning had me laughing at your blog post and the comments. You go! 12 weeks is awesome. I got so absorbed in bed reading this morning that I reached for my hot tea, missed the handle and dipped my hand into the cup, pushing tea water all over my nightstand. Fortunately it had cooled so I didn’t get burned. Lol!! Ahh, the dangers of blogging….maybe a warning label is necessary…..

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater April 22, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Hi HD, thank you! I’m glad your tea had cooled down, that could have been nasty and the first blogging injury I’d have heard of. I hope you’re doing well and have a lovely weekend, I still can’t comment in your blog with my WP id. πŸ™‚ x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ainsobriety April 22, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    Go. Support is always good. If it’s not for you you never have to go back.
    Thanks for sharing that story. I laughed out loud!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. MrsMac April 23, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    Well done on 12 weeks!!! A Smart Recovery meeting will be a breeze compared to that story πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. onthemend12 April 24, 2017 / 2:15 am

    Congrats on 12 weeks! And for facing your fears in all kinds of situations. Trusting your gut is something that is new to me, but when I follow it and pursue the things I really want, it seems like the reward is more than I could have imagined. I hope you get to your meeting and it goes well. Take what you want from it and leave the rest. Try to find similarities and try not to focus on differences. A bit of blind faith is hard to muster, for me, but it’s also brought me a great amount of joy and revelation about my own sobriety.

    Best of luck to you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater April 24, 2017 / 8:35 am

      Thank you! I like your perspective on things. I’m getting fairly good at the faith sort of thing but knowing myself and having enough self awareness to follow my gut is a new challenge for me too. Thank you for your lovely comment and support πŸ™‚ x

      Liked by 1 person

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