I’m not intending to spend too much time in this blog discussing my recovery from alcoholism. Recovery, as I have discovered, is a pretty self-absorbed process, thus the temptation exists to blather on and on about every little facet of one’s experience. This is something of a trick played on those who surround an alcoholic: first their experiences are dominated by the person’s endless drinking, then they’re dominated by the person’s endless recovering (a tradeoff folks are generally glad to make, yes). And I did write a LOT in my recovery, in a journal, where that kind of thing belongs. Otherwise, I’d like to think I made my way forward with a certain grace and respect for others’ time and attention, as I’d like to maintain here in this blog.
Now, that being so, I do feel a certain pull to talk a bit more about recovery—talk about it and then more or less be done with it. My recovery has, every bit, been the defining element in my life these past two years, so to not talk about it more (after my earlier blog about attending my first AA meeting) would be a bit weird. Plus, I’m coming up—in 5 days—on my second anniversary of sobriety so writing about recovery would be a nod to that (if you just did the math, you’ll note where my recovery indeed began on Christmas day, 2014—the gift I gave myself). And while I have thrilled at what recovery has delivered to me, more important to the task of writing about stuff is the fact that the experience and process of recovery has fascinated me, clinically speaking. I mean, how could it not, given the broad scope of changes to my daily lifestyle it brought, given all of the new tricks this old dog wasn’t supposed to be able to learn at this point, and given that the old dog is a psychologist, no less? Finally, I like the idea of peeling back the curtain on my recovery, if this serves to demystify the process for others, including what AA is all about, with attention to what I consider its strengths and weaknesses.
So indulge me, if you will, while I spend the next few blogs writing about recovery, after which I’ll pretty much let it go. I’ll do this along the narrative lines of the classic AA meeting “share,” which is when a member tells his/her story—where I came from, what happened, and what life is like now. For me, this will be first a blog about the kind of drinker I was, then a second about what worked—in AA, in other actions I took—to help me make the break from drinking, and finally, I’ll close in a third blog about where I’m at now, which, ironically, is moving in a direction somewhat away from AA, and how I see AA’s model of recovery fit for me and not.