i didn’t realize it’s not a.a. it’s a.g. alcholics gossping.
my first try at alcoholics anonymous was four years ago. i was desperate, worried, scared, and believed that a.a. was the only way to recover from being, well, a lush. i was the sort of gal who popped open the white wine at a lady’s luncheon and let the afternoon slide into an early happy hour, with of course a glass at dinner and the usual relaxing nightcap or two or three. i drank every day. i drank every night. i drank at parties because i figured that i was a crashing bore otherwise. i drank by myself because i consider myself a crashing bore. i avoided morning drinks only because i had some sense of standards. and i never got into a car with a drink in me. that’s one thing i have going for me.
i went to a meeting four years ago at the winnetka community house on a sunday evening. i had poured out all the liquor in the house, had resolved that i would not touch the stuff, and had agreed with my best friend miss a. (well, we’ll call her that) that we’d both be better off without mr. pinot grigio. miss a. was a red wine drinker, we would have made a perfect pair.
the meeting made me cry. a dozen friends in a room, in turn talking of their pain that was so near to mine, and with such courage. i had been quietly affianced with mr. pinot grigio and to think i could divorce myself from him was so delightful that i nearly skipped to the parking lot after the meeting. how had i never knew what wonderful delight there is in alcoholics anonymous?
i got a call on the way home. from a friend. we’ll call her miss b. she said she was delighted that i had joined and that miss a. who had accompanied me to the meeting was similarly delighted. and there were other things miss b. wanted to tell me. that she never liked my husband, that he was such an enabler, that i really had been drinking too much at the p.t.a. mixer the previous weekend. i felt oddly violated, like that all of winnetka was connected by soup can telephones and all the alcoholics were gossiping. a.g. in time, i persuaded myself that miss a. and miss b. were the only two who noticed and everybody KNEW what horrific drinkers they were. my secret was safe. i was sure.
i didn’t go back and my drinking got worse. i had a couple of morning drinks, days that began with such horrifying shakes that only a drink would stop them. i tried white knuckling. but could only manage a day, maybe a day and a half. i have made resolutions only to break them. i have read the big book of alcoholics anonymous. i have tried acupuncture, hypnosis, herbs, protein shakes, and nothing has stopped the progression. i used to be a bottle of pino grigio a day girl and now i think it’s closer to bottle and a half. sometimes two if i get started early. three if i am fully aware of the gnawing opening of this hell.