Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pasta and tears....

This past Sunday my sponsor and I held a "Pasta and Tears" party for women at the AA club. As you can imagine there was a lot of good pasta, garlic bread, cookies, and m&m's. There are a few women's groups in the club but we wanted a Sunday afternoon where ladies could come together, eat, share, laugh and cry. And boy did we eat, laugh, and cry. We centralized our discussion around the five stages of grieving. How there is almost a bliss in denial, or at least a distance that keeps you at arms length. One woman shared how denial kept her from drinking after her husband's sudden death. Another lady talked about denying she had issues with her mother, thus drink became the escape. I just denied everything and kept denying it with one drink after another. Next comes anger. So many women had anger at God. I had anger at life. Anger has only one place to go and that is out. For so many of us who haven't felt anything in so long, this can be scary. It just comes bubbling up and it's got to come out, so watch out. The first few weeks of my sobriety I was a nutball. Laughing one minute, crying the next, confused, angry, hurt, ect. Then bargaining. "God I just need to drink today because everything went so wrong, but I will stop tomorrow I promise". Or "I'll never drink again, just give me one more chance...." and then depression. I wanted to sleep all the time. Which to me is like another form of denial. I was so tired, brain tired, I just needed a good night's sleep. Or like the woman who was dealing with her mother said, "I was feeling helpless, overwhelmed! This was a huge piece of wreckage from my past and I wasn't sure I could make it" but then comes acceptance. Getting to that plateau where you've just made it through the hard stuff, the loss, the anger, the tears, the helplessness and now you are over the hump. The sun is beginning to peek over the edge of the horizon. It's like holding your breath and finally releasing it. You made it, you're not done but you've made it. We've all been there. Lived through something we didn't think we'd make it through. We are better for it. Growth is never a waste. Alex shared with me one of the exercises they had to do at leadership camp. They had to climb a 35ft. telephone pole. (they were harnassed and had on helmets) but when they got to the top they had to stand up on the very top and then ring the bell. Alex was the second person up the pole. He said it was scary at first, trying to get yourself balanced, and when your legs shook so did the pole. But after a while you stopped shaking he said, and you just stood in awe that you were there, on top of this pole, in the wind. He said it was so cool that he did it twice! Life is like climbing that pole. Are we ready? do we have the strength? can we make it to the top? can we stop are legs from shaking? Will we be able to appreciate the view once we get there? I don't know about you but I sure would like to try.........


  1. yeah i would like to try as well...we had a ropes course at the treatment center i worked at right after college..so cool to work with kids on it...

  2. I've read about applying the 5 stages of grief to the addiction itself, for one does go through a bit of mourning for the old lifestyle after getting sober, no matter how bad it was, because it's all we knew.

  3. There is an AlAnon book called Grieving Our Losses and it has a lot about denial and how we who lived with alcoholism grieve the lost relationships,etc. I am glad to have reached the acceptance stage at last.