Relapses don’t start when you pick up. They begin when your mind leads you to a place where you can’t do anything but drink.
I’m sitting in an AA meeting. And I’m pissed. I’ve been crying and my eyes are puffy from tears. I don’t have a stitch of make up on, just a black fox fur jacket and big dark sunglasses. People must think I’m either high or blind. I don’t give a fuck. I hate recovery at this moment. I’m in the very last row in the corner behind a bookcase, digging around in my purse, trying to look busy so nobody will talk to me.
Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder and hear a high-pitched voice. “Hi, I’m Lena! I just wanted to say hi and welcome. I heard your share last week. It was so funny. You’re so bitter and angry. It’s hilarious.”
“Oh. Thanks.” I have no idea who this woman is and I don’t care. She’s just like every other Big Book thumper to me, reaching out to the newcomer like you’re supposed to. I go back to digging around in my purse, hoping she’ll go away.
“Well I’m glad you’re here,” she chirps. “Enjoy the meeting.”
“Yep.” I don’t look back up.
I’m not alone two minutes when my sponsor approaches me. She’s blonde and glowing, smiley. We are total opposites.
“Hi happy pants,” she says sarcastically. She gives me a warm hug. “Come sit with me.”
She drags me to the front row of the meeting. She is 31 and has nine years of continuous impressive sobriety. She’s happy and I want that.
“What is that?” she asks, concerned, when she sees where the cuff of my fur jacket has risen up to reveal a cross hatch of cut marks on my wrist.
“Uh, it’s my latest coping mechanism.” I smile nervously. “It’s stupid, I know.”
“My brother used to do that and it can become an addiction in itself,” she says. “Be careful. One time he almost died because he hit an artery.”
The visual pops in my head and I promptly push it away. “Nice.”
“No more of that. Okay?”
“Yeah,” I lie.
“And don’t forget: I’ll see you Sunday at my house,” she says, putting her hand on mine. “We’re going to do your third step.” Read More…