Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Three Little Things

I'll hit 90 days this Saturday. Three months. I've had wine without that much age on it. I'm settling into the day-to-day of it all, how to live a regular life with this as a part of it. The things that happen now are smaller, the revelations come at a slower pace. I'm fine with that.

So just small things this time around:

Shakespeare. Y'all know I have a Shakespeare thing, so of course he's all over recovery - and now I see some Shakespeare things through recovery-tinted glasses...The Henriad in particular strikes me as a recovery story. But anyway. He shows up a time or two in the Big Book and "To thine own self be true" shows up on a handful of sobriety chips. A lot of people think that quote is biblical or Aristotle-ian or whathaveyou, but nope, it's Shakespeare - from Hamlet, to be precise. It's a strange thing to have on a chip in my pocket, since the quote is spoken by the conniving Polonius, who ends up stabbed behind a curtain. They leave those details off the chip, by the way. And like most Shakespeare quotes taken out of context, it doesn't quite mean what it seems like it should. But it works for people, so I have no objection to it. When I read Hamlet aloud last month, though, I was keenly aware of the 30-day chip in my pocket with Polonius' words on it.

The Lord's Prayer. When I started this whole deal, I promised to be honest about it all with myself. Part of that honesty is to not embrace any specifically Christian dogma -- the things that I am willing and eager to embrace spiritually have absolutely zero to do with any of that. So I found myself in a sticky wicket when I found that the prayer a lot of meetings close with is the Lord's Prayer. I said it - mumbled it - for a while, until I realized it was counter-productive for me...dishonest. I've quit reciting it recently. I just look around while other people bow their heads and say it. I was surprised to see several other people opting out, so now I feel less weird, less "other," about it. Someone told me that it's a Southern thing - that you don't run into it at as much outside of the South.

The Meeting I Hate. I've been going to one particular meeting every week and I just can't stand it. It's a little puzzling, since some of the people there overlap with two other meetings that I like just fine. But there's something about this one...some strange one-ups-man-ship, where one war story follows another, each tale featuring increasingly feverish and dire circumstances until you half expect a committee of judges to start handing out ribbons.  It feels a little like an audition...and I didn't even prepare a song! And I find this meeting a little scolding - when anyone with less than five years of sobriety attempts to engage, there's a definite feeling in the air that some horrible crime is being committed. So I've been struggling with how to deal with that - it seemed so weird to me that here I was in a program designed to help me deal with Resentments with a capital R and here the meeting was creating one! Well, sobriety hasn't made me much smarter because it took me a month to figure out I could just go to a different fucking meeting and never think about this one again. So! Problem solved.