This day is not going to break me … I hope …

For some mysterious reason the week of the Fourth of July has historically been hard for me, and I have no idea why. I know in the past that I drank heavily on this day, but I don’t think that’s why the day is hard. I drank to get through it because it was hard. The difficulty of it is still a mystery to me.

In the wake of a stressful two weeks at work I knew that the dreaded Fourth of July was in my sights, but I had to focus on getting through the work stuff. Then it hit me yesterday that the stupid holiday was upon me. And what makes it particularly hard is that my usual supports are gone. Friends have come and gone. I do have some friends, but I don’t push the closeness. These days I am largely on my own, truly starting over. Plus, this week both Doc and my therapist are on vacation.

I’ve written here about my struggles in AA, and being a consistent presence in The Rooms, as we call them. I knew that I needed to get to some meetings today if I was going to get through this day.

Meeting 1 occurred at noon, and it was a very large meeting. I amazed myself by raising my hand to share, but I was never called on, likely due to the very large group. I actually felt okay at the meeting, even in spite of the fact that it was a bit hot in there without air conditioning.

Meeting 2 occurred at 4:30, and it was a very small group of us, no more than 8 of us. I was grateful for the meeting as this really is one of the worst days for me. I shared in the meeting, and embarrassed myself by crying. There was one woman who recognized me from a meeting I used to attend, and she talked to me afterwards. The meeting was a source of comfort, so much so that I did not want to leave. Just an hour earlier I could barely get out of my car to go inside, and now I could hardly open my car door to leave.

Then there was a third meeting. Yes, this is a record for me in most meetings in a day. This meeting occurred in a place with some weird security. It was not easy to get into this meeting. I’ll leave it at that. I walked in, and I only saw men. I immediately looked at the group listing on my phone to make sure I was not at a men’s only meeting, but no, it was a general meeting. It was not necessarily a remarkable meeting, but I didn’t mind as I’m just glad it was there.

And that was my Fourth of July, meeting after meeting after meeting in order to stay kind of sane. I just heard a newscaster say, “It’s a bummer that the holiday is over.” I beg to differ. I want real life with all it’s monotony and routine to come back posthaste.

Sabrina discovers purple nail polish

Sabrina can be my toughest challenge some days. Since discovering Sabrina I’ve assessed that she is very likely the one who facilitated previous situations that were not safe. I really think she’s one with the sex addiction. When I first discovered her I wanted nothing to do with her. Doc convinced me that I needed find some ground with Sabrina, and not be at odds with her, especially since she may likely hold terrible memories of a sexual nature. He pointed out that my silent treatment of Sabrina was not serving me well as we were working against each other.

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, and I really started to think about the healthy things that Sabrina likes because she isn’t just about a lot of sex and a lot of drinking. She likes working out, nice clothes, and she enjoys looking good, whether it’s putting on makeup or fixing our hair. So, I booked a manicure for us, but mainly for Sabrina’s enjoyment. She loved it. Surprisingly, purple nail polish was chosen!


Shortly after that I bought us some nice make-up, and we’ve been having fun with that. But I can sense that Sabrina likes that I’m thinking of her. Ultimately, I’m trying to guide her to healthier desires like hair and make-up, and working out instead of casual sex and drinking.

I know this all sounds bizarre, but I’m just making up what to do as I go along. There is no map. You just have to feel your way through DID. I know of no other way to do it.

just open the door and step right on in …

The doors of LIFE[Day183]*

This seems like a simple enough concept. You intend on going somewhere, and once you get there you just open the door and step right on in … However, depending on the place, that’s not always how it goes for me.

Almost four years ago I made myself walk into an AA meeting because I knew I had reached the end of my rope. Groups of people can be a trigger for me though, and I never truly felt comfortable there. After nearly four years I still feel sick to my stomach going into a meeting. You would think I would be past this stage by now, but I’m not.

Which brings us to today … Right now I am in a Starbucks very sick to my stomach because I intended to go to an AA conference which is taking place down the street from here. The closer I got to the conference the sicker I felt. Finally I just came in here instead. I decided to bag the whole thing. I feel like a failure over it, but physically I feel better now that I decided that I am not going.

A person may ask why I try so hard to go to AA. Well, I see people in there that are genuinely happy, and I really don’t want to drink again. Basically, I want what they have. Many of them seem peaceful, sober and happy. When I am able to sit through a meeting without leaving I often hear things that resonate with me. But it is often very painful for me to sit through meetings because of my anxiety of being in a group. There are countless times when I drive all the way to a meeting, and then I turn around and drive home because I can’t make myself go inside.

Truthfully, I’ve had some negative experiences in AA. But I don’t attribute my anxiety to that because I felt this way before I even had those experiences, and I know that those experiences were not unique to me. I know that a number of people have had negative things happen in AA. By the same token, I’ve had some positive experiences as well. Just wish that I could get myself in there to experience more of it, positive or not. I’ll never know until I start going again.

But for today I am going to try to stop beating myself up over it. I feel better now, and that’s not a bad thing.

(Photo credit: Chapendra)