5. Candy, Beady Eyes and Me

My first AA meeting was in a stale smelling room with a scattering of about fifteen people.  Samantha pushed me to go after I told her what happened at the holiday party.  On Friday she reminded me about the meeting in her Mr. Rogers tone, “Anna, what time is the meeting today?”

blackcat1 - Babara CrewsI wondered if she could see my claws extending, my back arching, and the hair rising down the length of my back.  AA?  I didn’t belong in AA!  Samantha dragged me there like mothers push screaming children into dentists’ office.

She led the way and found us two seats right in the center of the madness.  The gentlemen to my left smelled like he rolled out of a filthy box on the corner of M street.  I purposely picked a meeting place in Georgetown.  I figured I would be sitting drunk aristocratsamongst a bunch of aristocrats smashing their martini glasses into a roaring fireplace.  My plan wasn’t working.  The man across from me with the beady eyes held the smallest glimmer of sophistication that I ankle_monitor - Toledo Blade September 9 2004would find that night by crossing his legs.  Upon further inspection, the more that Beady Eyes shifted, the brighter the light reflecting from the ankle monitor fastened below the cuff in his pants.  Towards the middle of the meeting, Candy arrived.  Candy was wearing a stained faux fur coat, slim jeans that didn’t fit properly (for some reason), rainbow socks, and summer sandals.  I was so fixed on Candy’s thinly strapped package that I missed the Adam’s apple.   Samantha smiled at every one like she was handing out food at a soup kitchen.  I covered my eyes with my hand when Candy hysterically waved at Samantha’s smile from across the room.

colorfullpillsWhen Candy spoke the facilitator interrupted her.  He asked her to wait until after the meeting so that he could council her.  She had only been sober for two days.  Candy continued to babble on, however, making it obvious to all of us that she had either missed taking, or taken too many colorful pills.

Then it was Beady Eyes’ turn, “Hello, I’m Beady Eyes and I’m an alcoholic.”

“Hi Beady Eyes.”

I couldn’t believe it.  Beady Eyes knew about the voice.  I voice - getty imagesfeel silly writing about the voice.  It’s not that I thought no one else knew about the voice.  It’s just that, I had never heard anyone talk about the voice out loud.

It’s a faint whisper that says all types of things to you, “You’re a grown woman.  You can have just one glass of wine.  It’s just wine, it’s not the hard stuff.  You had a hard day at work.  Drink today, quit tomorrow.  Europeans drink in the morning all the time.  Mimosas match with breakfast.  Just one glass!  It’s been a whole week since the last time you drank.”

I pulled out my phone and set up the reminder for the reoccurring meeting on Fridays.

The post was supposed to be over here but I can’t end it before admitting something.  It wasn’t just the holiday party that helped me to AA.  I’m nervous about exposing everything that happened…

6 thoughts on “5. Candy, Beady Eyes and Me

  1. Powerful writing and voice. I too have judged others in my 12-step group–that I just started going too, dragged kicking and screaming much like yourself–but have learned to consider the 12th tradition, putting principles above personalities. You never know who you might learn from. Take what you need and leave the rest. Keep blogging! I look forward to following your story.

    • Thank you so much! You are right. I have a lot to learn from Candy and the others. I have begun to realize that my judgment of them is more so representative of my worst fears for myself. Thank you for your well wishes!

      • I’ll take all the wisdom that I can get in recovery….the hardest but most rewarding experience of my life. Similar to your revelation, a good friend who has attended 32 years of meetings told me that if I don’t like a share, look at what its trying to tell you about yourself.

      • Thank you so much for passing on that advice. I will always remember it as I continue to be a regular at AA meetings (hopefully as planned). I see so much of myself in everyone at the meetings which is why I attend. I need to be around others like me so that I can be constantly reminded that I don’t have a healthy response to alcohol. It’s so easy to forget.

  2. Hi… I’ve been poking around your blog for the past 2 or 3 days, and I feel like I get much of what you write (except the running stuff. I do not run. I may run when chased, but that’s about it).

    Ahem. Anyway. I just wanted to say thanks for all your ‘likes’ on my blog posts; I hope that you keep coming by and reading. Your support is awesome, and I feel humbled and privileged to have your interest.

    Hang tough, lady…. even if you’re holding on by your fingernails, you’re still holding on.

    • Thank you so much for your support! Your blog is extremely insightful and helps me stay focused on this brand new goal of mine – sobriety. I will definitely keep reading all of your posts!

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