My AA Story - Find Your Tribe

I attended an AA meeting once in the early 80s, having hitch-hiked to Daytona Beach with the guy who would later become the father of all my children. Laden with sleeping-bag rolls, we were  befriended by people who live on the beach. They immediately showed us the ropes: you can attend the Meeting and get some free donuts and coffee. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to.

There will be lots of coffee. You will need it to stay awake during the 3 hours you aren't allowed to be on the beach. It isn't recommended for newbies to try and congregate under the bridge where the regulars go - folks are territorial. So those who don't have territory stay awake and wander the city for 3 hours.

We ended up making another friend - a guy on a Harley chopper who let us stay at his apartment overnight. I had about 8 minutes of terror standing on a corner at midnight, waiting to see if this guy came back after taking away my friend; he did. The guy let us have showers, and beer and wine because he had no food. I don't remember anything hinky going on; he was just a cool guy.

So yeah, I've been to one meeting. Everything I've heard or seen corroborates what I experienced, from the movie Days of Wine and Roses to testimony from friends like the one who's mad at me (and she has that right; not up to me.) I get the value of AA as a support network; I appreciate the success of the system and how it truly helps people's lives. I am looking for a different type of support at this time. Nothing is wrong with either choice.

I want my support sytem to not only accept my struggle, allow me my flaws, but appreciate the unique thought process that makes me awesomely me.  I agree it's asking for a lot.

I've met enough people - not more than 5 or 6, but enough - to survive, knowing it's okay to be me. My brain cannot work any other way than it does and yet I am different, not entirely wrong. This is a huge issue for me. Call me elitist if you must, but realise that you aren't the only one who feels like she's being put outside the wall.

Tekel - nobody wants to be judged, even when nobody says they are judging. Maybe not judging, but assuming they know me and what I am.

People, find your tribe. This is not the same thing as finding people who will validate your poor life decisions. You have to first be honest with yourself - about those poor life decisions among other things - and know you are a work in progress. #letsbefriends

If the first tribe you find, or the second or the third, are not a good fit, please keep trying.  You will find your weirdos, and you do not have to go it alone.

Further Reading:

Hyperbole and a Half
If you have to completely stop reading my blog so you have time for Ally, I will completely understand.  I have two Alot Coffee Mugs.  Often I have Alot of coffee, but sometimes I have Alot of tea.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Please don't buy into my choice, because it's mine. This tribe might be the best one for you.

Narcotics Anonymous
A narcotics addiction is a bigger beast than any of us. Don't go it alone.

People are often confident in judging me. Here's my message to them.
"People often interact with me like they have preconceived notions of who I am" Ann Xu illustrates her feelings on this very human, very annoying habit.


Comments

  1. Well done, Deb. The only comment I really have is that maybe it's alot (tee-hee) to ask of recovering persons to focus on another person deeply enough to accept her struggle, allow her her flaws, and appreciate her thought processes. Addicts are generally focused inward. Good post, though... I truly enjoy reading your writing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for this, Foodie - that is exactly what I was perceiving but I struggled to find the words for it. It just isn't the right venue for my path, no matter how much my friend wants me to join her. I should not impose my issues there.

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  2. Beautiful share. Hugs to you, M.

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