Went to a group meeting today. Never been. Not to this one. I was nervous but excited. A room full of people who “get it.”
I learned a new term recently. “Normies.” Normies are people who can drink just one drink. They don’t think about their next drink. They don’t question if they have an alcohol problem. They don’t always drink their entire drink. They don’t drown out their feelings and insecurities. They don’t get it.
My husband is a normie. He literally can drink one beer and be done. Cray. Zee.
At today’s meeting. They aren’t normies. These people are men. They are women. They are professionals. They are stay at home moms. They are overweight. They are thin. They are old. They are young. They are rich. They are poor. They wear designer clothes. They wear shorts and sandals on a December day. They are shy. They are loud. They cry. They laugh. They’ve had DUIs. They’ve never run into the law. They’ve lost everything. They’ve held onto everything.
They have a destructive relationship with alcohol.
They know what it’s like to have a substance that takes over your mind. Brainwashes you. Stalks you. Takes up space..crowds out loved ones.
One of the reasons I went back to drinking last year after my whopping two week break was because I went to a similar group and they all matched my stereotype of an alcoholic. Rehab, jail, DUI, divorce…
I was non of the above therefore I was not one of them. Therefore I was ok to return to my abusive stalker.
But I have had a voice telling me to run away from it for years. YEARS. It started off faint. A tiny whisper. That grew.
The voice got louder A couple years ago near the time I packed small boxes of wine in my suitcase to visit my recovered alcoholic friend’s family. We were there to shoot a special edition of our faith based tv show and celebrate his 25 years of sobriety….I drank in my bedroom both nights and then woke up to shoot and interview people who lost everything in a flood during the day.
Just a few weeks later I was at a table planning another show with my recovered alcoholic friend and co host. It was our Christmas special. I was fighting back tears. Holding my breath. Pinching myself. Doing anything and everything to keep myself from screaming across the table. I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM AND SHOULD NOT BE ON THIS SHOW WITH YOU!!!!
I remember another extremely close recovered alcoholic friend telling me he had cancer. When I hung up the phone I CRIED OUT in my car, “God, save him and I will quit! I swear I will quit!!!”
Then last December I went to a support group meeting with my recovered alcoholic friend and co host. I finally had confessed and told him I couldn’t be on the show anymore. A few weeks later I told him I had it under control and was only drinking on the weekends…That I was managing my anxiety and would be ok. That removing myself from the show was all I needed.
I never talked to him again about my problem until 5 weeks ago. He now meets with me. Prays for me. Checks in on me. He understands. He gets it.
My other friend is cancer free. He’s who invited me to today’s meeting. Today we laughed. We cried.
Breaking free of this grip is the hardest thing I have ever done. Its claws are deep. As soon as I think its gone it rears its nasty head. Taunting me, lying to me, convincing me. Still stalking.
Most people in my life don’t get it. To normies, not drinking is not a big deal. It’s not something you would think about, much less talk about…you certainly wouldn’t write about it.
But there are plenty who do get it. They are here to help. Remind you that you cannot do this alone.
Isn’t it amazing how God plants people in your life..people to catch you when you fall. Hold you up when you’re weak. Promise you it gets better. People who can say…”I get it.”