Day 95

There’s this thing I do: I really, really hate something, and then it ends up becoming one of my favorite things in life. Examples:

  • The poems of Sylvia Plath
  • The Hoodoo Gurus
  • Running
  • Kale
  • Yoga

I am starting to wonder if the R-word–recovery–is next. Like yoga, recovery culture is something I basically dismissed before even trying it. (Uh, I guess that’s another thing I do.) Partly it was a reaction to the idea of meetings: I’m an introvert. It’ll be depressing. It’ll be smoky. There won’t  be anyone like me there (whatever that means). The coffee will be that awful urn stuff. No reason too petty…. Beyond meetings, though, just the notion of ‘recovery’ itself put me off. I didn’t like (and still don’t care for) the idea that an alcoholic will be battling a chronic disease for the rest of her life–I’m sure it applies in some cases, but for me the idea of waking up each day and thinking ‘time to deal with my disease again’ just sounds like no way to live. But most of all, I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had anything to recover from. When I started the 100 Day Challenge, it was to ‘break a bad habit.’ Uh-huh.

Well, I was listening to a Bubble Hour podcast on the treadmill yesterday and suddenly I realized that the way the women used the term ‘recovery’ seemed both comfortable and comforting. Just kind of okay and real and down to earth, you know? And for the first time it sounded like an optimistic word, even a happy one. Because I know that recovering is exactly what I’ve been doing, and it’s working. I’d love to be talking with these women, I thought. Hey, maybe I should find some women like that around here that I could hang out with and talk to. That would be great. And then the old doubts snuck in–I’m not a joiner, t he meetings are probably held in inconvenient places, etc. But the seed is planted, maybe. 

Before I took my first yoga class I had absolutely no doubt that yoga was some kind of mouth-breathing patchouli cult for mushy-headed people. That was ten years, literally thousands of sun salutations, a handful of injuries, and several advanced trainings ago (and yes, it can be a little mushy-headed at times). So if the pattern holds, by 2023 I should be, like, the queen of recovery and recommending meetings to people who don’t even have drinking problems. We’ll see.

Day 95.

4 thoughts on “Day 95

  1. Love this! We have this phrase “contempt prior to investigation” and it’s used in 12-step recovery circles. And you have shown the before and after of this – wonderful! I am the same as you – dismiss things without actually looking into them. I did it before and still do it, although trying to be more open minded. But once I get into something new, I wonder why it took me long to do it.

    As for the “recovery” – I understand where you are coming from. It’s not an arduous thing (or you can make it so if you want!) – it’s just learning to live without the booze, then it’ about learning to live better, grander, quieter, easier, healthier.

    1. ‘Contempt prior to investigation.’ I love that there’s an official phrase to describe something I’m so very good at! Thanks for this and the rest of your comment, Paul.

  2. (oops – hit post comment too quickly!)

    Recovery is just the things we do to improve our lot in life. For me, it’s meetings (only 1-2 a week at most now), talking to other alcoholics (like you were looking to do), praying, meditating, doing stuff like the blog, etc. They don’t take much of my time, and yet keep me centered and balanced. That’s all it is. It’s not some horrific torturous thing we are chained to. I am not thinking of alcohol , even though I am talking about it. It’s all about the bettering of me and my life and how I can help others. And your yoga can be part of your recovery…so you’re doing that already. And your blog – helping others by telling your story. listening to your podcast…these are all recovery things without it “feeling” like recovery, ya know? 🙂

    And yeah, the coffee is usually that bad urn stuff…lol. That’s why I bring my Starbucks in 🙂


  3. I’ve just discovered you through the Enjoli essay and am reading your blog from the beginning and can relate in so many ways. Thank you for putting yourself out there and creating another forum for discussion on this tricky topic! I have been sober 167 days (who’s counting) and while I do attend AA meetings, I do not come down concretely on whether this is a disease. I prefer to revel in feeling free of the addiction rather than grappling with a disease. I identify as an alcoholic because I know I have a problem with drinking that I have attempted to think/hike/journal/yoga/read myself around for years. And identifying as an alcoholic grants me admission to the rooms where so much magic happens. I continue to be blown away at the power of admitting to the difficulties of being human! I attended AA on my previous attempt at sobriety and HATED it. This time I set aside my preconceived notions and I’ve really focused on just being willing to listen, hear and participate. This switch from hating it to loving it also makes me think of the day you blogged about things that had changed for you such as the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Thank you for reinforcing the notion of being willing.

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