Hey Ya’ll! ( I sound just like that new drinking song I heard on the radio this morning. I can’t help it, I still like drinking songs) I’m over my crankiness as you can tell by my chipper greeting. I do have a stiff neck to complain about, seems my neck isn’t used to laying the same way for hours at a time, it’s used to getting up and moving around every 30 minutes like it did in my drinking days when I couldn’t sleep. Gawd, I wish I could bottle how I feel this morning, I’d start drinking again. Actually, this is the feeling I was looking for in all of those bottles, I can remember finding it there years ago, the FDA must have told the breweries to quit putting it in there because I haven’t been able to get this feeling in years from a bottle.
Hey, I’m writing a book and I need your help. Yeah, I know I told you I was writing a book months ago but that was that other book. I guess Mac will have to wait that much longer to get together with Jackie who was his dead wife’s best friend that he screwed while in the he was in the depths of his grief on the night of Lisa’s (his deceased wife) funeral. Sigh. I was having trouble redeeming Mac from being the scum of the earth. He might have been grief stricken at the time but a part of him had done risen above its grief.
I hate to say it but I started writing that book 6 years ago when I still lived on the boat. That’s one hell of a lengthy writer’s block.
I remind myself of Emma in my favorite book, “The Saving Graces”. Emma is a writer who always has all of these truly horrible ideas for books. The “Graces” are a group of four woman who started out as a book club but then became best friends, one of them, Isabel, dies but before she died she wrote a letter to them that they don’t receive until after she has died. In the letter she tells Emma that she should write about them, The Saving Graces. So that’s what I’m doing, I’m writing about us, in a way.
I want to write about my “journey” (I wish I could think of a better word for it) but I want to emphasize the support I have received from the sources that are available on the internet. The message boards, the chatrooms, the blogs, without them I would still be either stuck where I was a year ago or worse. I’m going to paste what I have posted on the mmabsers board here so I don’t have to re-write it all. You’ll get the idea. It all started with this question.
I read with interest in one of (member) responses to her withdrawal post her statement, "I know I'm not going to AA." I feel the same way. I don't know why but that is just not an option for me.....yet (of course). Call it cowardice, call it false pride, call it lack of commitment but I'm not going. I think that is one of the reasons I'm working at this so hard now because I didn't want to get to the point that AA or rehab were the only options left that I hadn't tried. I think alot of us on these message boards feel the same way and that is why we're here. How many of us are using the internet sites for our sole means of recovery support? What are your reasons for not trying AA or other f2f options or rehab? Some of mine are, I'm not good at going to meetings of any sort (I know that's simplistic and lame but it's fact), I don't know that I would have the support of DH for the amount of time they require away from home (another simplistic reason and yes, I know I have to put my recovery first), I am more comfortable with anonymity of the internet and writing out my feelings, I feel at the this point I am getting enough support and knowledge from my sources on the various sites, I feel I am completing my "service" by being involved in these boards and on my blog, and I am honoring a time commitment to my recovery here on the internet.
For those of you that have tried or are active in AA or other forms of recovery, what support does it offer that you can't get here. What made you decide to attend? Do you think it is possible for others to recover with only internet support? Why or Why not.
Then I asked this question:
My question earlier in the week about "Why not AA?" really got me thinking. I actually think I'm strong enough and I've come far enough and I've lost that shame that I had in the beginning, that I could and would attend AA if I felt I needed it or had something more to learn from it in the future. Right now, I think I am getting what I need from the various message boards that I participate in and the material I read. Which made me think further about the people out there that don't know about message boards like this one and for whatever reason will not go to AA or another form of f2f meetings or rehab.
A year ago I was looking for blogs or boards about people going through what I was going through. I found several blogs by AA alumni who were successfully recovered and I followed them but all of them had moved past the struggle (good for them) and now their livfes were not based on their journey, they were already there and had moved on. I checked out an AA based forum but because I still thought I might be able to moderate, I was deterred by their all or nothing concept. I had watched the tv program (I'm sorry, I don't remember which one) that Audrey Kishline was on back in the 80's. I was in my mid-twenties then and I already knew I had a problem, I even checked the book out at our public library but that was as far as I went. I kept moderation management in the back of my mind as I struggled through 20 more years of drinking and I knew her tragic story but when I couldn't find the support I was looking for in the permanent abs forums that were out there I googled Moderation Management and found their website and subsequently the forum and then the list and then you yahoo's over here. You sounded like you were having so much fun I decided to join you. It was a long journey but I don't think I could have skipped a step and I don't know that I would have considered permanent abs as soon as I did except that I lurked on this board and heard all of your stories. Same way with AA, now that I've heard some of your stories I wouldn't discount going.
How did you find out about mmabsers and what draws you to this group over others? Are you a member of other message boards? What support do they provide that you don't find here?
Disclosure: I want to be honest and tell you that I am thinking of writing a series of articles or maybe even a book about my own journey and the support communities that are out here on the internet. I just think there are a lot of people that are still struggling alone and losing the battle because they don't know about all of the options. I was. Please know I would never use anything without anyones permission and if you share something I would like to share with others, I will ask permission through a pm. Thanks.
Then a member questioned my motives, which I expected, so I replied with this:
I am Kary May (not my real name, just let me be honest about that) and I am an alcoholic. I am a writer, although I don't make my living being one, although I would not be adverse to that. I have always written about my life, I have a blog over on the "other life network" about sailing and living in MX and just life. I started journaling about my drinking years ago, thinking privately writing about it would be enough, it wasn't. So I started my blog in the hopes of reaching out and finding people like me, people that were so tired and scared of being tired and scared, and maybe they could help me and I could help them. I knew from my other blog that the best place to find these people is on message boards and so I went in search of a community that I felt comfortable in and I found MM. A year ago I had no idea I would end up here.
My blog is not what most people would consider a "big success" but I have a few valued followers that I hope I have helped as they have helped me, so I consider it a success but what I'm most thankful for is that the blog lead me to places like this where I could learn from and connect to others in the same "boat". I am an honest person, I always have been, even when drinking. I have been brutally honest on my blog about every relapse I have had and every drink I've taken, I made that vow when I started the blog and I take great pride in being able to say that I've honored it. I practice the same honesty on any board I participate on because the opinion of the faceless members does not matter as much as my own opinion of myself. Being dishonest would be of no service to myself.
When I read (member) post a week or so ago and she said, "I know I won't go to AA" it resonated with me because it echoed my own feelings. I know I won't go to AA. I don't know where those feelings came from. I have a brother that recovered through AA and my parents and family accepted it, so it's not that. In order to understand my feelings I posted the question here thinking that maybe somebody that had the same feelings could put them in words for me. I had already planned to write my own story but when I read the responses to that post, I realized that I want to give anyone that would read my book so much more than just my own feelings and beliefs and biases. I want to reach out to people that don't share my fear of AA, or have my belief of a Higher Power and show them that there are places for them too.
In no way do I want to disrupt the dynamic of this board, too many people depend on it, as do I. I'll admit that I did consider just reading through the posts as usual and finding the answers to the questions I had, they were bound to be discussed at some point, and then pm'ing the member for permission to use their post but I didn't think that would be totally forthcoming which is why I came out and disclosed my plans in my post yesterday. I'm glad I did. Last night I was thinking that maybe I should just ask people if they would like to participate with me strictly through pm's but then I read the discussions this morning that had developed from the question I posted yesterday and I feel that my book would be missing something vital if I couldn't include the thought provoking exchanges that go on between the members that are so much more valuable than a one-on-one question and answer session. My idea is that I would ask a question or two a week like the last two I've posted and if there were responses that I may want to use in my book I would pm the member and ask their permission to use them. I would not be using responses from topics posted by other members nor will every topic I post be used as fodder for the book. I will inform members from the beginning of my posts if it is being used for the book and I apologize for not doing that yesterday. I don't have any plans to "characterize" anyone or tell anybody's story except my own, I strictly intend to only use responses to specific topics.
Once again, it is very important to me that I don't in anyway change the dynamics of this board or any member's interaction with me, I depend on it too much and would not do anything to jeopardize it,
Kary (once again, in full disclosure, not my real name.)
I want to include WFS in this also but they are a little bit more disciplined than the mmabsers and I want to write their moderators and get their okay. I will also include the MMlist but I just haven’t had the time yet. And of course I want to include you guys my loyal followers, I’m planning on taking you with me when I go on Oprah, maybe she’ll be giving away cars that day. Oh yeah, she doesn’t have a show anymore. Does Ellen give away cars or does she just give away a copy of the author’s book? You won’t need that since I intend to send every single one of you a free autographed copy.
But seriously, if you want to participate and help me in reaching out to others who are just like us you can try and figure out the f’ing comment system here or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I can’t wait to hear from you and would love any suggestions about the book that you might have. I’ll be giving sneak previews.
Shit! Now I’ve really got to write a book. What have I gotten myself into?
So today I’m just out there doing my best to do my darnedest and waiting for Ellen to call.
Oh and please substitute whatever board or boards you are involved in for mmabsers in the question about how you found out about it. Thanks