Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Not to worry, I'm not a newcomer to AA again -- the 590-odd days in that little counter thingy are still, by the grace of God, accurate. Ain't nuthin' gonna make me take a drink today. And, if I chose to worry about it today, ain't no way God will turn his back on me tomorrow.

I'm a newcomer to that other 12-step program -- the one for families and friends of alcoholics. I'm not real comfortable going into a lot of detail about my "Qualifier" (my favorite al-anon jargon so far), but let's just say I've become very concerned about my son's welfare and safety. My 4-year-old son was the victim of "playing doctor" with the 7-year-old girl (whose mom is an aging party-girl drunk, whose dad is not in the picture, you know the routine) who lives next door to my Qualifier, that crossed the line into sexual abuse. A couple weeks after finding this out, my Qualifier was too drunk one night to take care of my son. The light finally went on inside my (knuckle)head.

It's pretty easy to look at my Qualifier's drinking, compare it to my own, and say, "Phaw!! You call that drinking!?!?" My Qualifier seems to share my view -- when I raised the issue of her drinking, she offered well-thought-out reasons why this kind of drinking is not a problem, because it's not that kind of drinking. She clearly has given it some thought, and concluded everything is fine.

Oh, and she went ballistic, too.

So now I'm a newcomer in al-anon. It's real familiar in a lot of ways. It has resurrected the feelings I had as a newcomer in AA, but had forgotten: absolutely hating the fact I was where I needed to be. Not having a clue what these people are talking about. Wanting to gouge my eyes out rather than go to another fricking meeting. Really impatient that they aren't giving clear instructions. "Okay, yeah, I'm powerless over my Qualifier's drinking, let go and let God, got that... now, HOW DO I MAKE HER STOP!?!?"

The last few days I've started remembering how I got past it in AA. Surrender. God, I hate surrender...

One of these days I'll be making enough money to move out of sober living and have a place my son can stay with me. I'm astonished I've had to stay there so long, but walking through the consequences of my financial irresponsibility and checkered employment record has **ahem** delayed my prosperity. I'm getting there -- I'm in better shape than I was a few months ago, and employers seem to value that I now show up to work every day.

Patience is hard. My natural inclination is to do something dramatic and decisive to solve everything at once. My new friends in al-anon are wet blankets about this approach, just as much as my old party pooper friends in AA.

So I guess I'll just keep coming back and try not to do anything irretrievably stupid.