I was thinking after that last post about Love that I should maybe counter my simply splendid and sappy (but sincere) gratitude for AA and the gift of Life with some down-home rage. I’ve been in a very bad mood for the past few weeks, and I don’t want to give anyone the impression that, in sobriety, I am always dancing a little soft-shoe 6” above the ground because my heart is so light. Not at all, my dears, nope.
When I first came into AA, I had the impression that not only did everyone know each-other, but they had known each-other pre-AA, too. I thought I was the first social cripple to enter this obnoxiously happy community suicidal, flying blind, and utterly and completely alone (alone but for “Bed” who saved my life by taking me to my first few meetings – thanks, Bed, for saving my life! Love ya, baby!). I was sure that these chirpy creampuffs came in as a pair or as a set. I’d make up stories that would ensure I’d hate them more. Back in the day, they used to be drinking buddies and would wake up hung-over and call each-other and coo and giggle at the pictures (that they actually remember taking) of the boys they met the night before. But then they had one too many Appletinis at a work party once (once) and were so embarrassed that they came into AA. They were not like me. They did not drink barrels of booze alone with their cats and stare blankly at the TV watching “Golden Girls” for hours/days/weeks/months/years on end. I was in the vicious throes of alcoholism/denial when Estelle, Bea, and Rue died. Glazed over and emotionally paralyzed, I’d sigh and think “dead”. And then it was “dead dead”. And then it was “dead dead dead.” I actually got tickets a couple of years ago to see a Tribute to Rue starring Rue herself (!!!) and a bunch of drag queens reenacting scenes from “Golden Girls” at the Castro Theater. I flew out to San Fran and everything, only to find out that they had to postpone the show… permanently, because she died. Life was a cruel meaningless vortex of suffering and misery. My chest seizes even thinking about what’s going to happen when Betty retires to the lanai in the sky. It’ll be Baby’s First (and last – noooooooo!!!!!!) Sober “Golden Girls” Death, and I will mourn, and it will suck the big one. But I will be sober and I will respectfully grieve. But for now, I’ll sigh and lovingly think “alive”.
Anyway, these aforementioned bosom buddies in early sobriety like me would share and laugh ha ha ha about being on a “pink <insert unnecessary sarcastic word said with blistering bitchiness>”. Then, and occasionally now, I wonder if my inner dialogue suggests that I have Tourette Syndrome. Something I heard once when I first came in still brings me comfort: You don’t have to apologize for the mean things you think. Thank God. Silently I scoffed at this pink lemonade so many times that I still often forget the correct AA-ism. Because these pink elephants had these pink toenails, it meant they were not only NOT humiliated by being in AA, but they were HAPPY about it?? W. T. F. They experienced a magical reversal and revitalization of body and mind? Are you fucking kidding me? All I wanted to do was slap the pink lipstick (along with their lips) off of their faces. All I tasted was red hot blood. Since I never had this pink Cadillac, it meant I was not an alcoholic – it meant I was something much much worse. And everyone knows there’s nothing worse than an alcoholic.
I did not hit the ground running in AA (note the bitter jealousy and hatred above). I’d only go to meetings where my beloved littermates “JoSoPretty” and “Fryin’” would be – which was one or two a week – and this women’s step meeting which I dubbed the “I’m So Awesome” meeting because they’d just sit around slobbering all over each-other’s egos. I only suffered through that meeting each week because I thought if I didn’t go, I’d flunk AA. My second sponsor, in as many months, dumped me because she said I was not serious about my sobriety because I wouldn’t do 90-in-90, so I stopped coming altogether. And then “Mendy” pulled me from the grips of bone-dry boredom and isolation, and suggested with a raised voice that I go to a meeting that night. So I did. A bunch of other stuff happened in those first four months that made me feel sooo much worse than I did before coming in. But right around this time last year, my pink eye (gross) started letting the light in. I met “C—”, and “FH”, and Mendy after a meeting one Friday and I spilled my guts and horrors to these gentle sweethearts. I met my Nelissa who has more dirt on me than a pitcher’s mound, and I’m certain she’s taking that dirt to her grave. I scraped the Prince of Hell off the bottom of my shoe. I started going to more meetings hence met more people and started really totally super super LIKING people!!! It took the better chunk of a year but I found myself doing what everyone had suggested I do all along. I had a mostly pleasant and always safe daily routine. I would never for the rest of my life be alone again. A bunch of other stuff happened in that first year that made me feel sooo much better than I did before coming in, wonderfully better. Basically, I felt like captain of the AA Cheerleading Squad. “Someone” found my sobriety and enthusiasm for the program kinda special and said, almost secretively, that my pink panther never has to go away. I thought that was beautiful. I embraced it. My pink balloon has only started growing! There’s nowhere to go but up! Up, up, and away my beautiful, my beautiful (pink) balloooon! Love is waiting there in my beautiful (pink) ballooooon….
But, as I mentioned above, I’ve been in a really rotten mood for the past few weeks, and would bestow upon you, gentlepeople, some rage for your reading pleasure. I’ll begin by quoting arguably the most provocative and talented artists of our time: NWA. “Now the title bitch don’t apply to all women, but all women have a little bitch in ’em”. I’ve been a total bitch lately. Nelissa tells me I feel this way because I am human. She’s so good – that would never have occurred to me. I just figure I’m awful and everyone hates me. I’ve been sweet enough to the plentiful crop of new smiley and sober faces delighting in their new pink <insert unnecessary sarcastic word said with blistering bitchiness>, and I control the middle finger impulse. In a lot of ways, I feel like I just started AA. I’m angry, sad, jealous, unyielding, inpatient, my imaginary boyfriends are constantly wounding or infuriating me, and lately I don’t know if I am intuitive or delusional. “This will pass” – it always does – but not soon enough. My pink rose has wilted, I fear. The fucking honeymoon is over. But then I was talking to “Nay-Nay”, my sweet bunny from Heaven, about these depressing and discouraging feelings (another miracle of AA friendship!) and she said that recovery is not an upward trajectory. It’s like traveling up and around a mountain. In order to get to the peak, you have to circle the bitch a bunch of times, and will have to pass and survive the same craggy and snaggy parts each time around. But each time, you get higher (poor word choice). When you find yourself in that gross part of the mountain, each time you’ll be more altitudinous (?) than the last time, and each time it gets easier, and each time you’ll know to expect it but not ruin your 2nd ( 3rd, 4th, 85th ) chance at this gorgeous journey by agonizing it’s return. So, my darlings, I shall remain tickled pink as I ride my pink flamingo into the hot pink sunrise of my love and Love. And like my pink balloon, neither shall my pink bubblegum pop in the sunniness of my pink cloud.