I went to three AA meetings over the weekend. It's been a confusing three days, but probably a few of the best I've had in recent months, as far as peace of mind and general happiness goes. Thank you so much to all your lovely comments and encouragement. I value all of your opinions, even if we've never met before.
So here's what I've deduced by going to the meetings, speaking to concerned friends, and through deep soul searching: I'm not an alcoholic. I will become an alcoholic if I continue drinking the way I have been. It's not just the drinking that I have a problem with, it's the patterns I've finally recognized as problematic. I look forward to drinking more than most. I look forward to that feeling I get after a couple drinks and think about that feeling a lot. I drink because it makes me feel at ease around people, and confident in myself, but the underlying issues of not being comfortable around people and with myself isn't be addressed. I can't have just one drink. I can't. I don't.
Drinking has become a focal point in my life, and it wasn't until I considered stopping that I realized this. More than anything though, I haven't gone without a drink for more than a few days in at least two years, if not way, way more. It frightens me that for as much as I want to improve my depression, which is something that's always been a constant in my life, I've never once considered that perhaps I should stop drinking, despite the fact that I KNOW that alcohol is a depressant. I'm startled that this didn't cross my mind, and to me it hints at an underlying problem with being dependent on booze.
At the meetings I went to over the weekend, I met so many wonderful people. I walked in just as nervous as I am whenever I walk into a new place, but I was met with kindness and an inherent understanding of that nervousness. This isn't easy, don't get me wrong. I'm scared and confused by all this and am not really sure where it's going, but for now I know that nothing bad is going to come out of me staying sober and taking what I can from these meetings.
This doesn't need to be a "forever" thing, but I do need to change my thinking patterns. I want to be the happiest and healthiest person I can be. I want what the speakers at the meetings have; clear heads and confidence even in their weakest moments in life. I don't want to wake up with hangovers and the crippling depression that accompanies them. I want persistence and determination which bring opportunities and challenges. I want a meaningful relationship with a worthwhile dude, and I want to feel like I've earned that.
As I lay in bed on Friday night, reading from a book about sobriety and feeling overwhelmed with hopefulness and determination, and more than a little bit of fear, I got a call from my big brother. They're pregnant, he and his fiance. I'm going to be an auntie. My life has suddenly gotten a surprising dose of overwhelming joy, for so many reasons.