First Meeting- Like, or Comment for Password! (Please do)

With a name I’ve never chosen,
I can make my first steps
As a child of twenty-five

Snow Patrol, Chocolate


This evening I took a huge step.  I went to my first Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting.  Beforehand, I had a lime and soda in a pub in town, because I had time to kill.  I sat there inhaling the atmosphere, longing for a half a lager and lime.  Just a half but-

but it never is just half, is it?

I was invited back by some people I just met, for a “proper drink” after the “thing” I had to do (“I could tell you what it is but… I’d have to kill you,” I said.  “I’ll be back.”)

At half past six I went to the back of a church, asked if this was the meeting, and stepped inside.

It was a candle-light meeting, all the lights out and just candles sprinkling the table.  It made it easier to hear others’ stories and eventually, to tell a little bit of mine.  The whole time I was thinking about that pint waiting for me.  I heard other peoples’ stories and bit my lip for wanting to cry.  I could recognise myself, and also see the differences- because every person is different, aren’t they?

I wasn’t going to say anything.  I wanted to say something.  I couldn’t say anything.  Could I?

Shaking leafishly, I spoke.

“Hi, I’m Becky. i’manalkolik.”

“Hi Becky.”

I wanted to swallow my tongue.  I wanted to walk out.  I wanted to be sick.  I started shaking.  I spoke.

“I’ve been sat here thinking I’m not an alcoholic, I want to go for a pint.  But… I dunno, it’s weird.  Well, a few weeks ago- I have bipolar- I was high, and I got given sleeping pills to help.  But instead of taking the pills, I took a bottle of wine and all my meds and I jumped out a window.  And that’s how I broke my ankle.  And that’s why I’m on crutches.  I guess I’m lucky to still be here.  So, I’m glad I’m here… and thank you, all, for being here too.”

“Thanks, Becky.”

There’s a book I read as a child: “And That’s How I Got My Bad Knee.”  A little girl has hurt her knee and makes up all kinds of stories about it: she fought a crocodile, she was attacked by a bear… and then she gets home, and her mum asks what happened.  And she says, “I fell off a swing and I hurt my knee,” and she starts to cry.  All the bravado stripped, and she just wants a hug.

The ankle was my bad knee.  The alcohol was my swing.  I needed a hug.  I got the hug in the form of support, kindness, and a lift home with another bipolar sufferer, who knew all too well what the alcohol can do to you.

I’ve done it.


2 thoughts on “First Meeting- Like, or Comment for Password! (Please do)

  1. Oh my – well done you. You are such a strong person and to go to a meeting and lay it all out there wow! Well done my dear and keep going. Massive hug from here 😀

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