Sometimes I wish I hadn’t stopped going to meetings. I pretend that I don’t know what happened. I do know. I took my eye off the ball. I stopped going to as many meetings, became involved in other things, let my “recovery” such as it was take a back seat. I had been warned about it. Warned not to let other things take precedence over meetings. I didn’t ignore those warnings deliberately- I let things slide. I did, and sometimes I regret that. But for me, to return would be to step backwards. I can only move forwards. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I couldn’t go back. I’m not ashamed of what they would call a “relapse”. But I also don’t view it that way any more. Nothing dramatic has happened since I started drinking again. I haven’t been on week-long benders, I haven’t hurt myself, to the best of my knowledge I haven’t hurt anyone else. Things are not as they were. In a sense, I stand to lose more right now than I did when I stopped drinking. But I am not losing it… I have some kind of a grip.
What do I miss? I think in part it’s the very thing I don’t miss, the very thing that I have criticised negatively. It’s the sense of recovery as integral to me as a person. It’s an identity. That’s something I definitely don’t want for myself- for my identity to be defined by something I do rather than something I am. I mean, I’ve written about that before. I “am” not bipolar (I have it), I “am” not my weight (I weigh it). I “am” not recovery, so I don’t want that to have become my single defining characteristic. Yet I do miss it, and sometimes I wonder what that means.