This morning I went to all the trouble to put my phone into my purse instead of my shallow coat pocket. Only I didn’t zip my purse closed, so when I stood up to get out of my car, the phone fell right out and landed with a sickening splat on the pavement. The good news is it did not break. The bad news is my phone’s pristine case is now scuffed black on all corners and will not wipe clean. The very bad news is these scuffs will fill me with disproportionate self-loathing each time I look at my phone, which is often.
This stage of intense self-loathing is new for me, and it is not my best work, though I am very good at it.
Yesterday I went to a 10 a.m meeting I had looked foward to all weekend. Except I got there at 10:10 and there were literally no seats free. I have never had this happen before, as there are easily 100 seats in the room and four meetings to choose from on Sundays. I had to turn around and walk out.
As I was driving there, a yellow mini-cooper had zipped past me on the road. I saw the driver inside and he hadn’t been able to find a seat either. As we both walked out in defeat, I said “Well that stinks,” and quickly added “It doesn’t stink that the meeting is full…that’s great. It’s just, well, you know what I mean.”
He nodded in agreement and I noticed his kind blue eyes and his cane, which surprised me because he drove like a madman.
I walked the block to where I had parked and he zipped up in his mini-cooper and yelled something out his window I couldn’t hear. I walked over to his car in a way I never would with a regular stranger and he smiled and said “May your higher power be with you today” and then zipped off.
It made me think of his higher power sitting erect in the passenger’s seat, wearing driving goggles, a stylish scarf, and white knuckles. I didn’t know what my higher power looked like, other than he was probably wearing a long white robe like Jesus because I am not creative when it comes to defining my own God. Anyway, I was pretty sure my higher power was not with me at all.
In the safety of my own car, I burst into tears because I had really wanted to go to that meeting and fucked it all up. I had taken a walk that morning and stopped to take pictures I didn’t have time to take. I had gone to the store beforehand when I could have gone afterwards. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault why I was so late as to not even get one of the less-desirable overflow seats.
I called my husband and he talked me down from the ledge. He has been a real doll lately. He takes in my black moods with perplexed compassion, no doubt relieved they at least are not directed towards him anymore.
And that is where I am in this process. I explained to him last night that one of the reasons I feel so sad right now is that I feel like a filter has been removed and I am now able to see every one of my faults in stunning HD. And it sucks. But it’s real. And that sucks even more.
I catch myself getting snippy with my kids when I’m stressed and I recognize I’m stressed because I’m running late. And the reason I’m running late is because I took too long getting ready. And I think ‘well, that’s my problem’ and instead of taking it out on them or kicking the dog, I kick myself because it somehow feels right to kick myself and hard.
A couple of weeks ago I stocked up on lotions from The Body Shop. I only needed face moisturizer, but they had an after-Christmas sale on gift sets, so I bought one with face cream and body cream and hand cream and other things that feel good and turn me on. A day later I picked up a nice, rich foot cream because I love when the bottoms of my feet feel smooth and soft. It struck me how these purchases were not like makeup or perfume in that anyone would notice I had them on. These were things I could use to pamper myself. Maybe deep down I knew I would need it in the rough days ahead.
My sponsor warned me early on there’d be anger and I said “oh I’ve already been angry” and for months I felt nothing at all but relief that I didn’t have to drink anymore. I never imagined the anger would come so late and with such intensity and be directed at myself.
By the way, I got to the noon meeting at my husband’s urging. I’m very glad I went, though I felt like a fragile little egg sitting in that chair surrounded by plenty of empty chairs at that particular meeting. I felt a little better by the time I left and I got in my car and I guess my higher power climbed in too, though I think he closed his robe in the door and swore a little at himself for being such a klutz. He’s not a klutz though, I think he’s just new to all this crap and I think he needs to slow down and take it easy and maybe also change into something other than that ridiculous robe.