Alcoholics on Zoom

by Bree L.

When London Breed posted instructions to nest in place eight months ago, I figured it would be easy-peasy for this alcoholic. Isolating was easy. It was most comfortable to go it alone and block out the outside world. The first month I read four books, watched a ton of videos, caught up with American’s Got Talent and perused a bunch of TED Talks. I figured out how to get Netflix on my phone (passwords can be a challenge). Netflix, Amazon, HBO and I became best friends. Isolation would be a piece of cake—although I never thought of the flip side, depression. 

Then an email arrived. My home meeting was online and I might attend on Zoom. Okay, I knew a bit about Zoom from online classes, but I was certainly not ready to announce my alcoholism to the world in general or to the world of Zoom and held off attending. After a few irritable hours I decided to hover around the meeting, you know, anonymously. It was like sitting in the back of the room when I forged into my first meeting.

After a few irritable hours I decided to hover around the meeting, you know, anonymously

There’s a lot to using Zoom, such as finding the link and then muting or unmuting and talking while muted. You know, all those early learning experiences I thought an experienced person like me should instinctively know. I didn’t. The deal is, I wasn’t drinking but old friends like depression and irritability were hovering around the corner. The word “insidious” comes to mind.

I became my less-than-charming self. My husband developed unbecoming habits I had to point out to him. Never mind that he’s not changed over the forty-plus years I’ve known him.

finding the link and then muting or unmuting and talking while muted

During the seventh month he passed away and all thoughts of his imperfections, my community or my program seemed to go with him. As always I knew I didn’t want to drink. That was a given, but I also didn’t feel like eating or being. Living was an effort.

I could not to present myself to a room full of caring friends. Isolation seemed to work. Luckily, once again, the A.A. program came through as my sponsor and my sponsee had both lost a partner within the last four years. They told me: get to a meeting. It will take time. Hang on one day at a time.

A secretary asked me to speak. My first thought was no. I was too broken

The eighth month, a secretary asked me to speak. My immediate thought was no. I was too broken. I had lost my dear husband and had only sadness and grief to talk about. That was when my sponsor told me the purpose of sharing was not to show how much I had it together. She was right, as usual. So I did tell my story and felt better. It’s the mystery that comes with every meeting. I feel better after than before.

Meetings always offer hope. Yesterday I went over to Golden Gate Park amphitheater. Haven’t been there for ages. It was great, outdoors under the trees, social distancing and I felt better. Today as I look to the ninth and tenth months, I have increased gratitude for A.A. It’s gotten me through the hard stuff and continues to be the place I lean into while continuing to trudge the road of happy destiny.

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