To be read to the tune of this.
A few of you have heard me talking about my three 3-hour IOP meetings since I got out of detox. Yesterday, on my 76th day without booze, I attended the final one of those. Not bad for a guy who had decided, during detox, that he was going to drink on his 44th birthday. Not bad at all.
I remember when I first heard about the meetings, and it bummed me out a bit. I really didn't want to lose nine hours a week to attending, but I committed to it because I thought it would be an important part of my recovery. It turned out to be true. In all honesty I'm kind of surprised that I got through it. But it's quite an achievement, I think.
I remember my first meeting. There were four of us, and it was the host's first group. I'm the only one of those four who got through to the end. It always makes me feel bad when someone attends a lot of these and then suddenly disappears. You hope for the best but you always think the worst. I felt especially bad when my roommate from detox stopped going. His act of kindness upon meeting him helped me get through this, especially those first few days. I was morose. I was shaking like a paint can at Ace Hardware. I felt downright miserable, and he was the first person I met there on the same level as me. He was cheerful and gave me a vigorous handshake, and I couldn't help but think, "How the hell is he in such a good mood? He's only been here a half an hour longer than me."
I'm glad I got to tell him how that helped me. I hope he's doing well out there. I hope all those who stopped attending are doing well. Who knows? Maybe they just went to different IOP meetings.
There's a part of me that will miss those meetings. There were a lot of great people there, and I'm glad I got to know them. But IOP has to end at some point. It's not meant to be a long term treatment. Eventually the baby bird has to learn how to fly, and I hope I do a pretty good job of that.
This is my 77th day. I told myself that I would stop counting the days after IOP stopped. I thought it was a bit morbid at times, but I've decided to keep going. I want to see my high score continue to go up.
Sorry if this GF column was overly cheerful. My regularly scheduled misanthropy will resume next week.