What happened to this blog?
Excuse: work has been busy and taking up all my creative thoughts.
There are one or two things that have been occupying my mind but I haven't come out of the closet to talk about them. One concerns my attendance at 12 Step meetings.
Before Christmas I quit going to these meetings. Then, I realized I really like doing my long weekend runs when I want to do them; instead of working them around meeting times. Then, after not going for a few weeks, I realized that my mind was much more peaceful without the meetings.
A little history here. I went to meetings very regularly for the first 14 years of my sobriety. Then I moved to a monastery and didn't go to any for 5 years; including my first year out of the monastery when I had 3 jobs and no desire to go. Then I got a day job and had time for meetings, so I started going again. Then I moved to the country and only went to one meeting a week because it was a 50 mile drive (I was coming to town for groceries anyway). So, a few months ago when I moved back to town, I intended to re-integrate back into the group. But I found that I had been away too long and could no longer relate to the people. I wasn't living on the same page. I had to filter everything I said into a language they would understand. I realized that I didn't like the meetings. I used to like the meetings 11 years ago; but not now. I don’t need meetings for myself and haven’t for ten or more years.
But quitting meetings means going against the 12 Step dogmatic precepts: the dogma that if you don’t go to meetings you’ll drink again. Truly however, the 12 Steps are a spiritual program of action which I continuously work at far more than the people who preach about going to meetings. I find that quitting meetings has brought space into my life and additional silence which is being used to spiritually change my perceptions of the world. For that I am grateful; but it is a work in progress. So I called this blog: De-Struction.
I am fascinated and in marvel at the flip side of the coin of not going to meetings: wow! I am a solitary and I like it. I like silence. It fascinates me that I spend all weekend alone except for a store clerk or two. I have no "difficult" relationships. I have arrived at solitude. A little history here: about 18 months before going to the monastery, I was in a period of unemployment. Right then, I read about a man who spend a year alone in a room, meditating. I was intrigued by the idea. The story led me to learn about and start practicing silent meditation, zazen or contemplation (whatever you want to call it). Contemplation led me to the monastery. The religious order which billed itself as contemplative was actually far more interested in building a cenobitic community than contemplation so it is a good thing I am not longer there. But I did learn a great deal about the desert experience, the eremitic life and silence during my 4 years as a nun. When I moved to the country, I made absolutely no effort to make friends and lived in silence except for work and the one meeting a week. Work has never been a social burden for me because I am a woman engineer doing analytical work amongst a bunch of guys. I never talk to them except about work.
So I can see how I have taken myself out of society in many ways: no TV, no family, long distance runner, natural vegan diet, student of a non-denominational theology. Looking at the history of how I learned about the spirituality of quiet, combined with my lifelong quest for God, and it finally makes sense that I embrace solitude. Only now am I owning solitude as a personal choice, not just an accident. I am perfectly capable of joining groups and being a friend; but I am more true to myself to let all that go. It takes courage for me to walk in these shoes openly. I've been a closet solitary so as to avoid any opinions. But I have felt so gifted the past few weeks that I wanted to openly acknowledge my lifestyle choice. I’m coming out!