Some philosophers have argued that the desire to act in a way that is consistent with one's values and sense of self is linked to well-being. But others have argued that learning to express thoughts and feelings that obscure one's true inner state is an important adaptation for successful living. A team of psychological scientists has been working to resolve this issue empirically.
After the thousands of hours I've spent in recovery meetings, I can say I'm certain of only a few things. First, despite what many people believe, AA is not a cult. It's just a group of alcoholics trying to figure out how to stay sober by helping the next guy or gal stay sober. Two, no matter how shitty I feel before walking into a meeting, I always feel a little better after it's over.
Showing up to AA was like being surrounded by a bunch of happy-ass Whos -- all smiling and laughing and seeming like they didn't have a care in the world. Yes, I am convinced the closest place to Whoville is within the rooms of AA -- where there is a fellowship, friendliness and indescribable understanding that is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Some people tell me I should take that post down: What if someone finds it when they Google you? What if they see it while researching you for a job interview? All valid points. But I'm not taking it down. I need it there to remind me of where I was, of how close I was to killing myself, and to perhaps help someone else who might read it and resonate with it.
It hasn't been easy, but I've learned to live with seeing my old flames about town -- alcohol is everywhere, after all. It was that drink-to-excess, all-inclusive vibe of the resort that threw me at first, but I used a key sober tool, remembered that, for me, these "ex-boyfriends" are literally toxic, and moved on.
Whether I was sad or happy or bored or lonely, it was there to comfort me and make me feel all better. We started off really happy together. But like most relationships that end, it had a tendency to get ugly. This particular relationship, the one with booze, became destructive, unhealthy and toxic.