Many Roads, One Journey


ForkintheRoadIt’s been a while, eh? Nearly six months, to be exact. I didn’t think I’d ever come back to this blog, to be honest, and I was planning on starting a new one elsewhere. But if I do start a new blog, it would probably be something that I could use as a “writing sample” if I ever wanted to get a writing job, so it couldn’t be as self-confessional. True, I could write in a journal instead, but I’ve always enjoyed interacting with people online and getting their feedback. Writing is such a solitary activity, and it’s so nice to know that you’re writing for somebody other than yourself.

I don’t have anything much to report about my six-month absence. Nothing particularly exciting has happened. I haven’t been dating although I’ve had a few minor obsessions “from a  distance” with unsuitable men, so, yeah, my issues with men haven’t been completely resolved, that’s for sure. It’s been nearly six months since I got divorced, and I can say confidently that I’m over the divorce, and my ex-husband. I do still think of him from time to time, and feel sad that the shit hit the fan so badly, but, ultimately, I’m incredibly glad we’re no longer together. The relationship was keeping both of us stuck, and miserable. Sometimes it’s hard and lonely being in my mid-thirties and single, but now I have the opportunity to work on myself, and make changes for the better. It’s an exciting time really!

I haven’t been going to SLAA meetings for quite some time. I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of them really. There were some nice, cool people there but there were also others who were very cliquey, and stand-offish. There are a lot of good things about 12-step groups, but there are also things I don’t like – the rigidity, for one. Nobody ever came out and said directly that not doing things the SLAA way is “bad”, but I distinctly got that vibe. In fact, I had been feeling guilty for not going to meetings anymore, and was worried that “my addict side” had taken over (because that’s what 12-step groups would have you believe if you stop going). It never occurred to me that it’s okay that I don’t like SLAA that much (or perhaps, more accurately, that I don’t like the only women’s group we have here in town). I’m allowed to have an opinion, and not like things, and that doesn’t mean that I’m weak or about to give in to addiction.

Recently I’ve been reading a couple of books by Charlotte Kasl – Women, Sex and Addiction – A Search for Love and Power and Many Roads, One Journey – Moving Beyond the 12 Steps – and I’ve been completely blown away by what she has to say. I would highly recommend that every woman, whether struggling with addiction or not – reads these books. In fact, I would recommend that every man reads her work, too. Contrasted with 12 step programs, Charlotte Kasl’s 16 Steps are life-affirming and empowering. I’ve been so inspired that I’ve even been thinking of starting my own Charlotte Kasl-inspired “Discovery / Un-covery” group because it would be nice to have a support group of women, just not via SLAA.

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9 thoughts on “Many Roads, One Journey

  1. williamx December 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm Reply

    Hey Petrichor I’ve been wondering if I’d ever see something from you again! Working on yourself, getting some confidence and creativity going on, getting over old sorrows, sounds like you are in good shape. Better shape anyway.
    I’m like the opposite. A couple personal shocks and a senseless unlucky tragic murder of a close friend have set me back pretty bad, but at least I am livin’. If it wasn’t for still loving my job I’d be completely ruined and reckless.
    But enough of that I just wanted to say, Nice to see you again!

    • petrichoric December 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm Reply

      It’s nice to hear from you again, too! Oh, no, that is awful that your poor friend was murdered! I’ve never had that happen to a friend of mine (Thank God) so I can’t imagine how that must feel. I am also sorry that your personal life isn’t what it could be. 😦 I know it’s cheesy to say this, but just hang on in there, and you’ll get through it in the end.

      • williamx December 12, 2013 at 1:30 am Reply

        Maybe. I was all busy falling in love or something and then she’s gone. In the most random ass unlucky bullshit way you could imagine. Now I am having a tough time giving a shit about anything and meeting new peeps is not a thing for me, I’m closed. Which is why I was delighted to see you are still about. I need my friends (we’re friends, of a sort, I posit).

        • petrichoric December 12, 2013 at 9:12 am Reply

          Yes, we are friends (even if we’ve never met!). You know, every time I come back from an extended blogging hiatus you always tell me that your heart has just been broken. Are you sure that you’re not choosing women you know won’t stick around? Just wonderin’… 🙂

          • williamx December 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm Reply

            Could be. Generally I have a pretty laissez faire attitude towards dating and relationships. I don’t really try to make things happen and I’m ok when things don’t work out. After a bit, or after a while if I really was getting invested. This time? Not so much because, you know, abrupt unexpected absolute loss and face to face with how horrid humans can be.
            Also? Could be the timing of your returns just works out to coincide with my rare forays into actual ‘romance’.
            Enough of that grimness though. I’m super pleased you look to be on the way to well and good.

  2. Pandora Viltis December 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm Reply

    Hey there lady!

    I feel the same about AA meetings and how they live in fear that if you don’t go to meetings it means you are automatically on a bender.

    • petrichoric December 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm Reply

      I guess it threatens their self-identity, and their sobriety, if somebody is able to get sober without AA. I can see how somebody would get defensive if they’re clinging to the steps for dear life while somebody else is able to get better without them. They’re like a safety blanket in a way. You would like Charlotte Kasl because she talks about that as well, and says that AA just doesn’t accept the fact that there are many different ways to overcome an addiction.

  3. Pandora Viltis December 11, 2013 at 8:34 pm Reply

    Rigidity isn’t equal to mental health. You’re right that the cling onto the security blanket. I went to AA so I could learn to live, not make AA my life.

  4. petrichoric December 12, 2013 at 9:15 am Reply

    Yeah, I’ve known some people in 12 step programs, and all they do is hang about with other people in the program. That seems weird to me. I mean, it’s great to realize you’ve got a problem, and to start trying to work through that, but it doesn’t seem healthy to define yourself exclusively as an “addict”, and to only associate with other “addicts”.

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