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Not that kind of miracle!! XD

Since I've started with a new sponsor, we've started back at my first step. (Pretty typical) I don't mind it too much except that my homework assignment's been a bit frustrating. Not even sure why.

In the first step, you find that gift of desperation that motivates a truly honest and earnest program. At the least, it pins down just how bad and miserable we were before trying to work a program. So often we only remember & long for the good times. In short, it's the answer to "Why the fuck am I even doing this?".

So after a day of reflection, sponsor time, a meeting, and so on, my head was in a bit of a strange place Friday night. See, as I said I'd already been struggling with this first step, but then I struck on at least one very painful but very powerful summary of part of my first step. Then things got weird. And actually kinda funny, too.

I was on the escalator going into the Dupont Circle metro station. A song came on my iriver; one I associate very strongly with my Mani, exboyfriend. It basically describes & feels like everything that sucked about our post-breakup exing and the pain of our relationship itself.

A stray thought wandered into my forebrain: if I were still drinking or to go back out and drink again, I'd turn back into the person I was with him. Abusive. Manipulative. Inconsiderate. Reckless. Spiteful. Passive aggressive. I loved him, and still love him, but when we were together I hurt him very much, and just didn't care most of the time. What kind of person does that? Did I want to be that person--again? That was, literally, a sobering revelation for me.

And then I just couldn't shake it. The way that realization made me feel. The guilt. The burden of it. The first step can really fuck with a guy's serenity all on its own--turning stones you hadn't noticed or thought about in years--and this just added to it. As my train pulled into the station, I half prayed something to the effect of, "Help me to forgive myself, help me get through this with patience and gratitude..." Something like that.

As I sat on the train still listening to my iriver, some innocent foolishness from earlier in the evening began kicking in with its consequences. See, I'd had a large coffee with my sponsor, three glasses of water at dinner with friends, and then a small coffee while I thought on my first step and waited for my train. In short, I had to pee. And I had to pee bad.

I hate having to pee--by which I mean that full-bladder-feeling. I'm not sure if I have a small bladder or a low tolerance, but it drives me up a wall. So here I'm on a train, with a very full bladder, and no clear plan how to empty it.

I had about 30 some minutes in front of me to get from Dupont Circle to Wheaton, and then walk over to the mall (maybe it would still be open...?) to get my bike and bike home for 20 minutes.... Waiting didn't seem like too good an option.

I tried sitting in every position I could. But still that hot, urging pressure. It got so bad I was nearly sick to my stomach--a sensation that only worsened the situation. I started going through station layouts in my head, seeing if I remembered anywhere they might have a bathroom hidden away. I also weighed the needs of other customers--it seemed likely that high volume stations would likely have bathrooms.

At this time of night, the trains were only running every 20 minutes. I was hesitant to get off at a station and ask if it had a bathroom--nevermind where or if I could even use it--because I'd have to wait about 20 minutes for another train if I guessed wrong. I considered any contingencies I could expect to be available--Silver Spring was practically on top of a Starbucks (but would it still be open...?) and Fort Totten would probably have some bushes outside....

Meanwhile, I tried breathing exercises, prayer, meditation. Sitting this way, then that way, or with this leg like that. It only got worse. It was almost dizzying. Dude, it was bad. Really really bad.

Finally I hopped off at Silver Spring. It doubles as an Amtrak station and there was the chance of a Starbucks, too...I didn't think I could walk too much farther if I was wrong, but goddamnit I wasn't gonna make it home otherwise.

They had a bathroom. One that didn't even need to be unlocked--less waiting!--and plenty of available toilets. I ran over, whipped out, let loose, and sighed sweet relief/release. I peed for at least a minute solid.

And then it occurred to me. I hadn't thought once about Mani or exing or feeling shitty for at least 30 minutes. I'd been completely distracted by my bladder. I'd broken the rumination trap.... Well, I hadn't done anything--except drunk waaaay too much coffee and water, and prayed....

Was this supposed to be some kind of spiritual experience?! I honestly don't know, and don't really care, but it made me laugh. The whole experience, whatever it was, reminded me not to take myself so seriously--certainly not too seriously. I'm only a man. I've fucked up plenty in my lifetime, sure, but life isn't so severe as to be totally hopeless.

As the Doctor likes to say--"Where there's life, there's hope.".


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