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Grapevine : February 2011
sober this time. And there would be AA meetings I could drop into. After much travel and four air- ports I arrived at Puerto Vallarta in the rain. I had already missed a connection, and in my tired and hungry state I felt that the world was against me. The thought of a drink had crossed my mind on the plane, and later when I arrived. I had enough experience to know to do some on-the-spot praying, and to tend to the practicalities of eating and sleeping. The next morning I got my- self to a much-needed meeting at 9 A.M. Everyone was friendly, but I had walls up. I felt inferior, inse- cure and full of an old arrogance and pride. I had thought that these feelings were long gone. After the meeting, I left and spent all day in coffee shops and internet cafes, looking at flights out of Vallarta---to South America, Rio or the like---be- cause I knew that an outside desti- nation would change the way I was feeling. How I can forget all the AA stuff so easily when I'm out of my comfort zone! Just as at the start of my recov- ery, I did the next right thing and got to the next meeting at 6:30 P.M.---not wanting to be there. During the meet- ing I knew that the answer was to share how I felt, and with resistance and trepidation, I did. This changed my whole outlook. I was invited out to dinner and really made to feel welcome. From then on I never had break- fast or dinner alone. I thawed out and let people in. Up until then, I'd never realized what it was like to have a support system of not only alkies, but also gay alkies. I have one good friend in England, but there are no gay AA meetings, and Birmingham is England's second biggest city. Puerto Vallarta made me realize I needed other gay alcoholics. Also, I have never had a relationship in recovery. My low self-esteem had me convinced that sex was to be bought and that, although my life is full, I wasn't into the love thing. Then I met someone---I'll call him Kiddo. All these feelings that I had suppressed for 20 years came to the surface. Kiddo was in recovery for 10 weeks and had not really stopped drinking. But I'll give him one thing--- he kept turning up. I had very little to do and was somewhat resentful that the weather was stormy. I had traveled 6,500 miles and it looked My insides got all mushy, my heart jumped into my mouth and I got all self-conscious about how I looked. This was all new to me. 22 February 2011