january 6, 2020—morning edit to nighttime reflections

(Necessary edit: I wrote this last night, when I was very tired, just about to go to bed, yet still wanted to document some end-of day thoughts. I didn’t mean that members were being negative to other members—I haven’t seen evidence of that at ALL in this group, but I think my post came across that way—I was referring to members beating themselves up mercilessly if they “slipped up,”(which, btw, in my not-so-humble opinion of this experiment, isn’t even a THING here, this idea of “slipping up,” and I don’t know where that mindset originates—old 12-step programs?—there is no TAE police lurking around, making sure we don’t drink… Anyhow, I appreciate everyone’s insights and responses, y’all are the best! xo)

Day 5 end-of-day reflections…one more day under the belt. Yay, me. Feel good in a lot of ways—rested, eating well, brain fog dissipating….but also feeling a little dragged down as I get ready for bed, tonight, and I think I know why. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to even post about this—if so, admin please feel free to remove it.

Just wondering, is “confessing” if we have a drink while taking part in this experiment a requirement? It was brought up by another member, and is something I’ve noticed from the start, too. I didn’t think so, but it seems to be a common practice, if it were that alone, it wouldn’t be such a big deal but is often followed by a brutal public self-lashing: the shaming, the judging, the harsh negative talk that immediately spews following these “confessions” is exhausting to read and hard to avoid when I’m trying read through other posts—is it just me who’s feeling particularly sensitive to it? Makes me wonder, have those who are engaging in this practice not read any of the materials or watched the videos that accompany this experiment? I can’t count how many times I’ve written in response, “Please remember it’s not a challenge, it’s not a contest of the wills or an exercise in torture; there’s no AF police lurking around…all your days here count, not just the AF ones…” or something to that effect.

I know hearts are in the right place—needing to vent, wanting be honest and accountable, find support when they need it—that’s why we’re all here—I get that, I truly do, but confessing and brutalizing ourselves over slip-ups is not the point of this program and it feels distracting and counterproductive—reminds me of the handful of AA meetings I went to, and then ran from…but again, maybe it’s just me… what’s most unsettling is it’s often from people who have said the kindest, most thoughtful things to other members in this group, yet can’t extend this same loving compassion to themselves…

I know that big part of my discomfort about this, is I’ve lived for far too long with internal critics like this—it’s a huge part of why I’ve ended up where I am today, and why I’m now here in this group, doing this hard work to quiet those demons, and find softness in my heart and peace in my head.

Some of you might be saying, “Well just leave the group if you don’t like it,” and yes, that is an option, but at this point, what I’ve gained from this group far outweighs this irritant. It’s likely where I am right now, on day 5—the euphoria of the first few days is fading, and some of life’s realities are seeping in…something to work through… since confession seems to be the theme of this post, this is mine for what it’s worth. Thanks for reading, I’m tired and am going to go brush my teeth, put on my jammies and crawl into bed. Rest well, all. xo.

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