Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Jess" and Saturday Night Speaker Meeting

Several years ago, I bought an acoustic guitar on EBay and tried playing for a while. I bought "Guitar for Dummies," learned the names of the parts of the guitar, and plucked out a few chords. It didn't last long. The strings kept breaking and every time I restrung it and tried to tune it, they'd break again.

About a year before I got sober, I traded the acoustic for an electric (with amp) and played again for a while. Didn't get too far with that, either. First, restringing and tuning were still issues. Then something went wrong with the guitar's amp jack, so I quit again. (Besides, struggling with "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" at the age of 35 was pretty demoralizing.)

But the dream didn't die. Back in April, when I was still working at the treatment center, one of the clients had a guitar that she'd play every once in a while. One night, she played "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd and I sung along. That's when I decided. I'll be 40 in November and I want an acoustic guitar for my birthday. I bought a Gripmaster and began building some calluses.

Today it happened. I went to Music-Go-Round, accompanied by my husband and his co-worker who plays. We found the most beautiful used guitar. She's a Schecter acoustic electric and her name is Jess. (The photo shows a twelve-string version of Jess.) She came with a hard case and two free guitar lessons. I bought abalone picks (they match her) and a black leather strap.

I'm committed this time; I will be spending a lot of time during those free lessons learning how to tune her without breaking strings and I will follow a suggestion... I'll find a song that I want to learn to play instead of going back to "Row Row Row Your Boat."

My husband won't let me play her until my actual birthday. But he fixed my electric guitar, so I can practice on it until November 9, when Jess has her coming-out party. Yay!

(By the way, Jess is named after the girl from treatment who played Pink Floyd. I told her that since she inspired me to try playing again, I would name my guitar after her. She was so touched that she named her guitar after me! Pretty cool.)

Earlier this week, anticipating the guitar-buying experience, I suddenly realized that I am unconsciously following in my father's footsteps. When he was 40, he got out of the Army, remained unemployed for a year -- he refers to it as his "househusband" time -- and learned to play the banjo. I gotta remember to tell him about this.

After our adventure, my husband and I went and played pool (he beat me six games to one), then we ate chicken gyros for dinner, and watched a little TV. All day I had been thinking, "Hmmm... how am I going to get to a meeting today?" At 7:30 p.m. he told me he was exhausted and would be going to sleep soon, so I said, "Hey honey, if you're going to bed, I'm going to hit a meeting."

"You're doing 90 in 90, so you better get to a meeting!" he retorted.

So today's AA ended up being an 8:00 p.m. speaker meeting; it was my first attending this particular one. The speaker was a 20-year-old woman who has 2 1/2 years of sobriety. I heard a lot of similarities in her story, especially in some of the behaviors she chose, both drunk and sober. She talked about being chameleon-like as a kid, fitting in wherever there was a spot, and not knowing who she truly was until she got sober. She talked about how she still struggles with going to work every day, with going to school, and with doing her homework. She talked about listening to her sponsor.

Another woman at the meeting looked familiar -- turns out she was at the treatment center where I used to work. She was there when I told my story a couple of weeks ago and just got out on Monday. She asked me to be her temporary sponsor; I agreed.

Today was a great day. Thank you, higher power.

Good night, sweet blog buds. JO

4 thoughts:

AlkySeltzer October 25, 2008 at 11:49 PM  

Wonderful moments are when we can identify with another AA speaker or sharer.

Another wonderful moment is when someone asks me to be his sponsor. What an honor that is, and what a responsibility, to carry the message of recovery, without distortion, and without selfishness.

Zanejabbers October 25, 2008 at 11:55 PM  

Hey Jubilant One - thanks for stopping by. Hope your guitar playing goes as you want it to, but remember it's all in God's time, not yours. It's sounds so good to be following a dream. DO It.

dAAve October 26, 2008 at 6:26 AM  

I'm glad you made it to that meeting. I love speaker meetings too.

J-Online October 26, 2008 at 8:48 AM  

I'm so excited for you about your guitar. That is wonderful and how symbolic to name her "Jess"

I admire you for not giving up on following your dreams!