Today, at a meeting a nicely dressed woman showed up drunk. She is a designer who has been coming to meetings for a while. She had been out partying and was completely messed up, laughing and generally making a lot of commotion. A couple of guys got her quieted down so that the meeting could continue. Later she picked up a white chip, still drunk.
I know what this does to me. It creates a gut-wrenching reaction. I have to force myself not to move. My eyes tell me that this isn't anyone that I know but my heart tells me that this is a person who is in a lot of pain and who is causing a lot of pain. It seems so ironic to have a drunk person show up at an AA meeting. But I would guess that's the best place for anyone drunk to be because they are with people who know how to deal with the situation.
I don't know how to deal with the situation so I just sit and concentrate on not bolting. I stay put and get through the meeting and then can't wait to leave. All the way on the drive back to my office, I'm thinking about the nightmare of that woman's life. And the nightmare of those who love her. It's hard to get the image out of my head. It's hard not to imagine a different face being drunk and out of control. It's hard not to look back.