Today I have been sober for 14 years. I’m not going to go any detail on that as I have a blog dedicated to all of that sobriety stuff. Right here: Sober Catholic.

#sobrietyhumoralert But some time ago the thought occurred to me that as a writer, (I am one as I do write stuff) I may be at odds with the stereotype of writers being drunken sots. Writing is a lonely profession; being solitary, one is apt to become depressed or otherwise feel a need to offset the lack of professional companionship. Thus writers develop a drinking habit to compensate for all that isolation. Despite the existence of social networks and thus connecting with others, it is still an isolated endeavor. Social networks can also distract you.

Or you drink to get inspiration. I think Hemingway said “Write drunk, edit sober.”

Nevertheless, I defy the stereotype. When I was attempting to become a writer #backintheday pre-Internet and computer, I didn’t drink. When I began drinking, I gave up the idea of writing. When I sobered up, I revisited the whole writing thing.

I can’t even do the “writer as a drunken sot” thing correctly. Just as well. I am a misfit.

On the subject of “misfits,” I did join AA when I sobered up. Again, not going into any detail as I’ve written extensively on it over at Sober Catholic, I never quite fit in there, either. A supposed “Fellowship” of like-minded people who are all united in keeping each other sober, I never quite got the hang of it. I attended zillions of meetings, adopted the language and worked the 12 Steps, did service work (make coffee, set up/clean up), participated in the “meeting before the meetings” and hung out afterwards. Never developed that wonderful “Fellowship” that is discussed so glowingly in the pages of AA literature. I tried, not being overbearing, of course (not my style), but still never saw people away from meetings, never got involved in their lives, nor they in mine. It was as if we didn’t exist outside of the rooms.

Oh, well. Leave it to me to be a misfit in a society of misfits.

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6 Responses to Misfit

  1. judyferg says:

    Hmmm… maybe that’s why we got along so well (as I sit here alone in my apartment with my laptop on my lap …that’s why they’re called laptops, right?!?!…). I was never in AA, but I was never in a lot of other things either…

  2. kjunlandr says:

    I had a holy Monsignor in Lafayette, LA tell me in the confessional when I told him I was in AA say, “The 12 Steps are merely psychological. Only the grace of God which come through the sacraments can set us free.” By truly living the sacramental life, showing up every morning to fight the daily spiritual battle, have I been able to maintain sobriety. I still go to AA & have a AA sponsor but I do not by into the “spiritual not religious” that is so prevalent in AA. Some take it to the point they are spiritually superior than those who are in organized religion. AA owes its entire existence to organized religion, Bill W. stated “we borrowed from religion.”

  3. Michael Kern says:

    MisFit – great title. Don’t we all feel like this? I certainly do. Like you also, a zillion meetings, but never fit in and despite trying to have some home meetings, it didn’t work for me. More involved with men at our church and this seems to be a better fit for me. It has only been a year with the Church bit, but so far it has been a good experience. Maybe just being wit the guys and talking about real issues is part of the success here. I have 23 years (one day and one prayer at a time) but I found the days, weeks and years don’t matter. It is how grounded we are in the moment, is what I think matters. Stepping off of soap box now. Thanks for this topic Paul

    • I don’t mind the soapbox! Sorry I didn’t check for replies…. Now that you’re approved, your comments should be automatically published.

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