One of the things I remember most about the movie Lilo and Stitch is them talking about ohana…which means family. I found myself tonight at an AA meeting on the big island of Hawai’i by this name. (Yes, there is a good reason I haven’t posted much haha). Lover and I met some wonderful people at another meeting here, and they told us about the Ohana meeting. It’s an “eating meeting”, we’re told. “Come eat some Hawaiian food.” Sold. We came to the island on a private retreat, to a wellness center. There’s only one place to smoke in the area, everything else is off limits. Me, being the dirty dirty smoker goes off to find that area on the first day…only to find that the majority of those there are smoking the devil’s lettuce. Ok fine. I hang to the outer area, not really talking to anyone. Then I go back several hours later. More people are there this time, and it’s not tobacco in the pipe. They’re much friendlier, and tried to pass to me. Lover showed up right after this, and they tried to pass to him as well. There’s a part in the Big Book where it talks about only being around alcohol if you have a good reason to be there. Lover tells me he doesn’t- he doesn’t smoke so he will no longer join me at the tent. My wheels start turning. Do I have a good reason to be there? Is my nasty cigarette addiction reason enough for me to put my sobriety in jeopardy every time I need a smoke? I brought a long a bunch of nicotine patches for the plane rides, I have enough for the duration of the trip. So I did it. Three days without a single cigarette, and it’s fucking hard. Yes, I’m on the patch. Yes it’s worth it to not be around all the Mary Jane. However I feel like I’ve been in an anxiety attack for the last 24 hours. And that, brings me to the meeting. The anxiety has been building over the last day…it started surfacing about an hour or two before the meeting. We get there, grab some coffee, and sit. I sip my coffee, looking longingly towards the door where I know other sober folk are out smoking. They’d give me a smoke. Then relief hits. Something relaxed inside. I’m home. I’m with my people. AA is where I can walk into the room of strangers and everyone knows me and I know them. It didn’t really hit me until after I left tonight that the meeting name, Ohana means family. Those are my family. I’m still a basket case, I cried some on the drive back to the resort. I might smoke tomorrow. I make no promises. But today, tonight I’m sober and tobacco free. And my family was there giving me hugs and telling me they understood.
When you got it, no stopping it. Well, you could but I don’t recommend it.
As someone who has stomach issues that cause horrific gas, my thoughts today have wandered…what are the best places to pass it? And then…Where are the worst?
- Outside. Especially if it’s windy, bonus for a noisy area where you can be loud and disgusting and no one hears you. Just make sure it’s going to stay noisy. And windy. Nothing worse than one of those hot lingering bombs and it won’t go away outside of all places. (Well kids, we just happen to be downwind of a farm. Yes, I know we’re in the city. Just trust me. It’s a farm. Not your mother.)
- Home. I make this second because it’s indoors, and there’s a possibility you can stink yourself and your loved ones out. They may not love you at this point. You may not love you if this happens.
- Indoor playgrounds. The possibility of offending other parents runs here, but if it’s a big enough area you can cropdust and blame it on some kid. Because you KNOW at least one kid is running with a full load.
- The Car. A moving vehicle with the windows down. Unless you’re in Minnesota anytime between October and April. Then I don’t recommend it.
- In line at the grocery store. If you can pull off the silent but deadly, you might encourage someone in front of you to leave. This also requires either an ability to act as though you’re not to blame and also offended by the smell or a complete lack of shame. Own it.
Next we have the worst places.
- First date/first sleepover etc. You want to maybe keep this person around. Maybe you don’t. Let’s assume that you want to keep them around. Embarrassment in front of your boo or bae or whatever the fuck stupid thing people are saying now is not cool. We want to be our best, smell amazing and not be bloated foul creatures like we are at home alone. The point is to not be alone, so let’s break out the Bean-o.
- Edit: adding in dance floor. A friend shared an experience where a ten foot section was cleared by a toxic wave emanating from another friend. Although, this could be a good thing too if you’re looking for space from the creepers. Not so much if you’re in the meat market though.
- Work. No one wants to be trapped in a small area with an offensive odor. We all know who’s responsible for it, and unless you’re working outside or completely alone it’s just not a good idea. Maybe not even if you’re alone. Once I was working in a locked office all alone, let one go, and then someone knocked on the door. I was seen so I couldn’t pretend to not be there, had to let them in and had a very uncomfortable encounter where we were both trying to pretend there was no smell. The stories go on. I go on.
- A wedding. Unless you are looking for an excuse to get out, then by all means. Light it up.
- A funeral. Unless you need comic relief.
- A restaurant. Just imagine it…you’re there, you’re hungry, and then this overwhelming stench wafts by from a nearby booth. Ugh. However if you can stand your own smell, maybe it’s fine. Less competition for the wait staff’s attention. This is a positivity blog, after all.