I think too much. What if? Or, I don’t give a flip what you think. The extreme. Recovery tells me that alcoholics do this. The extreme. I wonder if there are people who don’t descend into Alcoholism who do a 180 when the mood hits them.
That’s what happened to me. I did a 180, which took me on a vertical decline. Declines can only be vertical? Is that right? See, there I go again. I think too much. What if I tell this story, and my insurance drops me? I have to trust that sharing and helping others is what I am supposed to do.
In August 2018, I had been in recovery, again, and sober for two years and almost ten months. My husband and I were at the grocery store. We were pissed at each other. He was going in to get the few items we needed. I told him in a concise commanding voice, “And, get me a bottle of wine too.”
I still remember the physical movement of his head and his eyes when one is taken aback. “What? Are you sure? You think you can do that?” I think he was relieved that maybe somehow we would be nicer to each other that night if we shared a bottle of wine. Isn’t it romantic to share a bottle of wine? I told him to go ahead and get two bottles so we would have a backup. In my experience, I would always need a backup. And I was always prepared, especially when I was drinking.
So, on a beautiful hot summer evening, my husband and I shared a couple of bottles of wine. We talked about life. Solved some of the world’s problems, and for a night, we both forgot about our most recent conflict.
Then, as I have heard many times in recovery, I was off to the races. That was August 7th, 2018. One week before my 56th birthday. I had this. I could drink successfully. Something else recovery teaches is that Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Each time an alcoholic relapses, the drinking gets worse- faster. According to my experience, this is a correct statement. I won’t tell you the stories in between August 7th, 2018 to December 25th, 2018. I will tell you that the police had to come to our home two times that evening of the 24th because my family was concerned about me. This was the first time the police have ever been called to our home. Ever. Not proud, but it happened. I ended up being taken away by ambulance late on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day 2018 in the hospital. In all of my years of drinking, this was the first holiday I had ever ruined.
Let me tell you about recovery. I have been in a 12 step program that encourages anonymity, which I respect. When I reentered recovery that time in 2015, there were people in recovery who did not appreciate that I was public about the 12 step program, though I never announced it by name. Some would tell me they didn’t like it, and some would passive-aggressively mention it in meetings. But, I did not let that deter me. I believe it is essential to be honest about Alcoholism. I would never want anyone to think that recovery doesn’t work. It does. I also think there is more than one recovery program. Each person must find what works to keep one sane and sober.
This is my coming back essay. Yes, on December 25th, 2019, this past Christmas, I eased into my one year birthday, again, in recovery. What I have learned is that I can’t drink without ending up in an awful place. I want it to be all romantic and elegant, dry red wine in crystal glasses, but it is not. Red wine, my friends, will kill me. That’s the truth.
The recovery program Allen and I entered July of 2019 is Recovery Dharma. It is working. I have found peace there. The 12 Step Program works as well. For me, it does not matter what I do or what happens to me; I have this voice that thinks that I can drink a couple of drinks and stop. I can’t. So, I will continue to share this information, this struggle, because I can be happy, joyous, and free, but I still want to drink. But I’m not going to drink. I like who I am when I am not drinking. I like me, sober.