Monday, September 8, 2008

That first drink

Someone called me at work last night, apparently very drunk, but hung up before I could get to the phone. I hope it's not who I think it was. This person has been struggling for some time, and sits in strong acceptance/denial. I understand, I sat there for a very long time. Pretty soon we have to face the fact that drinking for us leads to extremely egregious behavior and the damage we do is almost unbelievable. I remember my first drink after five months of sobriety like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of the end of a potentially great relationship with someone I loved very much, but I couldn't see that coming.

I had made a huge geographic change after only a short time sober, which is strongly advised against by any recovering addict (I didn't know until a couple of weeks ago why. One out of two people who make as big a change as I made drink. No one knows why, but we do). But I was in love and still had poor judgement with such a short time out of the bag. I was having a pretty good day, things were just cruising along. I figured I'd get a job soon, I had the house pretty well put together, we could walk through it at least. He was at work, and I stopped at a convenience store. I was thinking I'd just have one and the bottle would last me about a week. Ha! It lasted about 10 minutes, but the nightmare lasted eight months. Until I had to go to rehab, relapsed after that, got kicked out, and had to sell everything I owned and come home with my tail between my legs. The memories that I can recall are so painful. I believe they will be with me the rest of my life. I don't think that's a bad thing, it will help keep me from picking up that first drink ever again. Because I will never be "just one". The hard fought self-respect I have worked so hard to re-establish with myself will be gone. The spiritual, financial and emotional bankruptcy that I have worked through will be gone. My new life that I cherish so much will be gone. Callie will be gone, Abbie will be gone. Any potential new love I am thinking about will be gone. And it will be that fast! I still hurt so bad over what I did...and I did more damage even after I sobered up by blaming the other person; but I move forward because there can be great growth in the healing of that pain and in the end, I have to believe I will be a better person...I hope.

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