My daughter was here in town, to move her stuff out of my garage, etc., to her new place with her fiancé in DC. They borrowed my car to run some errands and came back to be picked up by her father to go to see her brother’s lacrosse game. They brought back beer and we sat out on the patio. I went in to get my last diet Pepsi to toast the move with them. I had been saving it to have after dinner, but I got it anyway so that I could have something to toast with.
Her father came and picked them up. They left their empty bottles in the recycling bin outside. I hung out on the patio by myself for a while before I went back into the house. When I went in I passed the recycling bin. I could smell the empty beer bottles. I walked past them and went in to read for a while before I fixed dinner. I could still smell the empty bottles…cunning, baffling, powerful. I finally went out to get the empties with the intention of rinsing them out and putting them back in the recycling bin. I noticed that one of the bottles still had a little left in it; not much, but a little. Before I knew it I drained the bottle. It was just enough to get a taste. God, it was good!
I think I went into shock. I couldn’t believe I had done that. It’s as if my arm was not my own. I totally freaked. I quickly rinsed the bottles out and hurried up to get them back in the bin. I didn’t know what to do next, so I sat down and prayed. What went through my mind next was a nightmare. It’s as if all the work I had done in the last 9 months was gone. I had visions of the past and of the future, all rolled into one. I was alone. My [sober] roommate was out of town. I found myself thinking I could easily go up to the liquor store and get a six-pack and no one would know…cunning, baffling, powerful. I could blame the “empties” on my daughter and her friends. No one would question that…cunning, baffling, powerful. All of a sudden I saw myself in the future, buying beer and hiding it around the house…saying to myself that I could “just have one” from time to time… cunning, baffling, powerful. Not! Been there, done that! I prayed harder. I prayed to have God remove this obsessive thinking from me. I thought about calling my sponsor, I was too freaked out. I thought about getting to a meeting, I was too grubby from moving and too lazy to take a shower and make myself look nice. I kept praying and I kept praying. Finally, the obsession seemed to relent. I threw on a hat to cover my “bad hair” and went up to the convenience store to get some more diet Pepsi. When I returned, I realized that I had gone right past the liquor store, twice, and didn’t even notice it. Never was I so glad to pop the top of that can of DP!
The next morning I woke up uncomfortable. I was thinking about what a close call I had and I began to wonder if one tiny sip counted as a “slip”. I was obsessing again. I knew I had to tell someone, that I could not keep this secret. In my morning prayer and meditation I heard “call your sponsor”. If I did not tell someone it would become a secret that would fester and undermine all the work I had done so far… cunning, baffling, powerful. I called her…she was just getting up. She congratulated me on not acting on the obsession, but, said I should have called her last night. She also told me not to beat myself up about it, to be grateful that my program was so strong that I stopped myself. I know today that it wasn’t I who stopped me, it was God. I should have called her, but it still would have been too late to stop me. Like I said about my arm, it seemed to have a power of its own…cunning, baffling, powerful.
I’m supposed to go to a wedding today, a friend of my daughter’s. She is a young woman I used to drink with at happy hours when my daughter and I both worked downtown. I am not going to go. They can use my car. Today I will spend in gratitude that I did not go out last night. Today I have a plan to stay sober and I am so grateful to this program for giving me the tools to do that. Today I will call another alcoholic and tell them this story. Today I will clean up my house. I will continue to create an environment of peace and serenity. Today I am grateful.
What Did I Learn From This Today?
One – If I ever had any doubt about being an alcoholic, I do not anymore.
Two – This program works!