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If there was every any doubt…I am an Alcoholic!

beerLast night, I almost had a slip.  Well, I kinda, sorta did have a slip…I just hit my 9 month’s sober anniversary three days ago.

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, powerfulNot!  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!

Believing!

February 8 2004, I lost my belief in God…it was the day my father died.  I asked God…why, why in the world would YOU take my father? In 2002 my father was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, it was the worst day of my life. So I did what every Catholic raised person would do, I prayed but I prayed when it was convenient for me.  On February 8th 2004, he passed away. Not five months later on June 6th 2004, my favorite aunt who was diagnosed with the same thing passed away too.

It was the worst four month span of my life! So what did I do? I put two fingers in the air and turned my back on God and my will over to crystal meth. I “felt” so much better, it took all my pain away or so I thought. But in reality it was the start of my problems for the next eight years to come. Why did I need the belief of a higher power when I had my meth? In that time I got married but the only thing we had in common was meth and it ruined my marriage. It only lasted one year and one month to the day. There was a lot of verbal and physical abuse which accumulated from our meth use. Continue reading

Early Recovery Struggles

Hello my name is Joe and I’m an alcoholic and an addict! I came through the retreat on December 5th of 2012 and my journey ended on January 4th 2013, the retreat saved my life!!! I was addicted to crystal meth and it was running my life inside and out. I needed help and couldn’t find a way to tell anyone, one night things got out of hand with my fiancé and me. The next day I went to my mom’s to stay a couple days, two days later my fiancé came over to my moms and with that urgent look in her eyes saying we need to talk. Continue reading

Sober House Living

Many of us, myself included, are hard headed, stubborn and believe ourselves to be completely self reliant. Of course, those attributes have directly contributed to where we find ourselves today: sitting in a treatment center. Our self reliance has completely failed us. In order to stay sober, we need others in AA to help us. This realization is the beginning of our new journey and leads into the topic of living in a sober living home.

The last time I went through treatment, it was highly recommended to me that upon leaving treatment, I should move into a sober house. Deep down, I knew this was the right thing to do but it was nonetheless a smack to my over inflated ego and pride. My ego/self reliance told me I was better than that. It told me I didn’t need to share some bedroom in some grimy sober house with people who didn’t have jobs or not much of a future. Continue reading