With my birthday month coming to a close, tonight was the last meeting I got to say, hi I'm Melissa and I am an alcoholic and I had 6 years on the 15th. It has been a great month of reflection. Remembering what it used to be like and what it is like today. A sharp contrast to say the least.
There was a woman at tonight's meeting with 6 days, crying out to be done, speaking of powerlessness and unmanageablity. It took me back to that first meeting. Sobbing. Miserable. Hopeless. In disbelief that this is what my life had become. I was an alcoholic. I had become what I said I never would...my father.
I hear people talk about how it quit working for them at the end and how unmanageable their lives had become. In it, I had no idea that this was my truth. It had stopped working to just drink on the weekends. Then it stopped working to drink only after I got home from work. It eventually quit working to try to control it at all. All of my nevers had become reality. I needed to be drunk 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There were only about 4-5 hours during the day that I wasn't putting in and somehow this didn't register as a problem to me. The denial was so powerful.
It didn't seem wrong to have no recollection of teaching 5th and 6th period, driving from there to pick up my 2 and 4 year old. It seemed normal to stop at the liquor store every morning, not being able to wait until that first drink began to quiet the storm ravaging my mind and body. The twenty empty vodka bottles in my car went unnoticed by me, that is until my husband lined them all up on the kitchen counter. Even then I was like...and? I never had any desire or saw a point in doing it any differently than how I was doing it, completely and utterly wasted. Each day needing to drink more than the last, in the end it still not being enough to escape the hopeless existence my life had become.
The hopeless existence I speak of was a complete spiritual bankruptcy. I thought there were no real consequences for my drinking. I still had my job, my house, and my family for the moment. No Dui's. No jail. No CPS. Not because I shouldn't have had those things happen. I was just never caught. All my yets...still waiting for me.
My bottom consisted of me caring of nothing but my next drink, being completely resentful of my children and husband for being a distraction from that oblivion, absent and unavailable, and having not one clear moment for last six months. My consequences were there. I was just unable to register them because from the outside it all still looked presentable.
I never want to forget that hopelessness. I never want to forget getting caught by my husband driving drunk with the kids that last night. Him saying, this is it! Get help or get out! I never want to forget that I am powerless over alcohol and all that unamanageability that waits for me, so patiently. That last drunk, that hopeless state, and all those yets are the tape I play for myself when that crazy thought occurs to me that maybe I could control it this time, maybe I am not really an alcoholic, maybe I am cured.
When I remember to be grateful, I recognize how awesome my life is today. I have hope. I feel like a woman of worth. I am present for my children, family and friends. Life stills happens. There is no denying that. I don't do it perfectly. I can still make it unmanageable, but if I am willing, the solution is there to do it differently. I can walk through anything, with grace and integrity. Today, I am filled with gratitude to have that choice.