I went to birthday night last night. Our fellowship celebrates once a month anyone having a sobriety birthday that month. I took my 10-month chip. My head starts talking, “You know, Dee, next month you could be taking your 16-year chip.” I guess that would be sweet, 16 consecutive years of sobriety. I went 13-1/2 years before picking up that first drink again. I still have those 13-1/2 years, and they were good. But those 13+ years couldn’t come close to how good my life is and I am since I got sober again 10 months ago. What changed? Me. What’s different? Everything.
First relapse. Stopped going to meetings for 1-1/2 years when I moved to Hawaii. Thought I was doing fine. Had my Big Book. Had my Higher Power. Never thought about drinking. So why, you ask, did I take that first drink? Never intended to. When offered, I declined, even stating I don’t drink. So why was it left there unattended in front of me in case I changed my mind?
Because that’s my story. My puzzle piece. I confirmed I am, indeed, an alcoholic which I carried that doubt for 13-1/2 years. I stopped giving away what was so freely given to me when I needed it most. I stopped being there for newcomers, thus, forgetting how horrible it was when I admitted I was an alcoholic and that I needed help, when I didn’t have a choice but to drink. I allowed my gifts in sobriety to take away my gifts in sobriety.
Hooray…Dee gets back into the program and has been there ever since. Life is good again and keeps getting better. I secretary. I service. I work with sponsor. I go to meetings. She takes her one-year chip. So why another relapse? More puzzle pieces. Major bone loss in upper mouth warranted major dental work and pain pills. When pain gone, pills not. All it took was one pill, for the right reason doesn’t matter. “That” part of my brain doesn’t want to flush them. My program and sobriety not strong. I keep the pills and I take them. They make my brain feel good. My heart is sad. Since I break my sobriety I might as well drink them down. Great rationalization, yeah? That’s the way my brain thinks when am weak. I know now not only should I not drink, I should not drug.
My heart so scared of what could happen to me and my life. I’ve been taught well that if I keep drinking and hiding and lying that I’m going to end up right back to where I was when I first got here. Pretty shitty life. Not even a life. Just existence. But I’m liking the way I feel when I’m using. I still have a choice. I’m not yet to that point of no return.
I get myself into an out-patient program. I go to 90 in 90. I’m not ready to give it up so with rigorous honesty I tell on myself each day. I’m hoping through osmosis I shall stop drinking, that the obsession will be lifted, that alcohol and drugs, drinking and using, will be removed from that receptor in my brain that keeps yelling “Use!” I struggle for a couple months, but I don’t give up. I follow suggestions, hitting my knees, picking up the phone, telling on myself.
Crazy how one morning I feel different. It’s gone, that obsession. Just for one day at a time. I don’t know if I’ll get an 11-month chip, or my 1-year chip yet again. I don’t need to know. I’m okay with today and the contentment that I feel with who and what I am. Not only am I okay with today, I’m excited about today and what my Higher Power has on the agenda today. You see, I’ve learned to turn it over, to not think that I am in control. I’ve learned to go with the flow and enjoy the magic carpet-ride of life. And it’s fun, and freeing, and rewarding. Just for today!
For this week and for always, one day at a time, have a mighty fine day! With much Aloha…Dee.
P.S. For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery and Hawaii Art, please check out my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Mahalo nui!