In the beginning of July I was hospitalized with a severe kidney infection. I truly thought it was no big deal. Sure the pain was enough to make me want to slap my momma but antibiotics were on their way. Wonderful. Within the next couple of months, however, I experienced a vast array of symptoms that took three doctors, a slew of nurses, countless viles of blood and pee, and three more hospital visits to diagnose. By the end of August I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I would love to tell you all about this hardship as education and awareness are extremely important in finding the cure to any progressive auto-immune disease. However, I am here to primarily share about my sobriety. I do urge you to look up Fibromyalgia for your own personal knowledge as millions of people around the world suffer from it. Plus, it makes for a very interesting ice-breaker at parties. You will come off sounding quite well rounded and incredibly interesting. (Okay, that was a lie. But look it up anyway.)
Many people were worried about my sobriety during that time. Meetings were brought to my home as I was mostly in bed at the time. I recieved too many phone calls to answer. I quit reading texts due to too many pouring in at once and I was NOT going to risk adding "cross-eyed" to my list of ailments. Thank God for those people, though. They truly helped me through a very difficult time. I managed to stay sober.
Fast forward to October. By October I was feeling better. The treatment plan my Doc had me on was working beautifully and I felt I was out of the proverbial woods. I started to feel invincible in a way, really. My diagnosis and treatment happened far quicker than what was expected. Shit.
I am the type of alcoholic that forgets how bad it was. I forget the sneaking of beers with my cereal in the morning, the paranoia that followed thinking my parents would notice, the drinking of cooking wine and feeling sick but happily hazy all at once. I forget the blackouts and the injuries from falling. I forget that I nearly died last December. Yes, when things are looking up my mind decides to block out the horrors of my drinking and leads me to believe that nothing bad could ever happen to me again. You're feeling better! it squeals, No use for meetings! No use in calling your sponsor! God you say? Never heard of 'im. Oh what a sheisty bastard my head can be.
Beginning in October I slacked on my program. I put my sobriety on the back burner and led what I believed to be the life a "normal" person led. Soon my cravings were back. The obsession to drink was all consuming. I became afraid to go into grocery stores alone. Did I see any of this as a sign? Ha! Of course not, silly!
On November 5th a group of about 12 of my close sober friends and I went out on the town. It was going to be a night filled with shooting pool and swing dancing. Nothing was further from my mind than drinking when I left my house to join them. Within about 20 minutes we sat a table that had yet to get cleaned off. In front of me was a full glass of beer. Allow me to stop. Who the fuck orders a beer and doesn't drink it? Jesus Christ that is the craziest thing I have ever witnessed, including that time Janet Jackson's boob flopped out. Seriously. So there I was, face to face with an ice-cold, full glass of beer. We stared at each other for quite some time. I swear to God I stared at it so long that it told me to take a picture 'cuz it would last longer. That bitch. Soon it was swiped away, however. Whew. That was close! I got up and danced to get my mind off of it. After about 3 minutes of half-assing it on the dance floor I found myself at the bar chugging an eerily similar ice-cold glass of beer. Fuck.
The rest of that night was crazy. My boyfriend approached me after that first one and asked what I was doing, if it was helping, if I felt better. He was concerned, told me he had my back, told me he loved me. I wanted to punch his fucking lights out. LET ME GET DRUNK! He eventually got me to go back to my apartment where my best friend (God bless her for what I put her through that night) was waiting. We had a wonderful talk full of me crying and yelling, pulling at my hair, and declaring as often as I could remember to that I was clearly not an alcoholic because I only had ONE and why the fuck weren't they tipping their hats to me?! Oh brother. What. A. Mess. Apparently, according to my incredibly intelligent bestie, "normal" people don't have one beer and then act out every scene from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Oohhh...
I only had that one beer that one night. I turned into a certifiably crazy person who cared about nothing but getting more and was horribly pissed that I had friends around at that moment who loved me. What a perfect reminder that I am most certainly, without a doubt, one crazy alcoholic.
I thank God for that night. I thank him for putting the people in my life that he has who were there for me. I thank him that it didn't have to get worse than that for me to see clearly that I needed to desperately jump head first back into my sobriety. I thank him for the 19 days I now have and for the strength he has given me to not give up on my life. I thank him for putting my fingers back on these keys. It feels better than I remember.