My Ninth Life

I haven’t written for months. I had to take one more trip into the lions den, then I had to get myself out. Both take all of my time and energy. Both are a full time job.

I had to prove that I had an addiction to alcohol. I didn’t fully believe it, nor did I want to. I wanted to be able to drink. I wanted to be able to have fun. I was afraid to live a life without booze. So I tried.

The more I drank, the worse it got. I was on a terrifying hamster wheel. I felt awful after I drank, but the only thing that took the anxiety and sadness away was the booze. I could not imagine my life with or without booze. When I was drunk I wanted to be sober, and when I was sober I wanted to be drunk. The only thing I ever thought about was where my next drink was, even if I had a full drink in my hand. And then the booze stopped working. I felt awful all the time. I kept trying to drink my fears and pain down, but I couldn’t. I was more scared and lost than I had ever been. I was circling the drain, holding on so tightly to anything I could hold onto.

Then I let go. I was too tired. I could not fight anymore. And to my surprise, I didn’t go down the drain. I floated to the top. I knew 3 sober people. I reached out to all of them. They all suggested the same thing. Go to a meeting.

I had avoided that plan. I didn’t want to go. I can tell you all of my excuses. But the truth is, going to a meeting made it real. But I couldn’t live the way I was. So I went.

I was so nervous. I had 3 days between me and a drink. I sat down and almost immediately started bawling. I hadn’t planned on or expected to react that way. I couldn’t stop. So I stopped trying. I listened to what everyone was saying to me. I related. I felt safe. For years I felt judged. I felt pitied. At that meeting I didn’t. I saw how they looked at me. They had been where I was. They had felt what I felt. And they let me cry. And I left that meeting feeling exhausted and cleansed. I had needed that.

So I went back, and cried again. And again. Then I found my home group. And I found a sponsor. And this time was different. I accepted my addiction to the bottle. I admitted my life had gotten out of control. I admitted I could not do this by myself. And I listened. Even when things didn’t make sense or sounded stupid, I listened. I did what the group said would work. And I have yet to prove them wrong.

So now I have a sponsor that I respect and talk to regularly. I go to meetings, which I enjoy. I love that I found my people, the same kind of crazy as me. I have found my higher power. I pray. I have found a way off of the hamster wheel and I am moving forward.

And last week I got my 90 day chip. And I must say, it feels fucking amazing.