Thursday, July 29, 2010

In The Beginning

I used to be an early to mid-stage alcoholic - at least according to the research and quizzes. I had all the blackouts, fighting, fear, hiding, shame, guilt ... and maybe more ... that my alcoholic mother had. And it terrified me. Alcohol, which had all but ruined my childhood, was on its way to ruining the rest of my life too. I didn't want to lose my husband. I didn't want to lose my health. Or my life.

But I didn't want to lose my wine, either. Rock/me/hard place.

So I decided to "do something." I read the classic memoir "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp and it changed my life. Unfortunately, I didn't want to quit drinking forever. And I sure didn't want to join A.A. as Knapp did. So I decided to create my own recovery program.

And I did. I'm proud - and maybe a bit shocked - to say that it's been years since my last angry, blackout drunk. The kind where you wake up and see the ceiling and feel something stabbing you in the head. Then the chest. Then the soul. The snippets of memories. Or worse, no memories at all. Things that were said that can't be taken back. Doors slamming. Mouths screaming. And the blackness. The nothingness. The emptiness of a whole night sliding into your past unknown. Considering I used to have one of those vicious blackouts every week, maybe more? It's an absolute blessing to no longer have to live with that kind of pain.

I am recovering from my alcoholism with this program. I'm living proof it works. And tonight, I get to go out for a nice dinner ... and drink some wine.

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