Well, I said I wouldn’t begin self-detox, but I seem to have. As my family and I drove back from Florida, I didn’t have a drink before getting in the car. I usually have three, whiskey and water, consumed quickly for maximum effect. I don’t normally drink during the day, let alone the morning, but I usually do before riding back home. I opted for water instead.
The drive back was uneventful (except for my children squabbling), and once home, I had to deal with the damage left by the cats. They tend to rebel when we’re gone for more than a few days. The kids were worn-out, hungry, and cranky, and there were more than a few arguments during the evening. I looked around, sure that I’d left something, somewhere to drink. But no.
You can do this,I told myself. Don’t worry, you’re not going to fall down and start convulsing. But I was worried. I couldn’t catch my breath, and my head started pounding again. I’d had a headache since waking up, but it wasn’t a hang-over headache. I haven’t had one of those in years. The pounding grew worse as I ate and got things ready for bed. By the time I got under the covers, I was shaking. My wife said she was worried and wondered if she should go get me something to drink.
“No,” I said. “I just need to go to sleep.” Sleep was hard coming because I’d started smelling vomit everywhere. It was like I was covered in it. No matter where I walked in the house, the acrid smell of sickness assaulted my nose. It was an olfactory hallucination. Why couldn’t I have imagined smelling coffee or roses or baking bread? Why vomit?
I finally stopped shaking and fell asleep, and then my eyes popped wide-open at 3:30 AM. I tried going back to sleep, but it was no use. I got out of bed at 4:00, made some coffee, and started the day without alcohol in my system for the first time in months.
Right now, I’m having a hard time thinking straight. If I absolutely have to drink, I can’t get anything before 12:30 because it’s Sunday. I’ll hang in there and decide at that time if I can–or should–make it through the rest of the day sober.
I’m trying. I’ll keep trying.