I took my last drink a week ago tonight at 9:35 PM, so I’ve been sober for nearly a week. I’ve been to three AA meetings, but I haven’t found a home group yet. I’m leaning toward one, but with everything happening today and tonight, I don’t think I’ll be able to make a meeting. I’m returning to out-patient treatment tomorrow, and I’m ready to get back to my friends and counselors.
Two days ago–when the effects of detox were doing a number on me mentally–I had no desire to write anything (the words still aren’t flowing as they normally do). I didn’t want to write music either, and listening to music made my head feel like it would explode. So I’d leave the treatment center at four, sit in my car, and look at my watch, realizing that normally I’d have already started drinking or would be on the way to the liquor store for vodka or the grocery store for wine.
I can’t do that anymore, I told myself, and I began shaking. My hands trembled when I gripped the steering wheel, and I tried music. Nope. I went home and thought, I’m dead inside. I’ll always feel this way. I don’t care if I drink or don’t drink. I don’t even care if I wake up in the morning. Whatever.
I recognize now, and to an extent recognized then, that my detoxing, addict brain was spewing that nonsense. That doesn’t de-legitimatize the feelings and thoughts, though. I took my Trazadone to help me sleep, and I crawled into bed and shut out the world…
…only to wake up feeling hung over. What the fuck? I thought. I actually wondered for a minute if I’d drank the night before, because I sure as hell felt like I had. That hung-over feeling happened yesterday, too, but today I woke up feeling almost normal. Almost like I could make it through a Sunday with my kids without going to the freezer and start doing shots at 11 AM in preparation for the shitstorm my life had become…a shitstorm I have created.
One of my counselors said alcoholics and addicts are tornadoes that rip through people’s lives and do untold damage. I believe it. Many, many of the problems in my family were caused directly by my drinking, and I accept that. I’m trying to move beyond shame to guilt, but it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s fucking hard.
It’s also hard asking for help, but I’m learning how to do that. I told an entire group at my church today that I was in treatment and had seven days in, and they were wonderfully accepting. I’ve pretty much abandoned Facebook these days, but I told two friends today, and they were wonderfully accepting, too.
One of my friends in treatment said the other day, “You know the weird thing that happens when we tell people we’re in recovery? They want to help, man. They fucking care.”
He’s right. I have more numbers in my phone than ever before, and I’m starting to use them. I’m checking in with people, and I’m willing for them to check in with me.
I don’t know what the rest of the day will look like; I don’t know what the next hour will look like. I can’t trust my brain. During the course of writing this, I went from feeling pretty good to utterly hopeless. That’s the way it’s going to be.
I’m not going to drink. I’m going to call someone and find a meeting.
Thanks for reading. Keeping sending those good vibes and prayers, folks. I need them.