All is Lost

Anyone seen the movie All is Lost? It stars Robert Redford. There’s about two lines of dialogue.

all is lost

That is how I feel right now. There’s no point in drinking, there’s no point in not drinking. I felt fine this morning. I got my kids ready to go to church, though I didn’t plan on staying for the service. I was going to group discussion at 10 o’clock and dropping my little one at the nursery and taking my oldest son to do crafts and have fun with other kids his age. I used to love gathering at 10 o’clock and taking part in deep conversations with people. No question was off-limits. My church is progressive and open to all, and as a result there are a lot of gay, lesbian, and transgender people who attend. Also, there are people from many faith backgrounds, including some agnostics and out-right atheists. I’ve never been to a church like mine before, and I was looking forward to going…

…until I go there. I dropped off my kids at their respective places, walked into the social hall where our group meets, and I froze. I knew most people in the room, and two weeks ago I’d told them I was in treatment and going to AA meetings. Two people walked up to me afterward and said they were recovering addicts and alcoholics, and I felt better.

Today, though, I freaked out. I sat my bookbag down and took off my jacket. I went to the bathroom to gather myself and looked at my hands. They were trembling violently. I can’t do this, I thought. I dashed back in the room, got my jacket and bookbag, and made a bee-line to my van. I drove to a nearby coffee shop and ordered a cup, feeling only slightly better. I sat with my journal and wrote a horrific poem about recovery and dealing with my addicted self. I kept sliding further and further down until I hit emotional bottom yet again. When I picked up my children from church, I dashed out with them for fear of seeing people and having to talk to them. I spoke to one girl who knows what I’m going through, and she hugged me. I appreciated it, but I had to get out of there. I made a hasty apology, grabbed my kids’ hands, and out the door we went.

As I type this, every sound is too loud; colors are too bright. I dread going to work tomorrow.

I keep thinking of the Emily Dickinson poem, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

I wish I had more hope. It’s fading. I’m doing the absolute minimum right now: not drinking today. I feel like an utter failure. This isn’t me on the pity pot, folks; I’m just recounting how I feel for my future self and for others wading through the morass of early recovery.

That’s all. Carry on.

About Robert Crisp

Just a lad who likes to create.
This entry was posted in AA, addiction, alcoholism, early sobriety, recovery, sobriety, treatment, withdrawal and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All is Lost

  1. I’m not far enough in to be qualified to speak on this, but having my own bouts of anxiety, I did a little research last night. Apparently, anxiety is common upon quitting. Something to do with brain chemistry, and producing too much of something that we don’t need now that the body no longer has to compensate for the presence of alcohol. Whatever it is, I felt better knowing that with time, things should settle down. Walking has helped. No headphones. Just me and nature.

    Some days, the absolute minimum is plenty. xoox


    • rbc says:

      Thanks. My treatment team and folks in AA) told me everything I’m experiencing is normal, but it’s nice to hear it from other people, too. I like the idea of walking with no headphones. It would be strange for me, but it’s worth a try.

      Liked by 1 person

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