I go to a lot of meetings. Every now and then I am asked to chair. My home group I often chair, it is a small Grapevine Meeting and there is no qualifying. Recently, I have been mixing it up with different meetings and probably within the last month I have chaired at 2 meetings that ask the Chair to qualify. I realized that I never had actually written down “My Story,” and I figured that it was time I did.
Our meetings are pretty informal up here but rather than to just ramble on about “My Story” I figured I would write it down so I could actually read it over as an exercise to better understand it myself. This blog has discussed a lot of the details of my feelings and experiences in recovery, this post is what brought me to recovery.
What It Was Like
The last year of my drinking was intolerable. The last 6 months I had a burning stomach, my terrible sleep patterns over the past 15 years got even worse. At the end, I wasn’t sleeping for more than an hour or two, when I would get up and pour myself some vodka, search for something to mix it with so I wasn’t a complete barbarian often it was water. The last couple weeks if I ran out of vodka I would search the house for something, anything, that was in a box, considered something that “nobody drank.”
Returnable bottles were hidden, put in my car inside plastic empty grocery bags and thrown into unattended trash cans, often at fast food places or at “Do it Yourself” car washes. I stashed vodka in my car and showed up at meetings and peoples homes with a “Go Cup” of coffee or a diet pepsi in a plastic bottle laced with vodka. I spent a lot of time making sure I had booze. Thank God I never got caught, never got pulled over, no jail or hospital.
Many of my friends were doing similar things and I believe they are still doing it now. One of my very good friends got pulled over by the police but didn’t think anyone would find out, was convinced that her name would not appear in the Court News Section of the paper. Obviously, she was wrong. It was in the newspaper, I got lots of comments from people we knew but she and I never talked about it. She lost her license and somehow managed to keep that hidden while it was pulled. Seeing this from afar and never talking directly to her about it, still didn’t stop me.
Every day I functioned, worked and interacted with people, managing my shakes, getting to lunch on time so I could “catch up with my friends” and drink of course, sometimes finishing out the day at the bar and getting home safely (HP was protecting me) before dinner to avoid questions. I would pour a glass of wine and another…
I was haunted and possessed by “The Beast” alcohol that had taken over my life. I learned to avoid everything and everybody that posed a threat to my relationship with booze. I had to make sure I had it when I needed it and every day I needed it more and more.
The First Day of Summer
About 3 days before I went to my first AA Meeting, I promised once again I was going to stop drinking, it was going to be different this time. By noontime, I felt so horrible that I met my friends for lunch and by 3:30 I felt “better.” The day continued as usual. I slept about an hour at a time that night each time waking up in a sweat. I paced and tried not to drink but I did. Finally I decided to get a shower and look for a place to “take the edge off” and by 9 am I was off and running again. By 1:00pm, I was falling asleep in the parking lot of a well known establishment in my car. I couldn’t believe that I drove home it was less than a mile away.
Thursday morning, I sat on the couch crying but there were no tears. I felt dead inside and looked dead outside. My cheeks and eyes were puffy, I brushed my teeth and cut my gums because the shaking was so bad. I looked up an AA Meeting on my computer and there still was one listed at the homeless shelter across town. I couldn’t even think anymore, I got in my car and went to my first AA Meeting.
That was 297 days ago.