A few years ago, I would say the first thing that went BUMP was me. I would wake up and not be able to get back to sleep. I would get up, go downstairs, grab the old bottle of “Irish Courage” and put a glug or two in a mug with some tea or diet soda. The mug was key in case anyone would get up they couldn’t see what I was drinking. No one ever got up except my dog, but I needed to be sure.
In the end, my dog would just look at me from across the room, not even greeting me. He sensed something was really wrong and wanted no part of me. Mindfully, I would open the cupboard where my bottle was, quietly pour it and return it quickly so no one would suspect. At first, (15 years ago), it was once in a while. I was single for the first time in many years, living alone with my dogs on a lake that froze in the winter. In all its beauty, it was my self-imposed prison. The nights were when I ached the most. It seemed like a little booze settled the demons so I could go back to sleep (pass out) again.
Early Days of Recovery
For the first 10 days as I recall, I still had the nighttime demons. Only I was no longer choosing to fight them off with vodka. The first month or so, I practically nailed myself to the bed refusing to leave the second floor of the house even if I would be lying awake for hours. Tonight, I am awake and at my computer. I am feeling pretty contented that I can trust myself again. This is my new normal, finding something that soothes me, like writing, as I live another day without alcohol.
On some of those nights at the end of my drinking days, I would look at my friend through tear filled eyes. He would be across the room gazing at me. I was and never have been the abusive type, (except to myself of course), the only thing I can think of is how animals sense sickness and injury. Most of the time they want to protect the sick or injured but in my case, he was visibly confused, very distant. As my recovery progressed he started to trust me again, kind of a mirror of myself. Now if I am up in the night, he comes to me wagging his tail and gives me a quick kiss of greeting. Boy, have we changed.