Saturday, February 10, 2007

SA-TUR-DAY and ALL IS WELL

It seems I have successfully completed another week... There was a time not that long ago, when I would wake up dreading each and every day. I'm not quite at the point where "everyday a new adventure", however I have , apparently, passed the point of " aww, f-k, another day to deal with! In just a little over eight months, my life has seemingly been transformed from dull, bleak, get-through-it-however-I-can to wow another brand new day! I must give credit where credit is due though, for I, on my own, could never have achieved such a miracle in this 'lil Lushgurls life!

As I have mentioned a time or two before... Kudos to AA for f-king up my drinking career! It seems that ones' first exposure to the program, changes ones' perspective about ones' drinking to the point where , it is never quite the same! Granted, by the time I attended my first AA meeting, my drinking was no longer social, not by any stretch of even the most vivid imagination. The thing, for me, was that I had heard a few things in ' that stupid meeting' that hit a little too close to home. You see, like any good little alcoholic, the progression of my illness took me to places that a few years before I never would have gone (read the places where I could still sit in judgement of others as ' I was not THAT bad'... ) As long as I could see someone who was in worse (alcoholic ) shape than I, it was easy to justify that I was not an alcoholic!!! Anyone relate to that?

Fast forward however many years necessary to the point where drinking ( and/or using ) consumed my every waking thought and action. I had been in and out of the program a few times by this point. I had achieved certain milestones in my recovery in the way of a couple of one year medallions. I had managed to do a certain amount of personal inventory taking and making some amends. But I never truly 'got honest' with YOU, me and my Higher Power. Result...back out once again to see how much further down the scale I could slither! Yup. THEY said that maybe if I was "painstaking about this phase of my recovery, I would be amazed before I was half-way through", and once again, I rewrote this to mean that maybe I was recovered enough to drink normally...

And back out I went again, all for the greater good though... it was research I was doing, yeah that's it, I was ever-so- selflessly proving to you, me and cousin Billy, that 'once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic'. Of course I threw myself whole heartedly into my research project. I traveled in new, lower circles, I did things I would never have imagined myself doing. I achieved a new low (high?) in self-loathing, yup even I could not have envisioned how much worse I was actually capable of feeling about me and life in general. It was like someone had sucked all the fun out of the pursuit of drunken-ness for me, but dammit, I'm NO quitter!!! I figured if I changed the kind of alcoholic beverage I over indulged in, that maybe I could drink like an earthling. Maybe if I only drank alone, well ok, I knew at this point that I could not drink like an earthling, but NO ONE was around to see it!

It seemed my impending demise was not to be quick and painless and in the privacy of my own home. No , not me. My demise was slow and painful and always (in one way or another) blatantly obvious to all but me. Yes, I have another example for you (you're welcome)... It was a Friday night, I remember it not at all, I had finished work and gone to my local liquor store to stock up on my beverages for the upcoming week (famous last words). Saturday morning I awoke, not in my bed, but on the couch, in my 'living' room. I knew before I even opened my eyes that something was not right. OWWW, my face hurt. OWWWWW, my knee was killing me and OWWWWWWW, how the hell did I manage to scrape the entire bottom of my left arm, and why am I not wearing my jeans..... up the stairs I stumbled to get ready for work, which was in less than an hour . I passed the mirror in the bathroom on my way to the shower, and caught a glimpse of someone who was Definately NOT me!!!

It appeared that Lushgurl had been transformed from a fairly normal looking-to-the-outside-world gurl, into a very scary picture indeed. I did not one but two double takes! I couldn't believe what I was seeing looking back at me, I looked like I had gone a few rounds with a much bigger, more sober person, who had walked away with the WWF belt. I had a very swollen and blackened eye, my face was scraped form forehead to chin, and I had absolutely NO IDEA what had happened to me. The worst part (' cause things were never as bad as they seemed) was that I did have to be at work in less than an hour, and where did I work you wonder? In a Deli that was in a bar!!! Irony was never wasted on me... I pondered the idea of calling in sick, but alas, I was one of only two employees and as the 'manager' and Saturday being our busiest day and employee #2 having less than two weeks experience, my ponderance was short-lived.

The funny thing was, in that funny, glad-it's-you-not-me kind of way.... that I got very few reactions to my new and improved appearance. Yes there were a few sympathetic looks, and a couple of clients did ask me if I was OK, but for the most part, people would just try to avoid looking directly at me! Did wonders for my self-esteem , really. Of course there was one guy, a kind of adopted father if you will, who every time I limped by to serve a customer, looked angrier and angrier. At a slow moment on a very busy Saturday, he finally came into my kitchen. I could see that he was quite angry (at me?), he stormed up to me and demanded to know "who did this to you, I'll go out and shoot him myself?"... Gawd, if only I could will the ground beneath me to gape open and swallow me up, I would have. The 'best' part? He did NOT believe that I had done that to my self!!! He asked me several times through the course of that very long Saturday to 'just tell me who did this, I'll fix him up good!'.

I could go on with many more like stories to impress upon you the fact that I am and always will be, an alcoholic. But you've probably been there a time or two yourself, and if you haven't, trust me, you are definately not missing much!!! The point is, that today I woke up in my own bed, alone ( yeah some days that sucks) and I remember going to bed, and I don't have many beautiful unexplainable colours all over my body, and I don't wake up full of fear and dread each and every day. Today I can have whatever kind of a day I choose. It can be fun and spent with loved ones, it can be quiet, enjoyed in solitude, but it can be GOOD. For that I am grateful to every alcoholic I have ever met, the drinking and sober ones, and most of all, to all of you in recovery who share their experience , strength and hope with me. Have a GREAT Saturday every one!!!

7 comments:

Rex said...

Cunning, baffling and powerful.....thanks for sharing a part of your story and helping me stay sober one more day.

Rock dweller said...

Lush,
All you can do is take it one day at a time, and as a friend told me, sometimes that is even too much then you need to break it down to what you can handle.
ROXY

DEVILTEEN said...

awww lush I unfortunately remember those very scary days not only for you but for me a young one then but I and every one around you is happy for you to be clean and sober today, that is all that counts..."keep coming back"

Pam said...

I was glad to read at the bottom of your post...that now you have a choice! For me, that's the best part....CHOOSING to re-define myself. Have a good saturday.

SCoUt said...

With a few differences (and they don't matter anyway ;) you just told my story. Thanks for helping me stay clean another day.
Peace,
Scout

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Coming from DevilTeen herself, worth lots of kudos.

Still enjoy reading your post.

mAAry-AAnne said...

Wonderful explanation of what happens when we take that first drink. I certainly dont miss the unmanageability of it all, and grateful that I escaped it, one day at a time.