I want a drink tonight. I want a thousand drinks. One is too many, and a thousand is never enough, right? I crave the taste, the smell, the feeling of my stomach burning as the whiskey slides down my throat. The past few weeks I have been going with a friend to play Quizzo, which is a sort of trivia game often held in bars. I figured since this place was also a restaurant, it wouldn’t be so bad. I’m setting myself up for failure here, and I knew it. This is the friend who was supportive of me last summer when I told her I was going to detox and rehab, but then just a few months after, starts asking me out to bars, saying things like “It’s too bad you can’t drink anymore” or “I bet you could just have one beer.” Clearly you don’t understand what it means to be an alcoholic. I hang out with her because we have a lot of common interests and have been friends for 5 years, but also because I don’t have many friends, and I’d rather be with someone rather than be alone.
So last Monday, the father of one of my friends came to play Quizzo with us, and he ordered Makers on the rocks. I have been around beer and wine since I got out of rehab. I have always hated wine, and could care less if people drink it in front of me. Honestly, I never drank it when I was drinking, and have no interest in it. Beer is a much bigger challenge. I was a huge beer drinker, but again, I tend to be able to send my mind somewhere else. But the waiter brought this glass of whiskey over and set it down in front of the guy, who was across the table from me. The smell immediately penetrated all of my senses. I thought I was going to be sick. Since being out of rehab, I have not been around whiskey at all, and for good reason. Whiskey was my poison. I loved whiskey, but I hated the mornings after, but smelling this drinking in front of me made me go crazy inside. I wanted to grab it from him and pour the drink down my throat. I felt the need to sit on my hands. I can’t go back to this place again.
My 1 year sober date is July 28th, next Sunday. Am I physically sober? Yes. Am I mentally sober? Not in the least. My therapist states that I teeter between a dry drunk and a sober man. I am not in recovery, and I know that. I am a miserable human being who is jealous of all those people who can go out and have one or two beers. Those people who don’t have to pregame with a six pack just so they don’t let on to how much they actually drink in public. I have not found any joy in life since I stopped drinking.
I attended my first AA meeting the day I got out of rehab. It was in a church basement down the street from my house, full of old men. They gave me a 24 hr chip and a copy of the blue book to keep. I don’t quite remember what the topic of discussion was, I think it was from the blue book. At the end they asked everybody to stand and say the Lord’s Prayer, and I freaked out. I am an atheist, and I had many bad experiences in the church growing up, and I already had preconceived ideas about AA in regards to the higher power concept. I didn’t really want to go to AA to begin with because of that. One of the counselors in rehab told me if I was unable to accept something as my higher power, I would never surpass the 3rd step, and therefore never live a true life in recovery. That’s a great thing to tell someone who doesn’t even have 30 days under his belt.
I found another group that I attended for 5 months that said the Serenity Prayer at the end. Still not a huge fan of saying a prayer at the end, but it was better than the Lord’s Prayer. I have talked to many people in AA and NA about the higher power. For a very long time I was very closed off to anything about it, especially because so much of the literature in AA refers to God. But these past few weeks I have came upon the dire need to attend a meeting. I need a sponsor. I need sober friends. I need to find sober activities and find safe places to be because going to a bar is clearly not a smart idea for to be doing. I am scared I’m going to relapse, but when the urges strike, for a minute I think about how I just want to say “fuck this” and go get that bottle of whiskey, but then reason takes over and tells me that being sober is a great place to be and each day sober will help me feel better.