I won’t lie. On really, really, bad days like today I think about about drinking. The escape it gave me from dealing with any pain or anxiety. The way I didn’t feel like an outsider anymore, I felt included, a part of something. Life I guess. I knew as soon as I woke up and heard ” Godamn” several times while the drawers were being slammed that it wasn’t going to be good. My father is going in for surgery on his fistula Thursday. He’s scared but won’t admit it. He also refuses to write what he wants done should anything happen during surgery. He’s 71 and doesn’t hear well in one ear either. What set him off this morning was opening the $4000 bill from the dialysis center. I didn’t help any by telling him he needs to get a lawyer and make them clear his bill and pay for his surgery because they are the ones that poked a hole through his fistula more than once. When he told me I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about I was hurt and angry. I just left. I may be an alcoholic and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder but I am not stupid. I wish people would stop treating me as if I am.
The problem with drinking again this time is too many people know I am sober and for how long. This time the fall would be longer and harder. This time I wouldn’t stop until I physically shut down. I know this. My bestfriend said to me she was scared if I ever drank again. When I asked her why she said “Dana, you only want to remember the fun and we did have fun but think about it. Everytime you tried to hurt yourself you were drunk. I’m afraid next time you will succeed.” she was crying when she said this. She’s not a person that cries so I knew she meant it. My own family doesn’t discuss it. They have never encouraged me or offered support. They keep a silent watchful eye on me at all times and that is it. Do I deserve a pat on the back after what I put them through? No, probably not. But at 42 I don’t think I should have to play 20 questions with everyone everytime I leave the house. I have almost 6 years under my belt but in an alcoholics world time doesn’t mean anything. I have seen people that have 25 years of sobriety and one day something happens and that’s all it takes. For one man it was his daughter dying he never got sober again and he himself passed away a year later. My brother’s friend had been sober for years, a new baby and wife. The problem was he was living a lie and couldn’t take it anymore. I knew he was gay and so did my mother and brother but that was it. He left his family and a few months later choked on his own vomit because he felt ashamed of who he was. How I cried for him because a part of me could understand the isolation and loneliness he must have felt even though he was surrounded by people.
So today I didn’t drink. I told my father in his good ear that I love him and that’s all I can do right now. I can’t force my sister or brother to help me if they are not capable or willing. I can only control what I do. And what I want to do is be there like he’s been there to bail me out or sit beside me while I cry and tell me it’s ok. I’ll tell him the same “It’s ok Dad, it’s ok”. I love you.