Sobriety and Me

I had recently mentioned that for the first time in years I wanted to drink my pain away. I sat in the parking lot of a bar at 4:00 p.m. and watched people go in and out. I left after 10 minutes. All it took was seeing 1 drunk person leave the bar for me to know I didn’t want to do it. The thought of death scared me a little too. My body would in no way be able to handle alcohol and neither would my mind.

My brother in law is in recovery. He goes to AA. It works for him. This is his first attempt at getting sober. He goes to meetings where everyone knows him and most of the people are his age. He is the comedian, the social butterfly. He enjoys going.

Him and I were alone the other day and I confided that for the first time in years I had an urge to drink and sat in the parking lot of a bar. His response was “You need to stop telling your sister that you’re going to drink and making her a hostage of your disease”. He said it was ok to tell him but not her.

I was livid to put it mildly. I told him that I never talk about my drinking with my sister because the few times I tried at the beginning she shut me down. She didn’t want to hear it. I’m over 6 years sober and I have discussed it with her maybe twice. They were very short discussions. She was/is disgusted by my alcoholism and won’t talk about it. She will talk about her husband and support him in every way. My father refuses to talk about it also. He also doesn’t believe in positive reinforcement. He doesn’t think alcoholics should get a chip for staying sober. He’s an alcoholic. He’s been sober for 35 years. He’s old school. He went cold turkey because it was ruining his family and that was that. He did what he was suppose to do.

So I have usually kept quiet about my alcoholism. I never expect anything from anyone. I do get annoyed when people quote AA stuff to me when they do not know the truth of what they are talking about. AA for me was not a place to socialize. I was with a lot of old timers. They thought all medication was a crutch and you should be going to meetings morning, noon, and night. Which is fine if you are retired but not if you work 60 hours a week. But then I would hear “You found time to drink you can find time for a meeting”. I won’t get into the religious aspect of the organization because it’s too frustrating. I was told when I left that I was a quitter and I would be dead in a week. I did relapse many times but eventually found my way.

AA has saved many people. There are many different groups and you need to find one that fits you. I had more going on than just being an alcoholic. There were many other factors. It wasn’t until they were brought to light that I could truly see why I was drinking and deal with my issues. My way wouldn’t work for everyone either. But as long as it works for me I’m ok with that. Knowing why I drank played a huge part in my stopping. It still does. Sitting in the parking lot weighing the pros and cons I still knew why I was there. It helped me make the decision to start the car and leave.