Ok so when I left off last, I said I would talk about April 24, 2005 next.
It actually really started on April 23, but I don’t count that day because I was wasted, as usual. It was a Saturday, and I had settled in for my usual Saturday night in those days. A fridge full of beer, plenty of smokes and the computer. I filled my little cooler with beers so I wouldn’t have to walk to the kitchen from my bedroom. I had pretty much turned my bedroom into a cave. I had my computer in there and my large TV, putting the smaller TV in the living room. I felt safe in there, closed in, everything within reach. I was going to hang out in the chatroom and get drunk. The married man I was having the affair with called though, and said he had a gift certificate to Chuy’s and why don’t we go have dinner.
I had reluctantly agreed. He liked to drink too, so at least I knew there would still be beer. We went to eat and started ordering the beers. It was karaoke that night so of course I put my name in. Before we knew it we were on I think the sixth pitcher of beer or so. At one point, I looked at him and slurred, “You know, we should quit drinking and go to a meeting.” He said we’d talk about it in the morning, and we kept drinking.
We left the truck at the restaurant, got a cab, stopped at the Circle K for beer, went back to my place, I crawled into bed, he brought me a beer, I took one sip, it was Miller Lite, and I passed out.
The next day was Sunday April 24, 2005. We woke up, hungover. It wasn’t noon yet, so I couldn’t have a beer. I never let myself drink before noon. We were laying in bed when he asked if I still wanted to go to a meeting. I had forgotten I had said that. We got online and looked up the meetings and there was one at 1pm. We decided to go and began talking about how much money we spent on booze. I thought maybe the people at these meetings could teach me how to control my drinking.
The friend I mentioned in my last post about my story, the one who had died, I went to a few meetings with him and his sister. His sister had gotten a DUI and was court ordered to go, and I went as support. She eventually drank and could control it, so I thought that was what the meetings were all about.
The guy and I went to the meeting at 1. I stank. I hadn’t showered. I was shaking, not having drank a beer at noon to relieve the hangover. We walked in and sat down. It was a smoking meeting so we sat and smoked.
The meeting started and a woman shared and I heard my pain in hers. She was crying, she was miserable and I knew she was just like me, or rather, I like her. I knew I was home. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew.
After the meeting a girl was giving me books and telling me to keep coming back. I was still a little weirded out by the fact that everyone held hands and prayed after the meeting, and the word God was on the wall in several locations. I liked these people, I understood them, but don’t talk to me about God.
After the meeting we went back to my place and I walked all the liquor to the dumpster. It was like 2 unopened 12 packs and the 12 pack we had bought the night before. Some random bottles of hard stuff and it all went clank boom shatter, in the dumpster. I felt liberated. Ok, I was really gonna do this!
After an hour or so, the magic from the meeting had faded. We decided to go to a 5:30 meeting too. We went to eat before the meeting, and laughed about how much cheaper the meal was with just iced teas.
We went to the 5:30 meeting and it was packed. They asked if there were new people and I found myself saying my name, and that I was an alcoholic. I cried afterwards.
We stayed for the 7pm meeting too. Then it was night and he was gone and I was alone.
Alone. No bottles. Sober. Not escaping. Feeling. Frightened. Alone.
I took the book the girl had given me and tried to read it. I put the TV on and tried to sleep. I put the book on the pillow next to me. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t know how. I knew how to pass out. I didn’t know how to fall asleep.
I drifted in and out of fitfull sleep and then it was time to go to work. I was the lead phlebotomist at a small draw station, and I had 2 temp phlebotomists drawing the blood, while I did all the paperwork. Those first 4 hours were fine, since we were really busy, and I never drank at work.
Lunch time came and the girls left, and I was alone. Alone, alone alone. That prayer, the one we said at the beginning of the meetings, what was that prayer? I had brought my book with me to work and I furiously looked for the prayer. I couldn’t find it! I called the guy and he knew it. He had been to the meetings before. He told me and I wrote it down with tremblind hands.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I still have that piece of paper in my book. The prayer written with shaking hands.
We had planned to go to a 7:30 meeting that night at the same place, but I couldn’t wait that long. What was I going to do between work and the meeting? So we went to a 5:30pm meeting just up the street from my job, and clear across town from my apartment.
We walked in and sat down and I cried. On the wall were the same sayings as the other place. I was home again.
I took a 24-hour chip. On the back was the Serenity Prayer. I am still friends today with the man who gave me that chip.
I think I’ll leave off here for now. april 24, 2005 is the anniversary of my first day sober, and I have not had a drink since.