One month and six days away from my two year sobriety anniversary…and I put myself in a situation I had no right being in without sharing with anyone in my support circle that I was even entertaining the idea of stepping into a bar, let alone sharing I already had my mind made up I was going. After all, an out of town friend I hadn’t seen in a couple years was coming into town and I had a right to see her. Right? Even though this friend was someone all I ever did with was party and get stupid drunk, do stupid things I wasn’t happy about.
So, I’m sure you know what comes next…
A big fat relapse
It sucked. It sucked really bad.
What hurt the most wasn’t even the fact I drank, it was the fact that the so called “friend” I was with, listened to me talk for the first 10-20 minutes I got there about being an alcoholic, being in AA and how I was so proud of the work I’ve done over the last almost 2 years and that just one month and six days away I’d be getting my 2 year sobriety coin and she still chose to egg me on. And then even let me drive drunk. It’s a miracle (and I thank God for sending Angels to watch over me on that drive!) I didn’t get in a wreck – I don’t even remember a majority of the 15 minute drive.
And I didn’t stop there (the last drink at the bar I was first at)…I went to another bar once I got back into my town to meet up with the old party crowd. And they were handing me drinks left and right…including the ex. What happened after the bar I couldn’t even tell you. I don’t remember much of anything except getting to the place the partying was going to continue which also happened to be where my 15 year old son was staying for the night.
Waking up the next morning was awful. Not only was I hungover and sicker than crap, my son was mad at me, I was mad at myself and I knew I had some phone calls to make (AA friends, my sponsor). I’ll never forget the look of disgust on my son’s face (and to this day I still do NOT know what he saw that night. I’m not sure I want to know, but it scares me to think what things he could have seen/heard – knowing stuff I’ve done in the past while drunk, I’m sure it wasn’t good what he did see/hear.) When I tried talking to my son about what happened and to ask for his forgiveness I was blown away by how grown up he was. He said to me, “mom, I don’t think you need to apologize to me. I think you need to forgive yourself and move on.” And with that, I left him at home and headed to my sponsors house.
Why I relapsed
So many things sucked about that night. But so many things make sense as to why I relapsed – didn’t do my steps, got hung up on step 4 and the feelings it was bringing up. Wasn’t sharing how I was really doing. And I had started thinking about going out drinking several weeks before it even happened. It all makes sense now when people used to say around the tables “a relapse starts in your head and doesn’t just happen.” Mine didn’t just happen. The things above led up to it and then the thought that I’d be ok going to a bar to meet up with an out of town friend that used to be one of my biggest party buddies. And then I started entertaining the thought ‘oh it’s been almost two years, I can have just one drink.’ I will never forget how I changed as soon as that first sip of alcohol touched my lips. It was like I couldn’t drink fast enough. The waitress would bring one drink, no sooner set it down and turn to walk away than I’d be ready for another one because I picked it up and drank that fast. It was bad.
So, fast forward to today and I’m now 2 months back on the wagon. And I’ve really been beating myself up over the fact that it’s only 2 months now instead of the 2 years. I was also supposed to do an open talk today (May 3) and because of the relapse I had to step down. That hurts on one hand, but on the other hand it’s ok because I was a nervous wreck about it!
Moving on from the relapse
I’ve had a lot of love and support from my AA friends and that’s exactly what I needed. I also recently made a move and am living with a very supportive friend who even went and attended an open meeting with me earlier tonight. Now that I’m settled in my new place and have been here for a few weeks, it’s time to get serious about my sobriety and get back on track with meetings and working the steps/working my program.
For whatever reason, this relapse is part of my journey… and I just picked up a phamplet of all the meetings in my area and there was a little blurb on the page:
Sobriety is a journey…..
not a destination.
So, yep that’s what I’m reminding myself of right now. This is a journey, not a destination. And this relapse is all part of my journey.