Having had almost 4 years of sobriety, I was feeling as if I had this thing licked. The signs were written on the wall… signs of a fall. I was going through some rough stuff, but nothing I had not overcome in the past. Then I moved across the country, took a new job, and left everything else behind. I thought the fresh start would be good for me, and in most ways it has been. Change can be good, if we are spiritually fit.
I heard someone say last night that after a few years of physical sobriety, he still felt this gaping hole inside of him. I can relate all too well to that. When we search for ourselves, we are in a constant state of flux. I haven’t felt whole in many years, and I allowed myself to begin feeling like I was on the outside looking in. I felt as though there was something missing. Was it finding the right man in my life? Was it finding fulfilling work? Was it searching for answers in the mountains? I haven’t found any of these things, yet.
Since I got sober, I had never dated a man who drank. So when I started dating a wonderful man who drinks, but drinks normally, I thought I could handle it. I started to even fantasize that maybe, just maybe, I could drink normally again, with him. After we had been spending time getting to know each other, we decided to get together with our kids. He was having a few cocktails, and my daughter and her friend were having a few with him. I felt suddenly angry. My crazy thoughts went to… “He is having more fun with them than me because they are all drinking and I’m not. Then, as if I was not even aware of myself and my actions, I walked inside while they were out on the patio, reached in the fridge, and picked up that bottle of whiskey (which would NEVER have been my drink of choice) and tossed it back.
I did that a few more times, and sadly but not surprisingly, I do not remember a single thing that happened for the rest of the evening. I only know that we all crashed there for the night. I awoke the next day having to face my daughter and this new guy. But mostly, I had to face myself.
I spoke with a respected friend last night who told me that feeling shame is pointless. The important thing is that after that one night, I went right back to meetings, talked to others who understood, and have been walking the walk, once again.
So here I sit, ready to start anew, trying to not focus on the time, days, hours, or minutes. I only have today, and the journey begins, yet again!
~ Paige Loveland