This morning I woke out of a deep sleep to feel the bed beside me being depressed and warm little arms enveloping me. In a not so whispery voice my 10-year-old said “Mama, it’s a new day and I just love you.” She scooted in closer as I raised my arm to pull her into that super-tight snuggle we enjoy on the rare mornings when we have time. The love in the moment filled me so deeply, so fully that it pressed tears out of my eyes.
Laying there with my forever-baby in my arms, I inhaled her scent and floated within the lovely moment. As is typical, she didn’t feel the need to bask as I did and soon was skipping out of my room singing a far-too loud song. Arising from my bed I rode the loving feeling until the girls began a horrific cat-fight over a coveted school lunch snack. Ah, now that’s the normalcy I’m used to….
My life has developed a pattern, a routine in which I know I will play the roles of referee, policewoman, teacher and even first aider to my girls. This life feels overwhelming at times….the worry of being a Mum who helps the girls flourish can be heavy when you know you’re fallible.
Imperfection is a state of being which I’ve accepted, I’m willing to acknowledge my mistakes but there’s a chance I could lose it all because of my imperfections. Now this is truly terrifying, a daily situation which can snatch my life out from under me….that’s my reality.
As an alcoholic I have a disease which can take me to deep, dark places which I’d never choose to go to when I’m in my right mind. Each new day which promises the opportunity to perform these roles also threatens to end my life.
Alcoholism is Fatal
After 4 years of sobriety I am not cured; I’ll never be cured. It’s 9am and I have already had to face that reality today. My brain has somehow twisted the past and this morning I wanted to feel the all enveloping sense of freedom I’ve only ever felt while drinking. That release, the escape……I longed for elusive sense of freedom I felt back when I had the choice to drink.
Picking up just 1 drink can and will kill me. These are the words I mutter to myself daily, believing I can cement them into my psyche; creating a barrier. It’s not always a drink I want, in fact more often it’s simply that I want to rid myself of the bondage of this disease.
Recovery from alcoholism is work! It’s trudging along daily, expending energy to keep behaving and feeling….when something is whispering to me to let it all go; whispering….then screaming. It’s an unending urge that haunts me.
These days I don’t allow myself the choice, each day I stand against that closed-door to my old behaviours. I feel the texture of the experience and I begin to move the proverbial furniture in front of that doorway to firm up the barrier. Like running away from a monster on sand in a dream, I feel the very real terror if I look too closely.
If I don’t do the work, if my barrier isn’t strong enough I will die. In order to maintain my sobriety and just live day to day, I attend meetings, connect with God and am ever-mindful of my disease. Within all of this, I do get tired; there are days when that dark place begins to draw me in without me even being aware it’s happening. My mind begins to become twisted without my knowledge..
Before Anything Else, I Am An Alcoholic
So far I’ve been granted a daily reprieve, I haven’t actually stepped back through the doorway to my addiction but it’s ever-beckoning and I can only pray that I’ll continue to make the right choices.
Centring my life around God and keeping my spiritual foundation strong is my only answer. Knowing that I could never, ever cope with this on my own strength. I have tools I use, fellowships I frequent and my family and friends who support me. Even when I don’t want to I go to meetings, pray and don’t drink. That’s what I do first in my life…those 3 things come before everything else.
Because even with the joy I experienced this morning…..this alcoholic wanted a drink.