It seems like just yesterday I was barely coherent in my friend’s explorer in the parking lot outside of Recovery Centers of America. I was chugging my last swig of vodka before going in for the long road of detox. If I wasn’t so drunk, I would have ran away. Hell, if I wasn’t that drunk I wouldn’t even need rehab. Yet, there I was, in all my (haven’t showered in a week, don’t know when I changed last) glory.
Another stent of rehab. This would be my 7th stay in the last two years. I like to say tours because it sounds like I was in a cool rock band or maybe a army vet (no disrespect to armed forces I was trying to make myself feel better). Not an alcoholic. Not a problem drinker. It also added a little humor to what may be the lowest point in my life.
From Death to Life
No doubt during my relapse this last time I didn’t want to come back from it. I wanted to drink myself into oblivion. The finale would be epic! Maybe I would get the courage to find my way onto the roof of my apartment complex and jump off. “No” I thought, “my luck I would be a vegetable. I wouldn’t be able to talk and my family would keep me sober and alive thinking I would want it this way”. “NO, BITCH. Put that vodka in my IV and send me off when I am nice and toasty”
I thought about shooting myself, but I didn’t have a gun. “Maybe if I drink enough, I’ll die from alcohol poisoning. THAT’S IT” I thought (I tend to think a lot drunk). “The perfect ending to this fucked up situation”. Obviously, that didn’t happen because I am still alive writing this blog post. Thinking about it now, that would probably be the most disgusting and most painful way to go out of all the options I thought of. So, I am glad I didn’t let drunk me decide my fate.
No, this journey takes a different road. Luckily I had good friends who made sure I got the help that I needed, again. Regardless on if I wanted it or not. They would never take no for an answer and would probably chase me down the street to get me there (true story, that happened before). While in the lobby of this rehab center waiting in agony as my BAL lowers enough that I don’t die in their possession, I still wanted it to end. I didn’t want to face the world to let everyone know that I relapsed, again. I didn’t want to admit that I still had a drinking problem. There was nothing I could do about that now, though. I was here, there was no going back. They told me I should to rehab, and I didn’t say no (I love you Amy. Rest in peace).
When I finally came to (which was probably around 3 days later), after all the shakes were gone and the night terrors subsided, I had a shocking revelation. I didn’t want to die after all. I wanted to live. Now more than I ever have.
This new desire to be and stay alive rattled every fiber of my being. “WTF is this?” I thought (I think sober too). “Why did I change my mind so drastically”. The reason was simply: I was sober. Not just sober regarding my blood alcohol level. I was sober minded. It’s strange how quick you realize how precious life is when you almost lose it. I was lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to come back from the fatal decision.
New Sense of Purpose
When contemplating what to do with this new sense of purpose I knew one thing was certain: I needed a change. Not just a move to a new apartment change, I needed a full “needing to start a new life” change. So, I made the very scary decision to leave Delaware. Now that my mind was made up it was a question of “where?” that had me stumped. I really wanted to go north, like John Snow in Game Of Thrones. I knew winter was coming and I love snow. Getting there was only half the battle. I had this crazy scenario about a guy moving to Maine and living in an old beat up SUV with his dog. Until he finds the guy that makes his life change for ever. Real, happily ever after Hallmark shit.
I always try to imagine what life would be like for the characters in those movies after the ending credits. Would it really be happily ever after or would it end in some messy divorce and fighting over custody of their 2 kids. Anyway, I digress. Much like the expectations of everything being sunshine and sparkles, it simply is not a realistic way to live. I wouldn’t be able to live that way.
After talking manically with the therapist a few days in a row at RCA she kind of talked me off the ledge, and I finally saw that clarity. She suggested that it might do some good going to a music bases recovery program. Hello, music man here, she got me hooked. Thus this move changed my whole direction. I linked up with Recovery Unplugged in Austin, TX. Yes, complete opposite from my first thought. Instead of going all the way north I would make like Daenerys Targaryen (reference of the day: Game of Thrones, not sponsored sadly) and go all the way south. I came home, packed up some belongings, got on a plane and flew down.
My new changed life
I realized once I got here that the energy just felt right. I had a bit of a disappointment when I first arrived here and realized the “Music” program wasn’t what I had imagined it would be. To be fair, it was a great program over all and it was my fault for having these anticipating expectations much like a flowery hippie sober music fest of peace and love in my brain. So I pretty much set myself up for that disappointment. Either way, it was just what the doctor ordered. After adapting to their program and realizing I had an eating disorder (that’s a whole other blog post for another time) and loving the vibe I decided to put my resume out and look for a place to live. “If it doesn’t work out then I can just go back home” I said to myself. So, it did work out. I found a job, a sober house and I decided to make the move.
I resigned from my job of 5 years, broke my sketchy lease, with the slumlord millionaires, of the ghetto ass apartment complex, in inner city Wilmington, *takes breath* and made that leap of faith.
Aside from getting Covid on the travel back down in my car, losing my taste buds moving to a food destination and having to change careers within the first 6 months of being here, everything else has been great. Word to the wise: Always expect the unexpected because nothing is certain.
Now that it’s been 9 months since that last vodka chug in the rehab parking lot, I still haven’t taken a drink since. I have not gotten high (aside from caffeine which to anyone who has seen the amount of caffeine I consume, MIND YA BUSINESS. God’s not through with me yet) and you know what? Everything is okay.
I have not needed a drink of a drug. If I ever get to the point where I “need” to drink, if I ever catch myself saying that I “need” a fix, it will be time to check myself. I will always remember the road it has led me on in the past and how far I have come since. Life is never easy. Whether you decide to drink, use drugs or not, the problems that drove us to it are never going away and chances are, they are probably going to get worse with it. It just delays the inevitable.
During hard times I know and can see the lure. However, I can’t handle my alcohol and when I feel that sense of escape I will always be chasing that first time feeling that I will never get to. Much like, let’s get real, losing our virginity. I have learned now that facing my problems with a sober mind is way better than letting a drunk and inebriated brain try to handle my tasks because, it has never ended well and I am almost certain never will.
It’s time to stay a grown up and grab life by universes’ balls and manifest my dreams. As I said above, nothing is guaranteed. The future is not promised. I know that I need to continue my streak of sobriety.
Will I never take a drink again? I am not sure. What I do know is that it serves no purpose in my life and that shit can be expensive. So for now, it is not in my near future.
My goals however? Well, just wait.