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Close Call

Posted Oct 28 2008 9:46pm

Yesterday, I scared the crap out of myself. I had a few moments in which I seriously thought about drinking, and if there had been anything available, I am really afraid I might have gone ahead and drunk it.

It was over something so stupid, such a product of my diseased thinking and wild imagination, my need for attention, approval and validation from others, and my own manipulative behavior and ego run riot.

R and I went up to Raleigh for Thanksgiving, and we had a wonderful visit with my parents, sisters, and their families. It was my first time back since I'd gotten drunk while staying there in April (my last drunk, actually). We were able to talk comfortably about my alcoholism and the alcoholic history in my mother's family. I learned so much more about my grandmother's addiction, and realized how much her drinking had impacted my mother.

We got back to Florida late Monday evening, and then Tuesday, I went up to West Palm for my outpatient therapy activities (meeting with my spiritual counselor, my therapist, and my outpatient group), which was also wonderful. Life was wonderful, sobrity was wonderful, and recovery was wonderful. I was on a spiritual and emotional high.

Ever since I was little, I've made up silly little songs and gone around the house, singing them. The week before last, as I was doing this one day, an actual song began formulating, and I wrote it down. Over the next few days, another one came, and another. I picked out the melodies on my mother's piano, and have just had this amazing sense of awe and gratitude that God is allowing me to release and express myself through a medium so new to me, and I've shared this with R.

Yesterday, I was again in one of my little silly moods, but also feeling joyful and grateful, as I had just finished another song, this one for my grandfather. R was rushing around, getting ready to leave for a meeting at school. I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup. I called out to R, "Do you like my raps or my songs better?" (I also make up silly raps frequently.) Silence. Then, "About the same."

I was devastated. How could he equate my silly jingles with my serious expressions of creativity and healing? How could he hurt me like this? I played the scenario in my head again and again. It was an intentional insult. He knew how my Dad had always set the bar so high that I was never able to succeed, never able to be good enough. He had MEANT to hurt me. Why? Was he angry at me for spending time doing something he considers frivolous, instead of cleaning or getting a job?

I just wanted the pain, the hurt to stop. And that's when the solution popped into my head. A shot of vodka would help. I was getting ready to go to the nail salon. I could just go to the restaurant beside the salon first and get a shot of Stoli. Just one and just this once.

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!????!!!!!! Suddenly, my rational, sober voice screamed in my head. HE can't make you unhappy. You're CHOOSING not to be happy. In the course of time, only God's opinion of you counts, and HE thinks you're wonderful, just as you are. Why does it matter what R thinks of your songs? You're doing them not for recognition, but in release and gratitude to your Creator, your Higher Power.

"You are looking at the face of the only one responsible for your happiness today." I repeated the mantra over and over, and finally, it began to sink in. But I was still depressed, angry and hurt. I couldn't call my sponsor, because I knew I was blowing things out of proportion, and she would laugh at me and tell me I was in my victim mentality again.

I went and got my nails done, ran a few errands, and came home without visiting the restaurant.

It was now three hours since the incident had occurred, and it finally hit me. R thought I was just being silly when I'd thrown the question out. He thought it was one of those questions with which we women frequently bombard our husbands to which there is no safe answer (Which of these dresses makes me look fatter? Oh so you DO think I'm fat!). The "About the same." was the safest answer he could think of at the moment.

R came home and I confessed to him what had been going on in my mind. I called my sponsor, who told me NEVER to wait again to call her when I was in danger of drinking, no matter how stupid I felt, and to talk about it at that night's meeting, which I did.

The real solution is so much better. Why the heck did it take me three hours to figure that out? Thank God, I did, and thank God for this way of life that gives me that real solution.

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