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Don’t Get Drunk Fridays: Updates From Susan

So last week I post Susan who’d lost her sobriety after many years. Well, she came back. And you’ll see that she’s a strong woman with amazing fight in her. And she’s also cool and funny, like many of us gals who like to drink a little too much. This is Susan’s comeback story as she posted on the Booze Free Brigade. She compiled this for us and allowed me to publish it.

Posts from a second sobriety:
The first sixty days as reported to the Booze Free Brigade

Day 1 3/31/10: Today is my quit day. I saw my Dr. this afternoon and spilled it. He was extremely understanding and sympathetic. He prescribed librium for the next few 3-4 days, as needed to get through the acute withdrawal phase. For the next few hours I vacillated between thoughts that I could leave all the craziness behind, and the knowledge that my husband wouldn’t be home until late and I could get my drunk on one more time and tell him the Dr. said I should start tomorrow.

But I told at least 10 people close to me that today would be my quit day.

Since I know nothing about Librium, I went online. Maybe it took a couple of days to build up in your system. Maybe you could drink and take it. Nope on both accounts. Shit.

So it was quit or wait another day. Take the pill or have a glass of wine. I took the pill. Tomorrow I want to tell everyone who asks that I have a Day. And I want to tell my BFB friends that, too.

4/3/10: Day 4- Easter. After a tough day dealing with my mother in law for the first time sober, I went to a meeting I hadn’t been to before in a local church. As we were going through the preliminaries, this old woman walked in. She was driving around looking for a church service to attend, and wandered into an AA meeting, but she sat down anyway.

As the meeting was opened for discussion, she raised her hand and asked if she could sing for us in God’s grace. We all kind of looked around at each other and finally said sure. She unzipped the case around her Casio (seriously) and started in. She proceeded to sing the most heartfelt rendition of Amazing Grace that 3/4s of the room was in tears by the end.

Saved a wretch like me, I was lost but now I’m found…

The whole drive home, I prayed to the god of my understanding for the first time in years.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU.

4/12/10: Day 13 – Grace: http://www.cryingoutnow.com/2010/05/grace.html . Note from today: I was a happy cherub on a pink cloud when I wrote this on Day 13. Didn’t get posted for a bit, so the chronology looks weird.

4/17/10: Day 18: I’m in a lot of action right now. Lots of meetings, and working on the steps. I also am going through a Spring Cleaning phase on my house that I started in motion just prior to getting sober. We’ve lived in the house 8 years with two young kids. It was time for a refresh: paint, floors, fencing, landscaping, a bit of re-decorating.

I’ve been thinking about all of this positive chaos I’m creating. It certainly does keep me DISTRACTED, doesn’t it? On the other hand, I’m doing what I’ve been instructed to do to maintain my sobriety, and while doing all this stuff is tiring, the result pleases me, adds to my serenity.

So what do you think, brigade, positive change or covert chaos?

4/27/10- Day 28: The Post that No One Responded to: Anyone else out there completely lose all interest in all matters sexual in early sobriety?

5/19/10 – Day 50: This week was my first business trip sober. I had a very specific routine when I traveled to the home office, involving boxed wine upon arrival and oodles of unobserved drinking at night in my hotel room.

I made many preparations to come on this trip: finding out where the AA meetings were, making plans in the evenings to meet colleagues and friends (when normally I would rush back to the hotel and my wine), telling my home group to create accountability, and confiding in my support network. I was scared.

I didn’t really realize how scared until I found myself laying on the shower floor the day before I was supposed to leave. I had decided that the day before leaving town for a week was the day to regrout and recaulk my tile shower. For 11 hours. I was completely out of control, unmanageable in the face of busyness. My mind was the most compulsive it had been since I put down the drink.

Around 3 pm, already exhausted, I realized I didn’t want to go on this trip. AT ALL. I didn’t want to be away from my safe, sober routine. It was new sobriety territory and it scared the ever loving bejesus out of me.

No one would know.

The thought curled and coiled and writhed in my alcoholic brain. Repeating over and over in tandem with the repetition of the work. I had sought mindlessness in the task, and found mind-full-ness instead.

I’m making it through, brigade, and it’s not as bad as I feared.

6/2/10 – Day 63 – Insomnia: In general, I don’t sleep for crap since I quit drinking. I used to be a 10 pm girl. I’m lucky if I get to sleep before 12 am–usually around 1:30. I don’t exercise late, drink caffeine late, etc. I’m just up.

Please help me with your best sleep-inducing tips. I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m not going to drink over it, but it’s getting a little hard to deal with the T in HALT.

6/3/10 – Day 64 – Today. The thing about relapsing is that getting back into the groove of sobriety is like getting on a bike. I’ve been overwhelmed by acceptance on my return to AA and amazed at how many people want to hear what caused the relapse so they can avoid it themselves. If you are an AA-er, it’s pretty simple: don’t drink, maintain your spiritual connection, keep going to meetings. If meetings feel stale and boring, start giving back.

This part applies to all alcoholics: the day will come when having a drink seems like a pretty good idea. Your circumstances will have changed, you’ll be feeling fine. It won’t be the day your dad dies, your spouse wants a divorce, or the 16 year old announces her pregnancy. It will be the day when the sun is shining, all is right with the world and gee, a margarita with those chips and salsa sounds pretty good. And just like that, you’ll be gone.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 4, 2010 2:52 pmDon't Get Drunk Friday7 comments  

7 Comments

  1. robin said,

    The last 2 paragraphs sealed the deal for me while reading this. Thanks for your bravery, and thanks for sharing your advice at the end. Because all us AAers fear losing control and taking that drink again, and with only 9 months under my belt, I have no idea how bad the temptation might be years down the road. I’ll keep this info tucked away for future use.

    Bravo for you getting your sobriety back. Congrats on 64 days.
    .-= robin´s last blog ..Catching Up…what better way than with a fast Seadoo? =-.

    | June 4, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  2. Aunt Becky said,

    What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing.
    .-= Aunt Becky´s last blog ..In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen* =-.

    | June 4, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  3. Ellie said,

    Oh, thank you for this, Susan. Thank you for your honesty, bravery and humor.

    I have watched several people relapse over the past few weeks. One was someone very close to me, and it was hard to watch. And, of course, those “that couldn’t happen to me” thought flitted through my brain. Those thoughts make me very nervous. I hope I always stay nervous about that, and reading what you wrote helps that so much.

    It’s a blessing to be on this journey with you.

    Thank you.

    -Ellie
    .-= Ellie´s last blog ..Treat, Cheat, and Defeat All Rhyme. Coincidence? I Think Not. =-.

    | June 4, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  4. Jane said,

    Right on Susan.

    You’re right – for me the sun shining and the salty chips would be a terrific reason for a drink. An innocuous lil’ drinkee poo – everyone else is and gosh, I should too.

    Great reminders, so glad you’re back on the bike.
    .-= Jane´s last blog ..Do The Right Thing =-.

    | June 4, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  5. Gappy said,

    I want to take that last paragraph and frame it and put it up somewhere. I feel like I should read it at least once a week. Thank you so much for giving me the benefit of your experience. I appreciate it.
    .-= Gappy´s last blog ..Do You Ever Miss Your Old Life? =-.

    | June 4, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  6. Sheilster said,

    Thank you for sharing your story…brave girl!

    | June 5, 2010 @ 3:54 am

  7. Kelly said,

    Profound. Thank you. I had a relapse after 7 years and you are so right about “that day that comes…” I got back on the bike, though, like you. Good to hear your story.

    | June 11, 2010 @ 5:32 am

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