Yesterday, I was reminded of the alcoholic insanity that is always lurking in the back of my mind.
When I first got sober, I remember my sponsor telling me that you are never safe from that first drink. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, in fact, I probably half-listened as I did to many of the things she told me. I didn’t “get” it yet and all I cared about was rebuilding my life, which meant not drinking anymore. I first got sober in February 2012 and relapsed the following July – last summer. It took my relapse for me to truly understand I was powerless over alcohol and I was never safe from that first drink.
Fast forward to yesterday. I’ve been sober for nine months and have been fortunate to have had very few cravings for alcohol. Yet, while I was driving my kids to gymnastics late yesterday afternoon, I had an overwhelming craving for a drink. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The sun was out, the weather was warm and I wanted (or needed) that drink. Remember, I relapsed last July, so obviously these summer-like days are a trigger for me. There was no reason for my craving. I was in a great mood, but somewhere my mind was telling me I would even be better with a drink. Crazy? Yes. This is the INSANITY of alcoholism.
My body was literally craving that drink. I could almost taste that chilled glass of wine. But, why? After EVERYTHING I’ve been through and put my family through, how could I even consider a drink?
Unless you’ve been there, it’s impossible to understand the insanity of addiction. It takes over your body and mind, until it’s the ONLY thing you can think about. It’s awful, it’s horrible – it’s my alcoholic mind.
When I got home, I was irritable and angry. I told my husband I was just hungry and tired. It wasn’t until we sat down for dinner that I told him the truth. I had been craving a drink. While he knows that this is a reality of my disease, I still see the pain my honesty causes him. For those who love us, one of their worse fears is that we will take that first drink.
Tonight, I was tired. I didn’t feel like going to a meeting, but I knew I needed one. And, my husband knew I needed one. I went to one of my favorite women’s meetings and I left feeling renewed and grateful for the honesty that takes place in those rooms.
I know that I will never be safe from that first drink, which is why I have to continue to do the work and stay honest with myself and others. For me, it’s that simple.