Yesterday was quite a day. The early morning went well, it seemed like a good start. Then, on the way to work, everything hit the fan. The details aren’t really relevant, so I won’t write about them. Suffice it to say, there were a couple of hours that were pure chaos, drama, flashbacks to the past. I was so quickly sucked into my old, alcoholic way of thinking and feeling, that I’m surprised my head didn’t spin. I was in sheer panic, heart racing, cold sweats, shallow breathing. I was sure that the end of the world, at least my world, was eminent. It had been a while since I felt so much anxiety so fast, and then I heard it. It was that little voice that I hadn’t heard from for over seven months.
You know how to make these feelings stop….
And just like that, I wanted to drink. I didn’t romanticize or justify it the way I used to. It wasn’t that I suddenly thought that I would be able to control it like a normal person this time, or that I was just going through so much stress that I would just have one drink to “take the edge off.” No, I knew exactly what my wanting to drink was – I wanted to shut off every thought that was going through my mind. I felt a deep need to change every feeling I was having at that moment. There was nothing that could be misconstrued in what I was thinking. Did I think that drinking would improve the situation? No. Did I think that I would create more wreckage by drinking? Yes. Did I realize what giving up my sobriety would mean? Yes. Did I still want to drink? Yes, so very much.
That solution to my problems hung out in my head for a while. I was aching for the relief of that first drink. Then something crazy happened. Those thoughts quieted down and were replaced by new ones. What I heard was: You don’t have to drink. You can make it through this, and anything else that happens. You are under God’s care, and He doesn’t screw up. You are not alone.
Now I am not going to lie, those two contradictory reactions fought back and forth for a while. I was really waffling on which one to believe. I knew which was the right way to go, but I also knew which would give me relief faster. In the past, I wouldn’t have even entertained anything besides the drink. I would’ve been hammered before those other thoughts even had a chance to make themselves known. But yesterday, fortunately, I was able to make the right choice. I didn’t drink.
I am certainly not going for sainthood here, had there been a bottle of vodka right in front of me this whole thing could’ve turned out a lot differently. But with yesterday’s realization that even if I have the craving, I don’t have to give in, I feel like I reached a milestone. I had been pretty damn lucky that for the past seven months I hadn’t had one inclination to drink. But I honestly didn’t know what would happen when that luck ran out. Now I know. I can choose.