Last week, I found myself in the middle of such an emotional downward sprial that I made the choice to give up 3 years of sobriety and drink again. At the point the bottle hit my lips, I was done with caring, done with trying, done with taking care of me. I just wanted "out" of this emotional pain without having to do the work that it takes to stay sober.
It took less than 7 days, 3 six-packs of lousy "hard" lemonade and 1 chance to come clean to my sponsor face-to-face and I was done pretending that I could handle this. The obsession to drink was gaining speed and I knew it was just a matter of time before I would start to lose everything, again. I called my sponsor the next morning and told her everything.
It's been a day of relief for me. Nothing like my first day of sobriety over 3 years ago when I couldn't look anyone in the eye, hold my head up or barely make it through the hour without WANTING a drink. This time, it's different.
Today showed me that though I made the wrong choice, it's ok. I learned from it the hard way, yes, but I learned regardless. I knew alcohol wasn't the answer; I knew that before the first sip went down. I never felt relief. A sense of dread returned and I knew that no amount of drinking could ever take that away. I knew it would only get worse if I didn't reach out and ask for help, again.
I tried to convince myself that I could keep this a secret and still attend meetings, eventually "forgetting" about this slip. I am thankful that my recovery up to this point has taught me that living in a lie is no way to live. If drinking wasn't going to kill me this time, my guilt and shame would. I knew what I had to do with each passing day.
I relapsed myself right back into my recovery. I was able to tell my best friend, my sponsor and my Mom. I shared with my FB friends. Everyone was supportive and kind.
It hit me that my 3 years of sobriety might have been sacrificed but my recovery is still with me. I feel closer than before to my desire to stop drinking. I understand tnat we are all given life in one-day-a-time increments so why not appreciate each day as the gift that it is?
Recovery is not a race. Sobriety is not about the numbers of years you can rack up. The longer I stayed sober, the further I grew from what recovery really was all about.
Today I choose to fight back, face my peers fearlessly and admit that when a drunk like me doesn't take her sobriety seriously, it's just a matter of time before I come face-to-face with my foe. And when things that bad, I have no defense against that first drink.
I don't know how long I will stay sober. I might not ever get those 3 years back but I have today. That's good enough for me.