Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Road Less Traveled

I often wonder what would have happened to my life had I not chosen this long, difficult and rewarding path to sobriety.  Where would I be?  Where would my family be?  Would I even be alive?  Then God sends me a brick...

Last evening I watched the videos that Mrs. D posted on her blog about Christine, an alcoholic in New Zealand struggling to get sober.  The videos saddened me because this woman is looking for someone else to fix her and, as we all know, that just isn't going to happen.  They also frightened and disturbed me deeply and profoundly.  So much so that I feel the need to share that here - to get it out and on "paper" so that I can release it into the Universe and

As I was watching those videos, I was struck by how much of me wanted to be Christine...still.  To be left alone, on assistance, to just...drink.  To go to my solitary place and get rip roaring blotto.  Now you know why I'm disturbed and frightened - that's where I would be had I chosen differently...and it still calls to me.

When she goes through the recycling bin to count her wine bottles (which she is sooooo lying about btw - she starts drinking at eight am and only goes through three or four bottles a day - I call bullshit - it's like more like five or six) my mouth began to water.  Her drug of choice is Chardonnay (although she'll drink whatever is there), as was mine.  For some reason that amber liquid looked so good in that jelly glass. 

Wait...what?  Really?

When she tells the reporter she needs a break and takes a sip of wine (at 9 am mind you), I could actually smell the wine and taste it on my tongue.  When she sighed and looked up at the camera I thought, "Yep...I know exactly how that feels."

Scared the living shit out of me.  She's job.  She's lost all hope.

But then, when she relapsed and I felt a twinge of jealousy because she got to drink again?  Well that my friends, rocked me to my core.

Let me say here that this was a very, very small part of me reacting.  In no way do I mean to say that it was difficult or hard to fight.  There was never a part of me that thought about driving to the store to buy wine.  There was no part of my mind plotting to figure out how to drink.  There was never a moment that I didn't feel the deep and profound gratitude and love I have as a sober person in recovery.

It's just that I thought I was past that.  I thought I had chosen my path.  Cunning, powerful, and baffling is an understatement.

When I shared it with the hubs he said it was normal.  That I shouldn't feel bad about feeling that way.  That he loves me.  I don't think he grasped just what this did to me.  How could he?  But I love that he tries.

How did I feel after the videos were over and I had some time to breathe?  Grateful.  Grateful that God continues smack me upside the head with these bricks that remind me that yes, I am still an alcoholic and I always will be.  It doesn't matter how long I've been sober or how "successful" I am at being sober.  At the end of the day I'm still a drunk...plain and simple.

But I'm a sober one and, to steal from Robert Frost, that has made all the difference.


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost


  1. Such a lovely poem, always.

    Those videos resonated uncomfortable with me also. I could almost feel myself reaching out the way Charlene did when the nurse took her glass from the nightstand. "Just one more drink, then I'll quit."

    I, too, thought the amount she claimed she drank was total BS but scarily thought, "Pssh, 3-4 liters Sy? That's not that bad."

    I'm glad we've both taken this path, and I'm thankful for you going before me to make my passage a bit easier.

    Thank you, mi amiga

    1. 3-4 liters per day. I'm not sure where that Sy came from.

  2. The journey has its many twists and turns like the path through a fun house at the OC boardwalk...blank walls, erroneous direction, and not knowing if you are on the way out until you get there...the only axiom is that you know that there is a way out and methodically you will get there...I love your blogging because it is enlightenment when it is put into words from the inside of your mind...I love you and I am extremely happy that you have chosen this road...It indeed has made "all the difference"!!!

  3. Oh dear ... I didn't mean to cause you discomfort. But that is why that footage is so powerful .. how often do we see that sad drinking so clearly laid out on camera. If we'd had cameras in our own houses for those last few months of our drinking it would have been just as sad and powerful. Me reaching into the fridge at night ... sitting in the half dark watching tele I wouldn't remember, sadly and determinedly continuing to sip the wine, sip the wine, sip the wine. We must never forget. We won't. And LOOK WHERE WE ARE NOW!!!!!! Yes, we are boozers and those nasty tricky evil thoughts will come back because alcohol is our demon. So listen to that demon when he whispers 'mmm chardonnay yum yum' and then yell back GET THE FUCK AWAY I'M RID OF YOU FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. Hi Elmo! xxxx

    1. Oh my dear the blessing is that the video DID cause discomfort. It give me an opportunity to reexamine where I am...and you are right WE ARE FABULOUS!

  4. One of my favorite sayings is 'we are like men and women who have lost their legs...we never grow new ones." That rings true to me. I believe I have crossed a line that I will never cross back over. I am grateful that I have admitted to my innermost self that I can not drink or use successfully. I got help from a sober living called New Life House. Check out their site if you are looking for help. New Life House - A Structured Sober Living

  5. I love that poem (and the book by Peck of the same name too!) and thought it fit perfectly with the post.

    I caught myself salivating as you described your feelings toward chardonnay. Me too, yep, me too... I miss the buttery sharpness, the first velvety sip. But that's about all I miss. I don't miss any of the other crap that came after that first sip. Wonderful post.


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