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NOTE: This happened to me when I was alone. There was no one with me to interfere in the experience.
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It was February, 1982. I had just celebrated my 2nd year birthday being sober in AA. Married to another recovering alcoholic, it was just after our 1st wedding anniversary when the shit hit the fan. I was starting to learn why so many alcoholics don’t make it. I was slowly going crazy with emotional pain.
At this point in sobriety I had come to a place where every morning I’d fall into a heap in the shower; bawling; letting the warm water wash over me for comfort. I was crying because another eternally long day would have to be confronted – with no alcohol. I wanted to die. As time went on this was not getting better, it was getting worse, and neither AA nor my AA sponsor were able to help. I was as scared as a rabbit coming face to face with a coyote; and as lonely as if the only person on earth.
Trying to do 12th Step work – helping other alcoholics, like the AA Big Book said – stressed me more. I’d been trying with all I had, to do the Step 2 of AA =Came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves= but was having no luck at all. The only =Power= I could imagine was completely narcissistic. I meant nothing to this Higher Power, except to do his bidding. Only then, if he desired to, he’d keep me sober – one more day. But I felt incapable of doing anything which might align with his agenda, and therefore was not worth keeping sober. He ignored my pleas for help. He was busy looking elsewhere for others who would give him what he wanted. This Higher Power had the exact character of my earthly father. I could not imagine any power greater than that man. The father’s countenance was so powerful that, in fact, I’ve never encountered anyone as powerful as he – on this planet, even to this day.
Back to the story
I was weeping daily in the shower; my husband and I were doing nothing but fighting. I was swiftly sliding down a slippery slope directly to the bottle. Drinking terrified me. The AA people kept saying that alcoholism progressed even though one was no longer drinking, and two years earlier I had been on my last legs already – on the edge of unemployable; drinking for oblivion. Drinking a fifth of hard liquor a day while rocking in my green, wooden rocking chair; crying drunken tears over the sad, sorry life I was a prisoner of. I drank to commit temporary suicide – suicide without having to actually “do the deed”.
Then my husband came down drunk. He called from a bar drunk out of his gourd. Sobriety’s rope was frayed to its last thin thread. Within ten minutes, I’d be gone – a gonner = drunk = turning to prostitution as the only way to pay for my needs. My husband had no job, and no prospects. Divorce was out of the question. In my family, there was no such thing as divorce.
A picture appeared before me. Ron and me, handcuffed together – forever – and him sinking to the bottom of the ocean with me in tow. It was beyond terror. I went to the bedroom and sat down on the edge of the bed. My whole body began to shake; my mind ricocheting all over the room with craziness. Only ten more minutes and I was going to be drunk. Ten minutes to a horrifying future; eventually, [or quickly] leading to certain death. I sat there and shook. No answers. No one could help.
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