My Road To Recovery

“Hey there!  Come on in, have a seat.  Glad to see ya! Can I get ya anything?  No?  Alrighty then.  I’m a recovering alcoholic, and we sure do like our coffee.  Do ya mind if I get some?  It should be about done. Thank Ya.  I’ll be right back.  Make yourself at home. Oh, and don’t mind the cats.  Only one of them might bite ya.”

You look around the living room of my luxurious 1220sq ft home, (uh..wonder which one might bite) nestled in the big town of Lafayette, TN.  There are some prints on the blue..and man I mean…blue blue walls.  The Old Guitarist by Picasso hanging by the computer  monitor, which is giving a slight glow to the room.  Got Van Gogh – The Starry Night hanging above the couch there behind you.  Nice comfy home.  A little messy, but I am an alcoholic, not as messy as one might thing.  You can tell that I’m working on things around here.  Cabinets are getting painted, walls getting painted.  Getting things back in order.

“So, How are ya? Think about that one, maybe I’ll give you a chance to answer that one later.  What can I do for you?”

“What’s that?”

“Aww shucks, you ain’t interested in hearing about my road to recovery, surely.”

“Oh, that’s why your here.  Cause the sign above the door said “My Road to Recovery”.  Well, I guess that kinda makes sense that that’s why you would be here.”  

“Tell ya what.  I’ll share it with you.  Promise me one thing though, If I’m gonna spill it and it gets boring, please don’t up and leave, awright? It’s kinda long, so I’ll just go ahead and apologize, but you did ask for it you know.”  

“Let’s see..where to start?”

“Well, I’m not gonna go into all the drinking stuff that I used to do.  I might tell you some of that later.  I’m gonna start back…oh…sometime around September of 2007……..

I was tired of the feelings that I had every morning when I got up.  Having to put the red eye in, making sure I even had the red eye relief.  Then going about my “normal” life.  But this day I was going to be different, for a while.

I didn’t drink anymore.  I took it upon myself to just stop.  I broke down, broke my friends and families hearts, and told them about my problem and how I could do it on my own, even though most of them thought otherwise, but hey, I’m an alcoholic and I’m always in control, right?  

Well I did stop drinking, for a while.  I went through the night sweats.  Man, those were the coldest sweats I’ve ever had.  You know how it feels when your sleeping at night, and your fever breaks, how you wake up in that little puddle of sweat colder than a cucumber in December?  Well, it wasn’t a puddle that I was laying it.  I had to flip my mattress up when I left for work so that it could dry out before I got home.  It was just horrible.    

I got the shakes.  Thought one night I was gonna shake my brain loose.  Didn’t hardly sleep a wink for about a week or two.  But I did it, for a while.  Work was horrible.  I couldn’t keep from shaking, I tried to hide it, but I’m guessing everyone saw it.  Mind was going about 150 gazillion miles an hour.  

Fast forward, oh, I’d say to November.  I, well the alcoholic voice in my head,  had decided that I finally had a hold on my drinking. It wouldn’t hurt me to have a drink or two one Friday night.  Guess you can see where I’m going with this huh?  Well, I did drink a couple.  A couple of 12 packs.  In one night!!!  Just like I hadn’t stopped a bit.  Took up right where I left off.  

Didn’t go looking for no help.  I was gonna just drink for a while then do it all over again.  Just hide it from everyone and pretend everything was ok.  I done did it once, right?

Now, I didn’t have “it” as bad as some of em out there might tell ya they had it.  See, I was a…uh..a what they call, a functioning alcoholic still.  I was holding down my job, caring for my children, able to still live a not so abundant life, but just barely.  Didn’t drink any during the day, well, weekday.  I don’t think I would be saying that today had I not done something..but anywho.

Well, come February, I was still drinking like a fish.  But, all the drinking was catching up to me.  I was getting really really tired of that voice in my head every waking moment, constantly lamenting about needing alcohol, wanting alcohol, counting alcohol, smelling alcohol, breathing alcohol.  I could tell things were just about to hit the fan.  I could see me loosing my job, friends.  Shoot even my life.  

So, I got up one day in September, just on the verge of loosing it all and I cried.  No, not like boo hoo, I mean I cried like a little baby.  Shoot, I might just break down and cry on ya right here..I’ll try not to though.  I remember it vividly, I prayed to God whom I had abandoned a long time ago.  I prayed so hard for him to make it stop.  In my mind I was saying, Make the voice GO AWAY GOD! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!  And then I screamed.  I screamed so loud.  I told that voice to “SHUT THE HELL UP!!!! I CAN”T TAKE IT NO MORE!!!!!” (sorry mom)

Oh…Sorry about the screaming there.  Got lost on the road.  Man it was tough. Don’t much like going back there.  But that’s the worst of it.  

I had had enough.  That was February um, I think it was the 22 or 23rd, don’t quite remember the date, might of been earlier.  I was a bit messed up, sorry.  Daddy called and we met here at home quite a bit was said that day, but if ya don’t mind, I’d kinda like to keep that to myself.  Anyway, eventually I said…er..cried that I need help.  We cried together.  I hadn’t seen my daddy cry since he had those kidney stones (wuss..jk dad). Anyway, He worked with a lady whose husband was a recovering alcoholic and arranged for me to meet him. 

He was like an angel…well, a scruffy angel, but still.  He was my way out and I could tell it.  (I need to call him)  He was happy to be alive.  He wanted to help me.  Told me he went to Cumberland Heights in Nashville, TN.  Sobered up and was living the good life.

We talked a little about AA, and the 12 steps. Again, some of that I’ll keep to myself if you don’t mind.  

Well, fast forward again.  The day is now February 24th.  Tomorrow I check my self in for rehab.  Nervous as a cat with his tail under a rockin chair nervous. So, what do you do?  Have one more go at it.  Yep.  I drank, and drank, and drank.  I had already taken off work that week, told them I was going for help.  They were glad, very glad I would say.

Anyway, went to bed..no..passed out that night, woke up the next morning, got in my vehicle and headed to Nashville.  That was the last time I even touched the stuff.  When I got to Cumberland Heights to check in, I still blew something in the Breathalyzer test.  Whew.  I cried when I got there to.  I was by myself, in a strange place, around a bunch of drunks, and was gonna be hanging out with them for 2 weeks.  Kinda looked a bit like a funny farm on the outside.  Turns out, there’s miracles that happen there.  I called daddy for the last time.  I cried..gosh I’m such a cry baby.  

Anyway, I think the journey through Cumberland Heights I’ve got in a story lying around here somewhere.  If you look around here you might find it.  Probably got some questions about that place too I suppose.  

When I left Cumberland Heights, I was out of smokes.  Also, I had heard of the bar down the street that would give you a free beer if you turned in your chip to em when you got out.  I had to drive by it.  Again, I was scared.  I couldn’t do it.  There’s no way.  Well, turns out there is a way.  I made it past the bar.  Then I had to go inside a store and get some smokes.  Walked right by the beer and I ain’t gonna say that I didn’t think nothing about it.  I kinda did.  But I was stronger.  I had God back with me.  

Got back home, met up with “the guy” again and went to my first AA meeting that night, and I went every night until May I think.  

I had gotten back in church and from that point on I found my AA there.  There’s even other alcoholics there that I can talk to if I ever need.  I tell you what.  That bunch of people over there, I love every single one of them.  Ain’t no way I can go back now.  I’m Alive..ALIVE I tell ya.  

Even after all of that.  If I could go back and change one thing, ain’t no way I’d change any of that.  But, I’ve got that in a book around here somewhere to.

Well, that’s my story up until this day.  Things are getting better everyday.  Still got a taste in my mouth that I can’t shake.  Not like alcohol, but like a craving for alcohol.  I’ve gotten used to it though so it don’t bother me too much.  Gum usually takes care of it.  

I sure hope it was worth you coming all the way out here for that story.  If you got any questions, please, feel free to ask.  I love talking about it.  Makes me feel better.  Makes me feel better to have you listening to me too.  I appreciate that.  Hey, if you know someone whose like I was, why don’t ya send em over? Let me show them how life can be if they want it.

So, How are you doing?”

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11 Responses

  1. Scott,
    I apologize that I have not read your blog today- I WILL come back later to do so.
    I read your comment on Writer Dad’s. He and I have DEFINITLEY different styles, but mutual respect. His audience likes his warm, heartfelt responses. My audience likes to be challenged, yet not disrespected, Those who criticized me on Writer Dad have left awesome – and occasionally petulant (which is fine) – comments on my blog. We have also laughed a lot together, and, I am certain, will continue to do so in the future. This was my second “guest post,” and I warned Writer Dad that it could be a BAD idea.

    Yet, I don’t think it was. Sometimes, people who like a warm bowl of soup need a snowball thrown at them – and vice-versa. You need to keep true to YOUR personality, both in your blogs and your responses to comments.

    I WILL be back later to read – and comment on – your blog, which I found on my own, and decided to hang around for. You WILL develop an audience. I’ve had 0 comments on my blog – and over 60. It takes time.

    You are ALWAYS welcome over to Rita’s Digest – and I know that you are ALWAYS welcome at Writer Dad’s. Sometimes people like hot coffee, and sometimes people like iced coffee.

    I will be following your recovery – whether you come to my blog or not. I like the way you write, and I admire your courage – and know you need support. That does NOT mean that you have to come to my blog. That was the point of what I was trying to say!

    Best,
    Rita
    (I’ll be back later…a bit of erranding to do!)

  2. Scott,

    OK – I lied – sue me. I read your blog now.
    I won’t give you the platitudes that you’ve already heard – the “one day at a time” stuff. You don’t need that from me, as long as you are going to meetings and have a good sponsor.

    What I WILL tell you is that yours IS the voice of a recovering alcoholic – down to the fact that you believed that you were a “functioning alcoholic” while everybody else could smell the booze coming out of every pore in your body…everybody but you.

    Your writing is amazing…on Monday, I will link to 2 or 3 “new blogs” I have found – or maybe just one. 🙂 May I link to yours, please?

    Rita

  3. Rita – I will give a better deserved response later, but just wanted to let you know now Thanks for the support! and that yes you can link to me, you don’t even have to ask. 😉
    I have been trying to catch up on your blog actually. I do enjoy it tremendously. I wish I knew more about Stalin and his hideousness, never-the-less the guest posts you’ve had were a great read!
    BTW.I never took it that you were asking me to visit, but you sure sent out a great invite. 🙂

    -Scott

  4. Hi there Scott
    Just visiting from Writer Dad’s and read your Road to Recovery post and your background.
    Really open and honest and I hope you’ll gain a lot from blogging about it.
    I read that you have two children too and I just thought how horrible it must have been for you and for them to go through all that.
    Do you still see them regularly? And you say you were divorced 5 years ago, was that because of the drinking?
    I really hope you find something here that helps you through.
    Whatever you do, don’t let this blogland get to you. You may get a flood of visitors, you may not. You may get 100 plus comments, you may not. What is important is that you write for you.
    Really good to ‘meet’ you.

  5. Tara – Welcome! Thanks for the visit. Hope you enjoyed the read.
    Yes I do have 2 children and I see them for a week, every other week. Just in case that didn’t come out right, My children are with their mother this week, but i will have them all week next week, except for Tuesday.
    Didn’t get divorced because of the alcohol. Got divorced cause my ex-wife is…..um…we had our differences 🙂

    I don’t want you all to think that I had been drinking every day for all of my life. Initially it was, you know, weekends (Friday and Saturday) but about 5 or 6 years ago it became every single day, from the time I got home until the time I passed out. I could tell myself that I could stop at anytime, but that’s just the disease giving me an excuse.
    I appreciate your concern, but I’ve been sober since February, I’ve rediscovered my relationship with God, and I might just be one of the happiest folks you would run across. 🙂 Not to say that I know I’ll never drink, but with my family and friends being so supportive, I just don’t see that happening. But I do constantly have my guard up.
    Blogging is a very big help, and the most fun I’ve ever had. (I wish you would read some more I think it would help you understand me and my mood etc) But what would probably just put it over the edge would be one day hearing that I had helped just one person (twould be miraculous to help thousands).
    I consider The Ever-Changing Thought a success already. If i gain no more readers, no more folks to comment, I’m as happy as a lark. But, hey, if you wanna keep coming back, it ain’t gonna hurt my feelings none 😉 I can’t imagine a scenario where this blogopolis (I like that word better than blogosphere) can get me down.
    Whew…didn’t want all that did ya. I think I answered them all.
    It was a real pleasure meeting you as well. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share more. Very well done!

    -Scott

  6. Tara (again) – I hope everything came out right in my answer. I didn’t want you to “feel sorry” for me, or think that I was struggling (too bad) or anything, that’s kinda how I read the question, but I may have just read into it too much :). Again, another reason I wish you could read some more of my posts, you don’t have to comment. Thanks again!

  7. This is a great blog. In my opinion alcoholism is really bad for person’s health.
    ———————
    lauran
    Alcohol Rehab

  8. lauran – I can not but agree with you but 100%. Thanks for the visit.
    -Scott

  9. Scott,

    Is there anybody – even an alcoholic -who believes that alcoholism is GOOD for one’s health? It is slow suicide, where you lose everything that is good in your life.

    What IS bad for your health is the denial that comes with any form of substance abuse. I give you tremendous credit for realizing when you hit your bottom. There is only one way from there – and that is UP! Welcome back, and may you get all the support you need and deserve!

    Rita
    (and yes, the link is coming Monday…)

  10. Hey Scott.
    I absolutely don’t feel sorry for you (see even that comes out all wrong). I read your post and thought it was really open and honest – the sort of honestly that comes from someone who really wants to lay it all out there for all to see and to learn.
    You have been through such a lot and it’s fantastic that you now want to use that experience to help others.
    “what would probably just put it over the edge would be one day hearing that I had helped just one person” that sentence alone shows that you are doing this for the right reasons.

    And by the way, Lauran’s comment, WTF!

  11. Rita – Thanks a bunch! I don’t know what else to say 🙂

    Tara – I thought we were on the same page, so we’re good. I appreciate the thoughts.
    And Lauran, I don’t know who that is, but she/he did have a link to an online rehab website. It may help someone, I dunno. I know it’s an adclick I think, but still. I thought, if I delete it, then it’s possible I would have taken that “help” away from the one person that was looking for it. I did research that link, it seems legit. Rock and a hard place I tell ya.

    -Scott

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