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After two or three days drinking, she’s not sure…  she wakes with a start to find her arms and shoulders shaking violently with withdrawals. Terrified of the lost time and what could have possibly have happened while she functioned on auto-drunk-pilot, she has no choice but to try to put the pieces together herself. Telling by the bruises and scratches on her arms and legs, it has been a very unsteady time, and she briefly has a flash of smacking her face on the pavement.

Yes she remembers that slightly only because of the sound of horrified onlookers gasping with concern. As far as she can tell that is the only physical damage she’s accrued aside from the seizure like shakes that vibrate consistently throughout her body. Shame is the most wretched pain she feels and briefly she considers ending it all. To climb out of this guilty hole of self-hatred now is going to be next to impossible. She had thought herself capable of avoiding this. Capable of control. But as she wobbles dangerously close to the doorjamb and into the bathroom, she knows she has been defeated. Past years of sobriety had convinced her that time had put a large enough space between her and alcoholism. But it is untrue and heart-breakingly obvious. Thinking of the days when she drank 24 hours around the clock, she is disgusted with herself for not remembering. The DUI’s. Jail. Doing the most criminal of deeds just to survive, just to stay drunk. She climbs in the shower and tries to scrub herself clean of the rotten alcohol pouring out of her skin, but there is no soap that can wash away the odor, and there is no shampoo for self-pity. Hot water hits her skin and new scrapes and bruises make themselves known. She checks her teeth to make sure they are all still there, and apparently they are, but she is not convinced that one or two might crack or break sooner now than later. Thinking back to how this all started… she was only going to have one beer, but two were more liberating than one. Two grew into four. Four became eight. She remembers promising to BBQ with friends but left before the party had begun. Stumbling and stammering her way to something harder to drink. To harder people to drink with. Then it’s black for quite some time. The fall onto the concrete. Checking into some cheap hotel just to lie down for a while. She must’ve woke with the DT’s once already, telling from the bottles spread all around, she had definitely made another trip for poison and drank herself properly to oblivion. Faced with the reality of her disease, she tries desperately to think of how to not drink. How could she have been so good at not drinking at one point in time? Being blatantly honest with herself, she realizes that the only time she was repulsed by alcohol was when she attended AA. An understanding of the insanity can only be had from another alcoholic, and the people who do not comprehend what it is to not be able to stop, have another way of life completely. So long ago had she thrown away her connection with AA. To be an alcoholic is one thing. To have to diligently admit your wrongdoings, to be held accountable for all your actions, to be honest with yourself… that was a whole different story. Controlled by fear and the consistent feeling of not being good enough, she had shun the other alcoholics she had known, and became all self-knowing. What was she to do now? Now that alcohol was threatening to claim her as a permanent slave. She remembered others talking of how all they could do in the beginning was cling to the Big Book. Read as much as their minds and bodies would allow, and get to a meeting. Terrified to face the sunlight let alone the people she had let down, it seemed as though she were doomed. But what options were there? Death. Drinking which would most likely turn into death or the need to die so badly that she would disappear from her life altogether. Already experienced with being a missing person, she knew it was not truly an option. Wrapped in a towel and broken from the depths of her core to the ends of her hair, she fell on her knees and knew truly that she still was, powerless over alcohol. Trying to control herself was never going to work. Never. Finding her clothes muddy and smelling of booze, she dressed to make her get away from this treacherous hole she had landed herself in. Checking out of the hotel and waiting for a cab seemed to take billions of years while she stood, bruised, dirty and shaking. Certain that people were staring at her from windows and doors that did not exist… guilt, anxiety, and shame ran through her brain like a freight train pounding the rails. From past experiences she knew that apologies mean nothing, action and time were the only things that heal these types of wounds. The cab stops for her with contempt and she prays loudly in her head the whole way back to her home, trying to drown out the demons she has woken from the grave. Facing the ones she has let down will not be easy. But when she arrives, no one gives her a hard time. The only tears falling are hers. Instead they are only disgusted and shocked. Most of all they are betrayed. Why couldn’t she just be honest with herself? Why did she have to pretend to be something she was not. Cracking her book of Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time in years, the words stared back at her with the answers. Drunks from every walk of life could choose. They could turn it over to a Greater Power. They didn’t have to do it alone. They were powerless! ALL of their lives were unmanageable. They had a way to help! Oh My God! She thought. How could I have not seen this before? It was the same message she had heard for years, keep it simple, let go and let God, to thine own self be true. But the words finally made sense! Was this what they called a spiritual awakening? Still not sure she deserved God or any help at all. She came across the word faith. The very thing she has been searching for her whole life. Small glimpses of it have carried her through parts of her life but it has always wavered and gone missing when needed the most. Could she really have faith that she could become not just sober… but well? She knew that willingness was something essential for recovery, and that willingness involved honesty. Was she willing now to be honest? Honest that she NEEDED a Higher Power, she felt the wind on her face through her booze soaked sweat… and thought of how she could not see the wind but could feel it no matter. She thought of how it shaped the earth and the people on it, of how it carried messages of rain and relief. She thought of how the wind planted seeds from thousands of miles away. The wind blew through her then. It was her Greater Power. She finally felt the connection she had heard other alcoholics talk of for years. She would make it through the day and night without a seizure. She would not sleep well but knew that that would pass with time. She determined to set herself on the path of recovery. Taking in all she could from others’ stories she was eager to start with AA meetings, ready to get honest, ready to do the 12 steps, it was finally time for her to start recovering.


To be continued…


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And so the wind blows seeds from thousands of miles away and grow- To root, seeds sometimes must snuggle down in a deep hole. Life also has holes. We snuggle down with those trees that surround us-in protection from the storm. Remember to let go...

And so the wind blows seeds from thousands of miles away and grow- To root, seeds sometimes must snuggle down in a deep hole. Life also has holes. We snuggle down with those trees that surround us-in protection from the storm. Remember to let go of storms that have already passed. For they are now gone. All trees live with some sort of disease, the secret is they live. When dirty storms by nature can refresh the earth with her rain and wind. Sway my friend. Sway.

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