I have school all day today, but it is my last day. Probably my last day of school ever, because I realize I just don't enjoy school as I did in the past. The University had talked to me about teaching there, I don't even think I want to do that!
Twenty-two years ago today I was getting ready for my last day of drinking. I didn't know it then though. I just thought it was another day. And there was nothing spectacular about it. I worried when I was newly sober because they used to say "if you can't remember your last drunk, you probably haven't had it." I could remember mine, but I didn't think it was dramatic or memorable enough. I was sober for a couple of years before I ever talked about my last day of drinking in a meeting. And for some reason, with a couple of years of perspective, I felt that last drunk was so sad, I couldn't talk about it without crying.
On July 23, 1984, I loaded my kids into the car and drove them to the public library. This hardly competes with the dramatic moments of my earlier years of drinking. But for some reason, on that day, I saw myself for the drunk I was. I realized I was endangering my kids lives by driving drunk with them in the car, and I was going to make an ass of myself and my kids by showing up at the library drunk. I then asked myself a question "why don't you take the kids to the library when you are sober?" and the answer to that question really shocked me. I realized that I was never sober, so the opportunity to do anything sober didn't even exist. I had settled into the life of a "functional" alcoholic. I drank in the morning to stop the shakes. I drank all day long. I drank at night when my husband got home from work, and then I drank some more after he went to bed.
Tomorrow will be my birthday. I really love my AA birthday. I am looking foward to it, even though I will be attending a funeral.
"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks - drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remoreseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. xxvi and xxvii