Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hoy es Domingo

This little flower managed to live through being covered with snow for several days.  A tenacious little thing, no?

Yesterday I found myself in something that could have been a sticky situation.  We met at coach's house and headed out from there for a few extremely uphill miles and back.  Then we had brunch.  I hadn't realized the brunch would be accompanied by mimosas.  That doesn't really bother me, but I always make sure I am alert when in such situations.

She kept asking me if I wanted one - even though I have been telling her consistently for two years that I don't drink - at all.  I told her again "I am a teetotaler."  She asked if I would like some orange juice.  I thought that sounded swell, so I said yes.  I hadn't thought through the fact that she would serve me orange juice in the same kind of glass everyone else was drinking mimosas in.  I found myself holding something that looked exactly like the alcoholic drink everyone else was having.

Then I remembered my father's advice when I was newly sober.  He said when going into a social situation where others would be drinking, get a drink that doesn't look like others and hold it in your hand.  That way you won't pick up another drink by accident, and people won't keep asking you if you want a drink.  (A cup of coffee, a can of pepsi, etc.)

I needed to set the drink down while I got my breakfast.  I looked around and there were glasses all over the place.  I know it probably sounds silly, but this is really dangerous stuff for us.

I took my glass into the family room, far away from everyone else, and set it on a table while I went and got my breakfast.  That way I knew where it was and was sure it was mine.  I was fine, I ate a yummy meal, including a piece of strawberry rhubarb pie I had baked, I socialized for a little while and then I left.  There is no point in me hanging around people who are drinking.

In my early decades of sobriety, I only hung out with sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous.  It was more fun and a hell of a lot more comfortable for me.  Later on, I started enjoying other activities with people who do drink.  I just have to remain vigilant.  I am an alcoholic.  I don't care how long I have been sober, I am still an alcoholic.  Alcohol is still cunning, baffling, and powerful.  I pray I never become cavalier about my sobriety.

I remember a man I loved a long time ago.  He had been sober for over 30 years.  And then he wasn't.  He didn't ever raise his hand, he just got really nutty and everyone knew.  He was the first person I ever heard say "I am sitting in this AA meeting, but my alcoholism is out in the parking lot doing push-ups."  It was extremely moving when seeing this man saying it.

He could not get sober again.  One day he decided he must die.  He got a gun out in front of his wife.  She struggled with him.  She called the police.  While she was on the phone, the gun went off and her husband died.  So, in the first days after she lost her husband in this horrible way, she was in jail.  Accused of killing him.

We do the most horrible things when we are in the snares of this disease.

I don't mind looking a little bit "nutty" moving my orange juice into the family room.  I don't mind the vigilance.  I don't mind the "work."  I am delighted to be sober and I don't want to drink again.

I am absolutely dependent upon the Grace of God.  And I am fine with that!


Anonymous said...

I was at a brunch a few months ago, just 3 years sober and my forend offered to get us just straight orange juice (she had to go to work), everyone knows i'm an alcoholic, I assumed that she woul dpur us fresh glasses ratehr then grabbing glasses around the Mamosaas, I put it to my lips, took a little bit and right away danger, that warm rush thrught my body. I put it down immediatley, everyone wanted to know what's wrong I told them what happended. I know my forend wasn't anything intentional, just an accident, I was going to leae in a huff, but realized that wouldn't do anyone any good (it was a friends new baby's brunch) so I just learned from it. As they say, constant vigalence, I went the next day to a meeting and told what had happened and it was incredible how many people had the same thing happen to them. I

Syd said...

My wife says that she has had enough when asked to have a drink. Another good friend says that as well. It pretty much says it all for them. They indeed have had enough in their life times.

Lou said...

This is a problem for people like me who just don't like alcohol and the way it makes me feel. Often I feel pressured to drink.
My in laws are big drinkers (I think they are alcoholics, but whatever) and pot smokers.
Last Christmas I wasn't drinking as usual, while everyone else was getting plastered and smoking weed. I politely excused myself when it got late, and went to bed.
The next day my daughter told me the in laws were calling me a "buzz kill."

When you are 60 years old and STILL smoking pot, I imagine you see the world as full of buzz kills. Uggg..

I've learned not drinking is considered "weird", whether you have a drinking problem or not.

dAAve said...


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

It took only the first drop hitting my upper lip during a toast to a successful venture that stuck it home hardest for me. I knew then that even one sip would be too much and that I had to abstain even from smelling it. Water rocks and cranberry juice is still one of my favorite stand-bys.

Pammie said...

I am totally with you on this one. Vigilence to me is my responsibility.
I need to know the ending to the story...did the truth come out and the wife found not liable?

Mary Christine said...

The wife was released after a few days, but if I recall correctly, she missed her husband's funeral because she was in jail. It was really tragic.

And he was the most lovely man when he was sober.