Sunday, October 30, 2011
Hoy es Domingo
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!