***Submitted by Lisa
My name is Lisa and I’m an alcoholic. Today I have been sober and in recovery for 444 days. 444 days, not 14 and half months, not almost 15 months.
I was reminded of this earlier this week.
I believe that the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and working the 12 steps of recovery is my medicine in managing my disease. I work a solid program and attend at least 5 meetings per week. One thing that was taught to me early on in recovery was to start my day by asking for the strength to keep me away from a drink or a drug just for today. (Drugs were not my thing, but alcohol was and any mind or body altering substance will lead me back to a drink). At the end of the day, I was taught to thank my higher power for the day and ask to remove the phenomena of craving. Easy enough.
I practice this ritual daily and am grateful that the daily craving was removed early on. In fact, I recall a meeting months ago where someone was sharing that he couldn’t stop thinking about wanting a drink, drinking, or not drinking, all day every day. I remember nodding my head with a sympathetic crinkle in my forehead, thinking, “I’m so glad that I’m passed that”.
An "Aha" moment that leads me to my story, proving to me that this is a day at a time program. I have a daily reprieve from my disease IF I am willing to do the daily work that goes along with it.
So, this past Tuesday I came home to prepare dinner after working two jobs that day. My children are 14 and 15 and were home from school for two days due to hurricane Sandy. They were on each other’s nerves all day and were bouncing off the walls by the time I came home. I started dinner, chicken potatoes and veggies. A standard fare at our house, probably served too often. They both looked at each other and said, “Great, we’re starving and looks like we’re having a crappy chicken dinner”. Then standing at either side of the room, with me in the middle, engaged in a screaming match using words that would make your skin crawl. I yelled, “Hey! Respect please!” and retreated to my bedroom to take a time out and change my clothes.
If you were watching a movie you would have seen a tired, frustrated mother taking a pause just sitting on the bed. However, this is what was going on. For a brief moment I could taste a familiar fruity oaky taste of some sort of white wine. My chest warmed, remembering the feeling of what that first taste of alcohol does to my body. A voice saying, “This will help, just settle the nerves”. This voice sounded like the voice you hear coming from a scary movie, from the body of someone that is controlled by a demon and about to have an exorcism performed. A stronger voice said, “NO! You never have to have a day one ever again. You have the tools, use them”. This voice sounds like Glinda the Good from the Wizard of Oz. A little dramatic, yes, but you get the point.
What the F@&# was that!!! It was my disease in the corner doing push-ups and taking vitamins waiting for a crack, an opportunity to attack, stronger than ever.
I shook it off. Scared to death.
Called my friend, another alcoholic in recovery and told her the story. I knew that I would do whatever it took to attend a meeting that night and I did. My life depended on it. I went to a discussion meeting that night and raised my hand and told my story. Nothing out of the ordinary led to that moment, but it happened. The fellowship of AA has given me the tools and in this case, the artillery necessary to fight my disease one day at a time. This toolbox of mine includes writing about it, sharing my experience that might help another alcoholic that faces the same situation.
So I made it through day 442 and hurricane Sandy safe and sound.