05 September 2009

My Final Week - Day 7

This is it. A very spiritual week ends - with sobriety. Thanks for reading and letting me share a week that started in hell and ended on a path of hope.

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Made it - sobriety! The date was 9/4/94 a little after 10 AM I had my last sip of alcohol. I woke up and went to town to unlock the church. There was going to be a rare Saturday morning funeral. I got there pretty early and made sure the windows were cleaned, the church was cool, the grounds were presentable, stuff that those at a funeral wouldn't recognize, unless it wasn't done.

I got done a couple of hours before the funeral and went outside to my car. It was 8 AM and on the front seat I still had two cans of beer. Should I drink them? Or pitch 'em? I thought a bit and opened the can and it didn't taste the same. That AA meeting was starting to make me think. But I drank it anyway.

I got out of the car and sat on the bench outside the church and began thinking about that second can. What would I do after I drank it? Would I quit or would I go to town and buy some more? As I thought about it, one of the church secretaries pulled in the parking lot and started towards the building. She seen me sitting there and she just had the biggest smile and said, "What a beautiful morning to be alive!" I really didn't want to talk, but her words sunk in. A great day to be alive.

She went into the building and I walked out to the car and opened the second can of beer and took a couple of sips. I got out and went for a stroll around the building making sure everything was set to go, when I looked up and saw my ex-wife carrying a MacDonald's bag filled with breakfast. We talked for awhile and my emotions went up and down quicker then a ride at the carnival.

We ate together sitting on that bench and I finally got her to leave. I sat there for a moment and thought to myself, that this was nuts. I'm done! I walked out to my car and grabbed the can of beer which was about 2/3 full and I dumped it on the ground.

That was it. I surrender - no more - please Lord no more. I struggled through the rest of the day and as I drove home part of me kept saying, "get some beer we'll start tomorrow." But I didn't stop. That night I locked myself in the house by myself and begged for another 10 minutes of sobriety. That whole weekend my sobriety was based on ten minute increments. "Please Lord, just ten more minutes."

Sunday morning was nasty. I was sweaty, cold, and uncontrollably shaking. "Please Lord, just ten more minutes." It was a very long day. By Sunday night, I was still not feeling the best, but I had enough sense to begin trying to find an out-patient program to help me.

Monday was Labor Day and I remained locked in my house. I needed that weekend to go through the withdrawals - 10 minutes at a time. But by the Grace of God, I made it through that weekend.

Tuesday morning arrived and I was fortunate enough to see a counselor right away. It ended up being a two hour session. It was the first time in a long time that I felt a natural high. And that night, I returned to AA. This time sober.

Today is 15 years. I am so grateful for a second chance at life. Thank you for letting me share a very spiritual week in my life with you. Tonight, I'll receive my 15 year chip and I'll be asked how I did it. And I'll say I did it through Love - His Love.

I can never say it enough, how truly grateful I am for a second chance at life. It was through this gratitude that I was able to look at my whole life. Just short of my one year anniversary, I began working on my co-dependency issues and a month after that I began to understand how my life was almost "scripted" because I was raised in an alcoholic home with two alcoholic parents.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame my folks for my alcoholism - I did that to myself. But when I combined all three AA, CODA, and ACOA... my life changed from just "being here" to one of adventure. An adventure that started in 10 minute increments... but now I do it one day at a time.

I usually write poetry for other people or other events. The video below I wrote for myself. It’s entitled "An Attitude of Gratitude."

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