Sunday, May 24, 2009

This Is My Treatment


May 24, 2009 - 102 days of sobriety


I'm taking a break from playing in the dirt and thought it was about time I wrote a blog post. When I took this job as manager of the Sunrise Vista Inn, I deferred some of the treatment actions I had in place - namely, mental health and chemical dependency counseling. I had some concerns about stopping counseling altogether so I call it "deferring" and I may go back in the fall. When I discussed it with Brent he said, "Baby, this is your treatment," referring to the job.
The majority of the work here is hard physical labor: making beds, scrubbing floors, weed-eating, watering, vacuuming, dusting. Most days I hurt like hell, but I have dropped a few pounds and I realized the other day that I actually have biceps. I just stared at them as if they were foreign creatures come to live in my skin. The focus for my time in the East, which will end in about a month, is to maintain good self-care and regain my physical health. I had begun making progress in this area by stopping drinking and going to the gym, but the Sunrise Vista Inn has whipped me right into shape!
On the days when I am able to be brutally honest with myself, I know that a large part of the reason I'm overoworked and underpaid, why I haven't been able to develop the talents and gifts I was given, why I have not been able to settle down and be happy, is because I did not/could not stop drinking after I relapsed in 1994. But I'm still here and that's more than most alcoholics my age can say. This point was brought painfully home recently when I learned that one of my best friend's brother-in-law died on his 50th birthday by falling off a hotel balcony while intoxicated. I know there's only one thing that has kept me from befalling a similar fate: luck, which I also choose to call grace. It reminds me that the foundation to recovery from alcoholism is abstinence. I don't know about people who are able to "learn" to drink moderately, or are healed into it; chasing that goal almost took my life. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I sincerely hope I'm done trying it. In cases like my friend's brother-in-law, I always blame the alcoholism and never the alcoholic. The only alcoholic I continue to blame is myself. I've got to stop that.

11 comments:

Olivia said...

Congratulations on your 102 days of sobriety, Angela! You are doing great, being present, dealing with life. I am so happy for you and look forward to each post. I can see you healing and growing, and it's exciting and I am grateful for your wholeness. Love, O

Julie said...

102 days - awesome! Congratulatons!

julesgp187 said...

Congratulations on 102 days. This post brought tears to my eyes. I wish drinking moderately were a possibility, but I am glad I have given up on it - it is a dangerous thing to chase for most of us (alcoholics/heavy drinkers/problem drinkers - whatever label you'd like to use).

Happy Memorial Day - enjoy the hard work - there is nothing better!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Congrats on 102 days! I hope that you are doing well and it sounds like getting into shape is a good deal too.
I always look forward to your posts and your words they are a reminder to me of how the program works and howit works for each of us. Thank you and I am sending much love,
G

thailandchani said...

102 days is great! (103 as I write this :) The house is cute.. but it definitely sounds like you are working your tail off. I suppose all we can do is trust that our circumstances match what we need at any given time. When we no longer need it, something else comes along.



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Anybeth said...

Congratulations! and congrats on the biceps too. I work on mine at the gym all the time but they stubbornly remain hiding under a layer of 39 year old flab. LOL

louisey said...

Yes, you do need to stop the blaming -- life is right there to be lived.

Congratulations on 102 days!

Mary LA

Rae said...

Congratulations on 102 days ... and today. It's all we've got. We never know when we'll fall off the ledge drunk and die. I'm sorry that alcohol killed your brother in law and I'm sorry that it ruins so many lives.

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Anonymous said...
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thegentlepath said...

The foundation of recovery from alcohol is abstinence, but the foundation of abstinence is good self care. And it sounds like that's exactly what you have lined up for yourself. Congrats!