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.