When I got clean and sober the first time I had this odd fascination with people being drunk around me. Sometimes it triggered me, but other times it really got me off! It was a split decision whether I liked being around it because I was still holding onto resentments from the past, or other times that I would completely spaz out and run to a coffee shop to rid myself of the situation.
I’m also a frequent concert goer and I would remember that I’d pay more attention to the drunk guy throwing his arms up mocking the drums than I would to the concert. It was like a ritual of mine, especially going to 5 RUSH concerts in a year, traveling to see them. There were plenty of drunk people flailing their arms to 2112 and Spirit of the Radio! I’m sorry if you don’t know anything about Neil Peart; ahem, noted the world’s originator of drumming styles and best drummer ever (besides Bonham).
There were other situations that I’d seek out drunk people. They fascinated me so much. I would be hanging out with old friends who didn’t think that I had a drinking problem, but would respect that I didn’t want to drink… to an extent. Although, before my relapse (the first time) I’d be buying people around me booze just so I could see the drunk play on their body. It was a way to sort of get off because I knew that I couldn’t. Who knew that this resentment of drinking would be the first step I took into my very last relapse. Drinking was my downfall and I wasn’t careful enough. And, the funniest thing was that I was regularly attending 12-step meetings near Detroit and part of the people from that program were the ones who would drink around me!
I’m not sure that I was too morally justified in being a supplier to people who didn’t have a problem, but the people who did have the problem and still drank I wasn’t supplying for. Where did I draw the line? Way behind me and I’d stepped over it.
I remember that the only time that I would get pissed off at someone drinking around me was when my dad would have more than two beers. For those of you who don’t know, my dad’s limit has always been two. But during my addiction and first recovery—with very little recovery practiced—he started drinking a bit more. I’m sure I was a stressor but at least I had my mom who would stay sober during the worst of times. With all of that being said and done this was my next biggest downfall, too. I tried so hard to gain my father’s approval for me to be able to drink again when I relapsed for the last time. He knew that it would lead me back to heroin, he wasn’t dumb. But, as he said no, I’d already been 3 weeks into binge drinking, re-tampering with Oxycodone and the eventually needles, heroin, and overdosing a few weeks later.
It’s safe to say that if you have these reservations about alcohol, don’t keep quiet about it like I did and wait until the very last moment and have your relapse start before you hit the bottle or pills or needles. I had also hung around the wrong people at the wrong times in my life. I probably should have never hung around with old friends that reminded me of my old places and stomping grounds with drinking and partying. But, if I know anything now, reservations can kill. So do your best to speak out when you’re feeling a craving and holding onto a reservation! I know my first sponsor would say, “HOORAY! You finally got it dumbass!” But to this day it’s taken me years of practicing recovery to even understand this concept; maybe that’s the reason I’m such an open book! (Wink wink: ILLICIT: Life in the Eyes of an Addict).
So, I’ll say it again:
1) Speak out when you’re feeling triggered.
2) Make sure who you’re speaking to has 5 years clean and sober and practices recovery
3) Reservations kill
4) Get rid of reservations by leaving the past in the past and working on a future in recovery
5) Lastly, LOVE YOUR FAMILY NO MATTER WHAT! They could be struggling with your addiction, too!
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