Sunday, October 7, 2007

Two of a Mind

"If you only knew how different you are when you're sober," Rosa told me early this morning as we were walking back from Merl's Diner after eating our breakfast.

"I can't see it," I replied. "I feel the same as always."

"For one thing, you are not selfish.  You will think about others and take their feelings into consideration."

"I wish I could tell you I will stay sober just for you," I said. "But I can't. I can only stay sober for myself."

"Whatever works. Go with it," Rosa replied, looking determined.

Rosa has been very active in Narcotics Anonymous lately so I knew she would understand. We were growing apart because drinking became the focal point of my life.  Rosa being over all the time interfered with my nefarious habit.  I withdrew and encouraged her to stay home.  It has been good to get things back to normal.

I found myself wondering how long I can keep this up.  I do so well for awhile with a renewed determination.  It is so easy to slip back into my old ways, though.  Old habits die hard as they say. As we were walking up the hill by the shopping center, I fondled the little white poker chip in my pocket -- the chip upon which was written my new sobriety date. "One day at a time," I muttered to myself.  I could see Clara sitting out in front of the grocery store drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. For the first time in a long time, I didn't feel left out and didn't want to longingly join her.

"I know what you are thinking," Rosa said as she saw me looking that way. "Don't even think about it."

I smiled and grabbed her hand, and before long the shopping center was behind us -- a major hurdle had been overcome.

Lunch was just some turkey sandwiches and a couple of oranges which were sweet and delectable. We both sat quietly eating as a myriad of thoughts crossed my mind. My hands were shaking a little bit as I perched my turkey sandwich on the threshold of my lips.  Rosa noticed.

"When I went into to detox and then rehab, my hands shook for weeks," she told me knowingly.

"Do you think about using again?" I asked, peeling my orange.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about getting high.  I wish I could tell you it gets easier."

Not very comforting words I remarked.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life struggling over drink. I have heard old timers say it does, indeed, get easier over time.  The inescapable urge to drink eventually goes away. Until then, I have to bide my time.


Pen and the Sword said...

You are doing the best you can. Taking it one day at a time and being accepting of those who are offering you their support and friendship...

I had a very old and wise friend that used to tell me the same thing over and over again whenever I was down; it just seems to fit here:

"This too shall pass..."

Sous Gal said...

This is Craig Ferguson's mea culpa piece about drinking and his personal struggle with being sober for 15 years so far. Really. It's a light at the end and a reality cheque :)'s funny.

justLacey said...

When my ex-husband went on his 2 year long binge with alcohol he tried to stop at one point cold turkey. He had a seizure and split his forehead open when he hit the ground. It left a 2 inch long scar on his forhead. Luckily he had a great dr in the er and it is minimal. I think that is the point where he really realized he had a major problem. Still it was several months before he went to AA and begin his recovery. That was 2 years ago. He used to go to meetings 4 times a day. Then after a few months he got a job and would go 2 times a day. Then a job with longer hours and more responsibility. He goes 2 or 3 times a month now. It has been a long recovery for him, but he has done well. He had a younger brother that died at 39 from cirrhosis of the liver that was in and out of recovery several times from early in his life. His last recovery was the year he died. To receive a liver transplant he had to be sober for 12 months. He didn't live through it, though he tried. Hang in there, I think you have the stuff to do it, I just don't think you believe it.

Josie Two Shoes said...

I love your honesty Andrew, and I love Rosa - she's straight with you. I hope that it gets easier in time for you too.

Anonymous Boxer said...

"Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." ~Hippocrates.

Going to your meetings is the opportunity to heal.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

mapiprincesa! said...

Andrew, you rock. Don't you forget that.

impromptublogger said...

WTG buddy! I knew you could do it. My mother-in-law drank for probably 20 years secretly and it almost killed her from cirrhosis of the liver. Somehow she was able to stop cold turky, but then the doctor told her she'd be dead in less than 6 weeks if she didn't. As it was she had a liver shunt operation and was in pain for the rest of her life, which blessedly was another 12 years. I don't want to see you end up like that as that will be your future someday. Women do get affected harder by alcohol than men but still...


And Rosa will always be waiting for you as your round the bend of any hurdle that is put in front of you..even in distance you guys are together!
regardless, you'll do wonders!

Cheryl said...

"I know what you're thinking..." That's where I started to chuckle. I really like Rosa. She's so smart!

I'm glad today was a good day. As you say, one day at a time. I wonder what tomorrow holds?

PipeTobacco said...


Out of curiosity, do you have any opinions as to why you so strenuously prefer all-or-nothing, to a middle ground?

It seems to be something you and your father both understand. I just find it a curious idea to hang on to so tightly.


dreamer124 said...

one day at a foot in front of the's how we manage to get through our lives...addiction or no addiction, it's the same for us all! My addiction is's been 26 years, but the urge is still is better, it is less, it is what it is. I now have the tools to live with it and do the one day at a foot in front of the other...
so do you!

ally said...

I really like reading your blog everyday. I think it is great and that you write really well.

WhistlinGypsy said...

Addictions never go away- that's why they are addictions. everyday we have to make a choice, everyday we have the chance to start again. it's hard- but possible. here's to another day!

A said...

What do you drink? When I just come here, to United States, I was amazed to know that people get drunk with beer. It also bothers me that alcohol is seen like something negative, almost a sin. In my county its banned. And that make me feel like Im in the wrong place, because in my country people drinks a lot all the time. You could call it Ethylic Culture. People enjoy wines and other grape strong liquors. The most people drink is Pisco, that is as strong as the Rum or Tequila (that I hates). I remember gathering with friends and drink those liquors pure, but mostly the costume is drinking with coke and ice. Of course we got very drunk sometimes but you gather a resistance to the alcohol. Usually for a gathering you can get two 1 lt beer bottles for each, and nobody get too bad. The beer is diuretic so it helps to drop it before get to bad to the brain.

I would advice you to try to control the impulse and try something stronger sometimes, always controlling, drink with friends and have a good time. But wen you have to work, don’t drink a drop because it make you sleepy. But I may not advice you as you may not be used to this kind of suggestions.

Here are 2 tip. 1. When in the night you go to bed and everything turns around like a helicopter, and you close you eyes and you feel you will vomit; put one foot in the ground and you will feel better. That’s doing the anker.
2. (I hadn’t’ try this) Before drink eat a big piece of bread with 2 ostrich eggs, that is without cooking them. I guess should absorb and neutralize the alcohol.

Don’t drink to much, but enjoy when you drink.

Barb said...

interesting advice from "a"...

I wonder what country she or he is from?



i can see how determined you are to curb the habit, it is a struggle for you and i know it must be hard...i know you are doing what you can...^^

Le Fleur said...

Hey, luv, I admit that I haven't read your journal in quite a while because I haven't been reading anything but school books and seventeenth centary primary documents for the last couple weeks. I'm happy to see you're doing well though. Be cool.


Beautifully Profound said...

I hope the reason you haven't posted today is because you've received your new camera :-D

Chan Kok Leong said...

Drinking is fine. Your problems do go away...for a while. When you're sober again, they come back. To solve them, you need to be sober. Keep it up! You can definitely do it!

Anonymous said...

Alcohol is poison.

It doesn't help with ANYTHING....whatsoever.

Excessive drinking harms the body and the soul.

If you are an alcoholic there is no such this as drinking in moderation.

You know that, Andrew.

One leads to another....and then another and so on.

It slowly eats away at you and those loved ones around you.

It will destroy your life and your soul.

Those are the facts.

Don't look to Clara and the supermarket....look toward the FUTURE.

And know that if you choose that route (of drinking again) there will only be bad days ahead.