I’m not a big fan of roller coasters, whether they are real or emotional.  I’ve been on and emotional one for the last few days and it hasn’t been fun.

I am not quite sure when it started but for certain the idea of a drink came into my head several times over the weekend.  There was a lot going on over the weekend and my father in law was visiting.  I love the man, but there’s no doubt that I need to take him in small doses.

I wanted an escape hatch.  The easy escape hatch that kept surfacing was to have a drink.  I didn’t, but those urges sure were strong at times.  Instead, I napped, frequently.

Things seemed better yesterday during the day.  I slept in and did not go to my morning meeting, opting to go to one that I like in the evening.  I didn’t have much going on with the job and I ran some errands.  I planned a nice dinner for the family and executed on it well.  But, towards the end of dinner the twinge of a migraine started in my left temple.

If I’d been a bit more in tune with things I might have chosen differently, but I went to the meeting anyway.  It was a good meeting and I felt like I got a lot out of it.  Despite the nail in my left temple, I felt pretty good.  I decided to get some ice cream on the way home.

Things went down hill after that.  I got into an argument about sugar with my wife which lead to me telling here that it was either sugar or alcohol – zero sum.

We made up before going to bed.  Before bed I confided that I’d been missing drinking – not missing being drunk, or any of the wreckage that accompanies it, but missing the act of drinking.

Despite going to bed on solid footing with my wife, I had a poor night’s sleep.  I woke several times needing to go to the bathroom.  One time, I woke because I’d been sleeping on my hand in a strange position and caused it to go numb.

I had drunk dreams.

My drunk dream is always the same.  I’ve had one, successfully, and I feel triumphant.  But in my heart I know that it’s not a success and that I’ve started down a bad path.  Every damn time, it’s the same dream.

I got up this morning for the 6:00 AM meeting, because I knew a friend was celebrating 1 year and I wanted to be there for him.  It was good to hear him speak and his story re-enforced what I already know about myself.  And honestly, I started to sink into a bad place.

As I was getting my son ready for school, I was fighting back tears.  I don’t know where they were coming from, but they were strong.  My head was still pounding.  All I could think about was getting the boy to school and crashing.  But first, I needed to get some medicine from Walgreens.

When I got home, I took the medicine cocktail that my physician has suggested (benadryl, reglan, and an NSAID) and went to sleep.  I put my phone on airplane mode to make sure that no one from work would interrupt me.

Around 12:15 the house phone rang and woke me up.  I stayed in bed.  It rang again quickly.  I figured that it was my wife and turned on my cell.  Sure enough, she was worried about me.  I called her and told her that everything was okay, that I’d been sleeping with my phone in airplane mode and that I was feeling better.

There are a few things I could have done better in this episode:

  1. I could have called my sponsor or another alcoholic over the weekend.
  2. I could have gone to a meeting on Sunday and gotten things off my chest.
  3. I could have been more honest about where I was at the meeting this morning.
  4. I could have told my wife that I needed to go to breakfast with the group and talked more about what was going on with me instead of soldiering on with what I perceive to be my responsibilities.
  5. I could have let my wife know my intention of going to sleep with the phone on airplane mode.

Hopefully, I’ll remember these things in the future.  For now, I’m happy to be feeling better and I’m thankful that I didn’t take a drink.

10 thoughts on “A Roller Coaster

  1. I promise you, it gets A LOT better… Especially if you do those five things you listed. I went through a panic attack in my first eight months and my sponsor hammered me for not calling him in the middle of it. I waited till the next evening after work. Last time I failed to call over something major. That was 23 years ago. In fact, I still call my sponsor when I get out of sorts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Damien, a power of these blogs is that they speak to us in different ways. This is one of the most powerful posts I’ve read, namely because you are “speaking to me.” And, I continue to be blown away by your self-awareness and introspection. As you know, I’ve been on a roller coaster of sorts myself lately, and it helps me to know that I am not alone. I “get it” with regard to wanting that drink, and candidly my FIL has the exact same effect on me. Thankfully, thus far I’ve learned (if nothing else!!) that the drink will not solve anything. I put up a tweet awhile back about my recovery schedule (meetings) not yet being a priority for my family. I need to change that, mainly by being more open and honest about how important it is to ME. I think I harbor some guilt about (or shame) about needing that. However, I never harbor guilt or shame about eating ice cream! 🙂 I know you have a great support group up there but feel free to reach out directly any time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks HD. Always good to hear from you. Glad my writing helps you but helps me for sure. It’s absolutely important to stay close to our recoveries and to make them a priority. I hear you on the guilt and shame part – strange dichotomy in recovery, we talk a lot about letting go of self-centeredness and ego, but we have to put ourselves (our recovery) first or it all falls apart.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Damien!
    I was on that roller coaster not too long ago, too.
    I had urges that seem to come out of nowhere.
    This sober stuff is hard work!
    I am so glad you didn’t keep it in the dark.
    I hope you are feeling better now!
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s rough, what we refer to as early sobriety that stretches well past the first few months. Oh god do I remember that roller coaster (think I even blogged about it too). You did good. No one is perfect or ever will be. FYI, ice cream is perfectly acceptable self medication. It gets easier, and you’re on the right path.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What an honest take at a tough weekend Damien. I wouldn’t have guessed any of this was going on with you Saturday AM when I saw you. That’s the power of our ability to keep feeling in check. It usually takes me several days (when I’m in those funks) to get honest and tell people. That’s when I start feeling better. It’s like a prescription. But I won’t take the medicine right away. Like you questioned, I don’t really know why either, it just does. You can chalk it up to the generic ‘disease’ card, but more and more I want to stop giving myself excuses, raise my hand when I need help, get the help I need and move on. That is exactly what I’m hearing you do in this post. So…awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man. You probably didn’t see it because things really started to go south Saturday afternoon. I was in a really good mood in the morning, but after getting home things started to pile up and I didn’t do the right things to care for myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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