“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels.
We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.”
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
I spent nine years in Binghamton, NY, building a solid recovery program and ‘practicing those principles in all our affairs’. My sponsor and I talked, I went to meetings and I did service work on a regular basis. Then I made a decision to move and my world slowly crumbled away until nothing was left.
We hear in meetings all the time one must be vigilant in attending meetings, speaking with your sponsor, working the steps and doing service work. All three are essential parts of any recovery program. Meetings, at the least, were a reminder of where I could be if I didn’t follow the guidelines of the programs nor the suggestions given to me by others.
When I moved something in me changed. For a while I lived life on life’s terms. But after a while I allowed my pride to get in the way of my sobriety. I had convinced myself, “I have my addiction licked . . .” In addition, I watched my connection to my Higher Power slowly fade away. No longer did I trust in ‘gut instincts’ I had previously recognized as my Higher Power. Instead I made rash decisions based on my emotions. First thought, wrong thought.
As months went by I became a miserable human being. I wasn’t satisfied by anyone or anything; I wanted things run my way. The though of drinking crept in time to time but I held it at bay. One day after work I just said, “F**k it” stopping at a gas station getting a six pack of Budweiser.
I knew where I was going and where I would end up. But I didn’t care. I had given up.
For the next four months, I went from drinking two beers a night to an eighteen pack. It was only a few nights I got drunk. It was as if I hadn’t quit drinking for the last ten years; I just couldn’t get the desired inebriation at all. Did I care? Nope, I just kept drinking.
I became severely depressed. Most of the time the only light in my room was that of the TV which I used as a computer screen. I only slept a couple hours a night. Weekends I would sleep twelve or more hours out of pure exhaustion from not getting enough sleep during the week. I would eat maybe every other day if that. With the amount of beer I was drinking, I wasn’t hungry at all. Instead of getting a refill on necessary medications I desired my alcohol. Either before work or most times after work I would be at one of two stores getting my daily dose of alcohol for the night.
My relapse lasted for a couple of months. One day I woke up doing what I needed to do to get my life back. A week later, I was picked up and taken to an inpatient rehabilitation program. So now I start my life over again. But what is different this time is I’ve learned from my lessons of the past. Therefore taking more effort to not repeat the mistakes of my past.