I’m cured!

Hey gang! Got some great news from an expert in alcoholism the other day. I’m cured! Yep, I have put in enough time and work that I can now officially have a drink or two a week with no problem. Isn’t that great news? Not sure what to have first because it’s been so long. Plus if I can only have a couple each week, I definitely don’t want to waste my chances. 

It’s been pretty warm lately so maybe I’ll have a nice cold PBR after work. 

Wait, I know! It’s time for some sailing so maybe a delicious rum drink. Not too strong of course because I have to be careful. 

No! I was at dinner the other night and a guy at the table next to me ordered a Dewars on the rocks. One of my favorites! Heck, it was the same night I got my good news so that would make sense. I’ll wait until Friday of course. That way I won’t become an alcoholic again. Perfect!

It feels so good to be cured. It was a real battle. Today is 17 months sober. There are Old Timers at the clubhouse that have 30 and 40+ years of sobriety and still aren’t cured. I can’t imagine having to go on being sick that long. 

One of my buddies at work had his wife leave him. Wanted me to have a beer with him. Now I can! If I accidentally have three drinks this week, I’ll only have one next week to make sure things stay balanced. And definitely only on Friday or Saturday. No school days! 

There is also a wine tasting at a charity dinner I’m attending. It’s on a Thursday but I’m sure they won’t be pouring giant glasses of wine and since it’s for charity and I don’t want to be rude I’ll just have zero drinks the following week.

Wednesday night is race night! Almost forgot! I told the guys on the boat once I was cured, I would have a beer with them. They are going to be so happy that I’m all better. One beer with the crew won’t hurt. I know it’s Wednesday but is a special occasion so just this once, I’ll bend the rules. No drinks for two weeks after that because I can quit anytime I want. 

Shit. Tuesday we are doing a cookout for work. Some of the guys don’t know that I was sick. Don’t want them to freak out or ruin the party. I’ll do a quick shot and a beer then be done for sure. 

Oops. Forgot that my favorite restaurant is having my favorite special Monday night. One that goes perfectly with a custom made margarita! This week is just an anomaly. It’s just the first week I’ve been cured so after this week passes, I’ll just take it easy for a few weeks. See??? It’s all planned out so no problem. Good thing I talked this out with you guys! Without proper planning and discipline, I could get sick again and I don’t think any of us want that. 

Right…

Cured. Wouldn’t that be terrific? See how insidious this condition is? See how the alcoholic brain works against everything we work toward? My brain is trying to trick me into thinking the very poison that almost killed me is actually much needed medicine. It’s exhausting. Funny how rarely I’ve thought about drinking these past 17 months. The Old Timers told me it would come and it did. They seem to be right far more often than not. Thankfully they warned me. 

There are warning signs for relapse. My friend Scott started a small group that would meet after the Saturday morning men’s meeting. The “extra credit” meetings I’ve written about. He was also kind enough to spend some one on one time with me. Showed me a relapse prevention program. Not sure I would have fallen off the wagon without it or not but I am so thankful that I didn’t have to find out. 

Humans are not robots. We wear down and that’s exactly what’s happening. I’m tired. Work is incredibly stressful. The annual summertime invasion of our little town is in full swing and the out-of-towers seem a bit more dickish than normal.  My one day off each week is Sunday and lately they have been partially off or nasty weather so no sailing. Right now it’s easier to retaliate against a shitty person as opposed to trying to remember that they are fighting their own fight. That’s not fair to them and it’s a warning sign. My stupid brain is “adjusting” itself to the old way. “Don’t worry, Derek. You are better now. That person continues to treat you shitty? Fuck ’em. Let them have it. They deserve it.”

Not cured. Better but not the best. When will this epic bitch-fest end…

It ends now. I have to give up to win again. Get back to meetings. I need them and that’s ok. It’s not weak or shameful to go to AA and it helps. I’m a much better person in general when I make more meetings.

I’m going to write notes of gratitude and stick them on my fridge, computer screen, steering wheel and forehead. (for when I’m drying my hair)

I’m going to reach out to people to say thank you.

I’m gong to reach out to people and apologize.

I’m not going to drink.

Things are going better than they have in years and I’m whining. Warning sign if I ever saw one.

So today, I start with you beautiful people. Thank you for the countless messages of support. You help me make it through some incredibly challenging times.

My apologies for the bitching. Writing that stuff down helped me figure out what I need to do to get back on track.

There you go. That’s what’s rattling around in my squirrel cage of a brain. 

Stay sturdy.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Robert Bosch says:

    Great post Derek! Your writing skills are still intact I figured you must have taken a sabbatical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Derek Chowen says:

      I’m still here, sir! I’m afraid you are stuck with me for the long haul! 🙂

      Like

  2. V.J. Knutson says:

    You really captured the insidious nature of alcoholism. My husband is at this point – thinks he has proven to himself that he can go without, so one or two here or there won’t hurt. When I started reading your post I caught myself holding my breath – I fear so much that he will return to old habits. Thank you for writing. Your clarity and insights are helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Derek Chowen says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting, V.J. This disease truly is insidious. I know for sure that I can’t go back. There are definitely days I resent not being able to taste my old favorites but the price is just too high. I will keep my fingers crossed that your husband stays the course and doesn’t slip back. Hang in there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. V.J. Knutson says:

        Thanks – you too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bgddyjim says:

    And thus, you explain why every “expert” in alcoholism should be a recovering person. Normal people just don’t get how we ex-drunks work. At 17 months the clouds haven’t even parted yet, but they will soon enough (5 years-ish). They just don’t understand how dangerous drinking is to us because they don’t think like us, thus the “You’re cured” diagnosis.

    Please be sure to show this post to that expert.

    We are cured in a way, though. We are cured enough to continue living a productive, sober, abstinent life. Nothing more, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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