“I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year.
All of the faces and all of the places,
wonderin’ where they all disappeared.
I didn’t ponder the question too long;
I was hungry and went out for a bite.
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum,
and we wound up drinkin’ all night.”
Ok, all but the last bit, but the song just doesn’t sound right without it. This past weekend was spent sick in bed with plenty of time to read, dawdle, and think back to this time last year. One year ago, a week of sobriety had been survived and I hadn’t died quite yet. My therapist made sure I was always close to a hospital while waiting to get into the 14 day outpatient program. One year ago was three days into the program, soaking up all of the learning, comparing myself to everyone else in the program, thankful that it filled up so many hours of the day. But the sharing of stories hadn’t started quite yet and I was still burdened by the dark secret that I had done things that no one would ever believe, that the depths of my desperation were unimaginable.
When those stories started to be shared, for once I found a kinship with others who shared that silent suffering. Sharing my story, with all of its horrible secrets, and looking up to see a circle of women nodding, smiling, and giggling in understanding was the first taste of freedom. Letting those secrets out into the world, slowly realizing that I am not uniquely alone in this disease, and that the shared burden could possibly be lifted, allowed me a peek at the possibilities of recovery ahead. All of those faces from all of those places … how are they faring today?
“It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”
All of those years running towards and running away are certainly not missed. The pressure to maintain appearances and cunning ways to keep the disease alive no longer consume me.
The stories shared openly here in the sober blogosphere remind me that if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane. Your stories are a big part of my continued sobriety today.