Part 3 of a 4 part story wherein our heroin bumbles through a dark tunnel.
The intake meeting ended with these take aways:
- 3 nights a week at the medical health center plus 12 step meetings meant that my social life was pretty much wiped out for 1/4 of a year. During the holidays.
- This was better than the possibility that seemed to be considered to just send me straight to the hospital for detox.
- The counselor got all show offy with the office staff and had them rearrange the schedule of the medical doctor on staff so she could see me tomorrow. (bad judgment call on my end it turns out, my health was honestly at risk)
- Paperwork and specific directions to get to the hospital immediately if the shaking intensified. The fear of seizures was real. Alcohol detox is the one type of detox that can actually result in death. Great, as if not drinking wasn’t awful enough. Now the risk of death enters the picture.
At home, I finally had the talk with my husband. Told him about needing to quit, about the recovery plan, about the schedule, about the possibility of seizures. Cried over being so lost, hurting the family. Cried out of fear. Lots and lots of fear. Looked at the paperwork and what to watch out for regarding seizures. His mom went through recovery when he was a young teen and he had a much better idea than I did about what was to come. In my mind, this whole thing was still completely overblown. Alcohol was just that tiny, itty bitty splinter. Once removed, life would be glorious because I had set it all up that way.
Woke up at 2am shaking. Withdrawals. Woke up again at 5am shaking.Withdrawals. Went to work shaking. Couldn’t think. Didn’t know what to do with myself. Withdrawals. 90% of my brain is trying to figure out how to hold it together leaving not nearly enough to breathe, walk, and work. Went home and didn’t know what to do. Hour by hour I told myself. Hour?! 10 minutes by 10 minutes was still too long. Went to the appointment with the medical doctor. Put my hands out so she could judge how much they were shaking. It was crazy. She smiled but couldn’t find anything polite to say like “its not too bad,” because the shaking was ridiculous. More plans, some type of prescriptions. Drove home and ten-minuted it through about 40 minutes. No way I could figure out what to do with myself all evening. So, I jumped in the car and drove back to the medical center to join the recovery group 4 days early.
Now we’re entering totally new territory. Group therapy, heck any type of therapy, was completely new to me. A nice group of people sat in a circle and talked about stuff, more stuff, making plans for attending events sober, and other stuff. What in the world? No one was talking about surviving the craziness in my head. How to get through the next 10 minutes. How to fill that time spent drinking. All of it. As it crept by. Slowly. But group filled time so it was useful.
Attending a 12 step meeting was the next order of business. I got a list of places and times for the next town over and staked them out. Visiting a meeting of AA with all of those pathetic alcoholics was going to be the most shameful part of this whole thing. I mean, really. Sitting for an hour with people who were losers of the greatest magnitude was a miserable idea. But I went. Turns out, they were everyday people you’d meet at the store or business venture. They were well spoken, thoughtful, and funny. Funny! Listening to them talk, an “aha” moment occurred – we spoke the same language. We had the same story. It was my first glimpse of what was possible.
Next: part 4 of 4 wherein our heroin shares her cleverest, most hidden secrets and finds an unexpected reaction.
It is my hope that by sharing my story, others can find strength and hope to find a way to overcome their obstacles, alcohol or otherwise.