Sunday, September 21, 2008

Constantly Vigilant

The phone rang early this morning.
Instantly I thought of dearest one's brother.
I wonder how many years he has to be gone before I'll stop equating early morning phone calls with him and his drinking.

One week from today we'll be at only daughter's graduation
and then I'll be on a plane that will take me halfway across the country.
I'll be visiting old friends - one of them the friend I had my first drink with.
I talked with her yesterday and confirmed that there is an AA meeting two doors down from her house on Friday nights. I jokingly told her I'd tell them she was the person who introduced me to drinking. Next I told her they'd tell me what bullshit it was to try and pin my drinking on her. We laughed. It will be good to see her. She's the only one in my life who knows me from the beginning of my drinking to my present recovery.

I doubt I'll ever forget that first drinking episode. My half of the mickey was gone in about 15 minutes. I had no idea what was normal or abnormal. I just liked how that whiskey made me feel.

I doubt I'll forget my last drink, either. Youngest son was a newborn and we were celebrating dearest one's birthday. He was sitting on one end of the couch and I on the other. I remember how panicked I felt when I had my drink done before he had taken a sip of his. Wondering what I was going to say if he noticed. I don't remember what conversation we had about it but I do remember he poured the rest of the whiskey down the drain.

In between that first and last drink is the rest of the story
which doesn't need to be told.
I can say I am grateful for both the first and last drink though.
Without them I would not know what recovery was.
And today I am one grateful recovering alcoholic.

Last summer when I went to rehab my long time friend wrote me a poem:
"Some friends are like poetry,
multifaceted and fluid
sometimes precise and staid
but constantly vigilant
like liquid words in perpetual motion.
These are the sides of you, my friend -
all of which I cherish.
Recall your growth &
rejoice in change and challenge.
Embrace your journey.
Discover your peace."