You need to start a blog!
If I have been told once I have been told a thousand times.
So I have succumbed to pressure and today is the day I start. My plan is to blog every two weeks on Monday for a year.
What should I blog? I said to myself.
I know a little about a lot but the one thing I know best is my story and the way my story can help people is to narrate and describe my final day of active alcoholism and my journey into and through recovery.
My idea is to describe my personal journey and what I have done to maintain my recovery. It should be stressed here this is my story and my experience. Personally I believe there are many ways to get and stay sober. You can go at it alone, you can seek counsel from therapists, priests, Alcoholics Anonymous, twelve step-programs, Native American Sweat Lodges, Church, meditation, prayer, etc., etc.
Truthfully I used everything above. I believe it is a mixture of proven successful strategies that have gotten me to 18 years of sobriety and this amazing life I have today.
When you boil it all down, I firmly believe the key to a successful recovery, which never ends until the day you die is: Change. And it is that simple. How you go about that change and continue on the change path is a very difficult feat indeed.
My blog will take you through those early days of recovery, the steps and a brief glimpse of my journey.
I do not know if this blog will be read by anybody or help for that matter but in the end I do know that it will be extremely helpful to me. Some of the blog will be taken directly from my book that I wrote with my co-author, The Painting and The Piano, and I will bring in articles that I think can be helpful as well.
Off we go!
The morning of January 5th starts much the same as the days before. I wake up on my couch. A nest of empty beer cans surrounds me. The ashtray is full to overflowing. It’s cold inside the house. Just to get my mind and shivering, shaking body moving toward some sense of equilibrium I drink a beer, wretch, then drink two more.
I don’t know why I said I would go to this damn appointment.
I respect her. So I suppose that’s enough to get up off the couch, pull on my coat and drag myself out into air that is so cold, it hurts my face. I toss three beers into my dented and rust-spotted red truck. In the bed are tools for installing the DogWatch hidden dog fences I sell.
Two beers are for the ride there and one for the ride back with a stop for a couple more cases and maybe some wine, or better yet, vodka, in honor of Mom.
The engine is slow to turn over. In the foot-well of the passenger seat is a pile of beer cans, half crushed, and tossed aside. The ashtray is overflowing. I wind the window down and dump it out on the side of my street as I pull away.
I open a beer and take a long sip, then set it between my thighs. The heat starts to blow through the vents, but my body can’t stop shaking. I take another pull from the beer.
Edgewood, the rehabilitation center where Mrs. Godfrey set up the appointment, isn’t far. Twenty minutes on a normal day, but in the cold and fearful of speeding, I take an extra five minutes to get there.
The tools in the bed rattle as I pull into the parking area. I step out of the truck and kill the last of the second beer, crumple the can, and toss it into the truck. It lands next to the last full beer.
Heat blows from a vent as I walk through the automatic doors into the building. Then there is noise. I look into a large room near the entrance and some twenty to thirty people are laughing, hugging, smiling, and talking loudly to be heard above the din.
I have no idea what the hell this is.
There’s a bathroom a few feet away. I duck into it and splash warm water over my face. Looking into the mirror, I don’t recognize the man with black eyes looking back at me. He’s bloated, shaking, sweaty, and his skin and the whites of his eyes are sallow, jaundiced. My breath is stale and smells of beer and cigarettes.
I shake my hands off in the sink. This is horrible, I say to myself. I want out. My body already needs more alcohol. The pain of that need is sharp, and aches into my chest and bones.
I walk down the hall to where a large sign says INTAKE. There is a window and a woman opens the glass.
I’m Johnny Lipscomb. I have an appointment.
Take a seat.
To Be Continued