Sometimes, even after many years of sobriety, it's still about not drinking a day at a time. Tonight was one of them.
I spent the afternoon climbing onto everyone else’s merry-go-rounds, one right after another. People I care about very much. People I used to lean on. People I still lean on from time to time. Some drowning in tragedies of their own making; some just caught in tragic circumstances. I was drawn to their darkness, and I dove right in after them. Under the guise of “being of service,” of course.
I had just gone to a meeting and met with a sponsee. I had an errand to run in East Atlanta Village. It was beautiful out, and every single restaurant patio was bursting with people having a great time. The store I needed was closed. I had money.
And then I wanted to drink. I wanted … what, exactly? Companionship? A good buzz? The attention I would get if I picked up another white chip? I don’t even know. I just know I wanted to drink.
So I drove home, passing one food mart after another. Wondering what it would feel like just to pull in to one of them. Or maybe go in and just look. Or just buy. Or sit in the parking lot and call someone in recovery, holding a bottle.
But I did none of those things. I just kept driving. And when I got home, I called my sponsor, and I forced myself to tell the answering machine that I wasn’t okay.
My sponsor called a few minutes later. He told me I made the right choice, and he gave me specific instructions: I was not to leave the house. I was not to drink. He made me repeat it.
I watched Rockford Files and then I went to sleep.
This post would have been a lot more dramatic, a lot more interesting, if I had taken a drink. Am I glad I didn’t? Honestly, right now I don’t quite know. But I do know that in the morning I’ll still have the choice of whether or not to drink. And for that, I’m very, very grateful.