Thursday, January 1, 2009

Angels I Don't See PART II

PART I here

Any recovering alcoholic who has suffered the agony of a relapse can testify to the fact that the disease picks up right where it left off…and then some. Basically, what happens when an alcoholic relapses is that they resume right where they ended with their last drink, no matter how much sobriety they have under their belt. If, let’s say, an alcoholic was drinking a half gallon of vodka a day before they entered recovery, they will quickly find themselves drinking a half gallon and more if they relapse.

I sipped my first scotch on the rocks in my hotel room. But soon, overwhelmed by guilt and shame, I began to chug. I needed to blot out my pain. And within minutes, the liter of scotch was gone.

Desperate, I took a cab from my hotel to a bar. It was around five in the afternoon and the bar was empty. I actually preferred it empty. It meant I had the bartender to exclusively do my bidding. It also meant that I could get sufficiently buzzed before a crowd showed up. The problem was, the crowd and the buzz could not get there fast enough. And even though the bartender was quick to replenish my drink, he was not quick enough.

I grew increasingly irritated and left within a half hour. If I was going to drink, I was going to drink Jon-Marc style, and the only way to do that was to make the drinks myself. So I went across the street to the liquor store and bought a half gallon of vodka, caught a cab and went back to my room.

The last memory I have that night was standing at the window in my hotel room, looking over the New York skyline, thinking to myself that my drinking was going to snap Ric back into reality. Surely he would see that his bizarre behavior was driving me back to the bottle. And since he has my best interests at heart, he would immediately begin again the process of trying to get well. The alcoholic is notorious for drinking at other people.

The next morning, on my way back to the loft, I picked up another half gallon of vodka. I was looking forward to a day of uninterrupted drinking. Ric was supposed to be working that day and I had quite a few hours to drink as much as I wanted.

My plan was shot to hell the minute I walked in my loft and saw Ric sitting there in his robe watching TV.

“Why are you not at work?!?!?” I screeched.

“I called in. I don’t feel well”

“What the hell do you mean you don’t ‘feel well’?”

“I don’t feel like going to work”

“You don’t feel like going to work!?!?!? You don’t feel like going to work?!?!? We need to get you to a doctor and quick! This is getting out of control!”

“Would you just shut up and drink! I have no desire to listen to some drunk tell me I need to get help”

My plan of snapping Ric back to reality was not going so well. In fact, it was having the opposite effect. Instead of prompting him, my drinking emboldened him to continue his own slide into oblivion.

And, like a good, subservient spouse I submitted to his demand and poured a stiff drink of vodka with a splash of ginger ale.

I cannot blame my decision to pick up on any one but myself. But I do know that my frustration with his lack of concern for his condition was at the tipping point. I could not, for the life of me, understand why my husband was willingly ignoring his health despite all the evidence that there was a problem.

For ten straight days and nights I drank. I simply could not deal with the reality that was our life. Specifically, I could not deal with the fact that no one could figure out what was wrong with my husband. The most grueling thing about watching him go through this ordeal was not knowing what it was we were dealing with. No one knew…

or so I thought.

Part III of
Angels I Don't See here

Psst, the clue is in the title

1 comment:

when's the book coming out? said...

i know these things are so hard for you right now, and if the title means what i think it means i cannot imagine the pain.

but it makes for really good reading. i hope you don't let up on your sobriety or your writing. there is something big in store for you. i have no doubt about that.

stay strong and know that there are people out there cheering for you even though we don't know you.

i wish you peace this new year.

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