The Recovery


"I used to have nightmares as a kid. We had a house where the stairway went up and turned down a hallway. You could look from the balcony at the top of the stairs to the bottom. When I was 4 or 5, I had this reoccurring nightmare of waking up and looking over the railing. At the bottom of the stairs, there were monsters waiting for me. I'd fall over and wake up from each nightmare before I reached the bottom. It didn't come to me until a lot later in life that the monster was my father because he always slept on the couch down there. In the meantime, my mother got me a stuffed soldier and the nightmares stopped shortly after that. Maybe she recognized who the monster was. It's hard to say. It was very miserable living with that man."


"For as long as I could remember, my father was an abusive drunk. I knew I never wanted to be like my father. And I succeeded in that respect.  I never was violent or abusive to my family. That compassion in me for those people who have been being hurt was instilled in me as a young child. I've always wanted to help, but alcohol was my liquid courage. That’s exactly what it was in the beginning. It made me drop my inhibitions and I could converse with people. I was a functioning alcoholic. My daughter even said, 'I never knew you were drunk', but that’s because I was drunk all the time."


"My drinking was the cause of my divorce. We worked in the same school district, she as a school teacher and I a janitor. They put me on nights which was a big mistake because by then, I was already an alcoholic. I was drinking on the job and no one ever came to check on me. I ended up breaking my ankle at work one night and had to go to the hospital. I was blowing a 0.3 which is low compared to my other times. It was rather embarrassing for her even if she didn’t admit it. I’m still very much in love with her, but that was her last straw with me and I can't blame her. I wouldn’t want to live with a drunk either. When I relapse, I don’t want to face people. After so many times, I don't know what to say. I can't say that I'm doing great and that I'll do better. It just isn’t going to work for an alcoholic. I cannot promise you I won’t drink again. But every relapse distances me further from my daughters."


"Not that I fear relapsing, but it's always there. Maybe it should always be something that I am afraid of. It keeps me aware and alert of where I am in recovery. What I do fear is losing the love and respect of my daughters. Every time I drink, I get lower and lower and lower. I was tired of disappointing people, tired of disappointing myself.  One of these times, I'm just going to die. Especially if I drink again. The last time I relapsed was the first time I have ever attempted suicide. So, I don't know. I don't know if I have another 'drunk' in me, to tell you the truth. Right now, I feel good about my recovery, but I've felt that way before. It's not a new feeling for me."


"Happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you have."  I read it in a book somewhere, but I've always held onto it. We forget to be grateful for what we have. I have the love of my daughters and grandchildren. I have a place to stay for now. I think the Solution Center holds me accountable and has allowed me to clear my head. Every relapse takes more time for me to recover to normalcy. Having shelter and something to eat is something I'm grateful for. The staff is helping me find housing after my stay here. There are rules if I'm going to stay here that require me to stay sober. I won't come home drunk and always make curfew. And I appreciate the little bit of a social life I have with the guys." 

Casey FrenchComment