I Don't Drink and Drive
Condemning all those drunks for driving, I patted myself on the back as I closed the car door, knowing I'd only drank a pint, and walked into the liquor store. I would never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while I was holding a drink! What a bunch of idiots!
This is truly how I felt -- I really believed that it was "all those drunks" that drank and drove, and somehow I excluded myself from that circle. I had prided myself in being "sober" everywhere I went. I only had the "sample" shots in the mini bottles. Or half a pint; no make that one. Or it was on a full stomach, so it won't affect me for another ten minutes; that's plenty of time to drive forty minutes away.
As I sobered up, I began to realize how seriously messed up I was. I had not only raced down the subdivision streets, but I had also driven hundreds of miles in a drunken stupor, blacking out before getting home. I didn't know how I got there, only that I did.
At the time, my job required me to be available on the weekends. At one such point, I had to make a delivery to a place over an hour away. My wife was too drunk to stay home -- why? well, because she might... sleep? -- hell, I don't know, but I insistently asked her to come along, so she finally gave in and went. And then she immediately passed out. Party pooper.
I was pissed. Not so much because she was passed out, but because I couldn't be! This wouldn't do, so I stopped off at a liquor store, grabbed a pint and a soda, poured it into a mug, and I was good to go.
After making my delivery, surely reeking of vodka, I headed back home -- my wife still passed out. Again, that was unfair! So I stopped off and grabbed a fifth, but this time, proceeded to drink straight out of the bottle. I have no idea how I got home, but I do remember throwing the empty bottle out the window at one point. What happened after that was -- well, I don't know... I blacked out.
Sadly, this happened on several occasions, and even hundreds of miles away, or at very high speeds. I have absolutely no idea how I didn't get caught or wreck and die, but thank God I never hit or killed anyone.
I was lucky. Or God was watching me. Take your pick, something greater than me was at work, I don't care what the name or position is -- I should have destroyed the lives of people, but it never happened, and that wasn't my doing. My doing was hellbent on destruction; I simply didn't care, or couldn't care, about anyone else. It was me and the liquor. That's all I gave a shit about.
But today, it isn't like that anymore. Through persistence and a belief that The Steps can help me sober up, I have a new life. When I hear about a drunk driver who's lost her kids due to her mistakes, I think, "Wow. This poor woman has such a problem and she can't quit." I can feel for her, I can relate to the inability to stop no matter the cost. I have compassion and understanding that most normies simply cannot relate to -- I know I certainly couldn't at the time, even as a drunk-not-in-the-circle. I can now see that I was indeed in the circle of "all those drunks."
It's because of the many paths that I took that I am where I am today. From the initial recovery center, to my counseling, to the Native American meetings, to Y12SR, to Meditation and the Buddhist Sangha's and retreats, to AA. Every single one of them has somehow empowered me to choose to live. They've taught me to make a daily choice, how to live in the moment, and how to be grateful.
I am grateful for my many, wide paths.