I admit I have been doing more than my fair share of reflection since I received a frightening konk on my head last week. “Hey, please pass the compassion?” And what I mean by “reflection” is “thinking and thinking over and over” about how the heck this freak chain reaction happened. Not only where the chain reaction started in my home, but in the emergency room and later at the drug store too. The spot in my mind where I find myself stop as I once more go back to observe the falling dominoes, is when I was slowly and carefully walking to the entrance of the CVS drugstore. It is the thoughts that I had during those few moments that I completely stop and reflect. I distinctly remember my thoughts uncontrollably flying through me at that moment. . . .
While I was slowly getting out of my car, I took a quick look at myself in my rear-view mirror to access my “brain damage” and saw the nasty gash and the blood still in my hair. The memory of the unpleasant experience in the emergency room still lingering as the resentment grew. I felt light-headed and stunned. As I proceeded to the doors of the drug store, I felt as if I was carefully walking the plank on an old pirate ship. I looked down, trying to keep my balance as I watched the sharks circle below me and noticed one of them was grinning. I am a strong swimmer I thought, but the blood in my hair and the gash on my forehead will attract the sharks to me in an instant. Just before I was about to safely grab onto the door handle to the drug store entrance – I began to fantasize what my drink of choice would be – if I was still drinking just what would I want? This pirate ship I was on was reeking of a strong good brandy. The familiar odor heading towards my throbbing brain as if a small sharp knife had just been expertly thrown at me with a great spinning force and perfect aim. Would I like to have a slug of a pirate’s fine brandy? Yes? No? I felt so tired, resentful and lonely plus anger was coming on. I still have not had my morning coffee. So I decided, if I could have a drink, I would like to order a big cup of good fresh coffee with 2 shots of Baily’s Irish Cream and 2 shots of the pirate’s brandy. That’s it! That would be perfect. So, so, perfect. If I could, I would like that drink! I can feel it now. Lovely. Relaxing. Hot. Soothing. Filling the loneliness. My perfect escape to the safety of my own dry land. The plank magically elongated as I kept my balance. I did not fall into the shark infested waters. As I safely stepped off of the plank and into the drug store, I had to squint my throbbing eyes to protect them from the glaring flourescent lighting. Back to reality. Lonely and literally painful reality. One thing I have come to notice through my continued sober years, is that I rarely do get lonely now. But loneliness and drinking and drunkenness used to go hand in hand with me. I remember that was the old me. It took a long time to realize I was trying to fill a void. Plus I have an allergy of the body and obsession of the mind and it took me a long time to learn just why I chose to drink. The 23 years since my last drink is not what keeps me alcohol free today – what I do today is what keeps me free of that first drink – not what I did yesterday. Yes, I was a drinking alcoholic many years ago – but it is today and every day that I am still an alcoholic – but a sober alcoholic. A free alcoholic. This allergy to alcohol that I have in my body will not go away, ever. But with daily work, guidance, willingness and honesty, it is possible to be free of the obsession and free of negative thoughts most of the time. Thank God I understand AND accept that alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body and spirit. And in that moment, alone on the plank, somehow I had separated myself from my mind and my body. Luckily though, I had just enough of a glimmer of a spirit left in me, some where, some how, to take care of myself no matter what. I returned home safe and sober where Grace the magic, sweet, joyful kitten was waiting for me with the loudest purring on earth. I got to clean up and start that day over, at least to the best of my ability, even with a throbbing brain and sad tired spirit. The only difference was that I had two butterfly band-aids on my forehead. I will heal. I will continue to heal in all areas. I was a lucky wench early in the morning when a freak chain reaction momentarily landed my soul upon the plank on that pirate ship. But I kept my balance one more time. Thank you God, for with you, I have a chance, and with you, I am never ever really alone am I?