25 years ago today, I picked myself from the fetal-position heap I was in on the middle of my bed and made a decision not to kill myself. Or maybe it was the fleas that made me move. Whatever it was that propelled me, I moved from that spot and drove myself to a “meeting,” where I suspected there would be no fleas and knew my friends Carol and Alvin would be. They were annoying, those two. They kept coming around and lurking quietly and asking questions like, “are you done yet?” They always seemed to appear when I was experiencing a dreadful hangover. How did they bloody always seem to know?! Perhaps it was because if I wasn’t drunk, I was experiencing a dreadful hangover. Duh. In hindsight it is painfully obvious, but at the time, I thought that despite being irritating, they were kind of brilliant.
I went to that first meeting imagining my life at 26 years old was over. No more “fun” times. No more excitement. I LOL’d as I wrote that because as I know now, there was NO FUN for me the way I was destroying myself with drugs and alcohol for many years in my then short life. I shuffled in the door breathless, dead inside, surrendering to whatever penance I would have to endure because it was that or I would have to sprout a pair of balls and figure out how to kill myself. It was all over for me either way. Little did I know it was the beginning of a sparkling, fabulous, crazy, twisted adventure — my first wobbly steps on the journey of recovery, also known as the foreign concept called sobriety.
So, wasn’t I stunned to see all these cheery faces greeting me and hugging me. WTF!? How can you people be so f’ing happy about this? Doesn’t your life suck without drugs and alcohol? Carol and Alvin were there, and to my shock and horror, so were quite a few other folks I knew. I was a bartender at a popular local joint and I saw some faces I hadn’t seen hanging around the bar lately. Hmmmm. Moment of panic when I considered there was some kind of conspiracy. ha ha ha . . .