Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Staying Cyber

Most of our brothers in Alcoholics Anonymous tell our fellows to stay sober. That means, keep away from drinking alcohol ever again. Not even a single drop of alcohol is allowed. We are just one droplet away from becoming an alcoholic again.

This is how an addict mind works. A single sip is all it takes to go back to the road of addiction. No matter how fully recovered an addict is, if I take a single shot, the alcoholic wirings built into my brain reconnect and become active again just like when a dormant volcano suddenly erupts.

I remember when I was a teen, I started with one bottle of beer. I cannot even finish one bottle. If I did, I became drowsy and drunk. As I grew older, I noticed I can consume more and more bottles. 10 bottles is never enough in one session. I can go on and on drinking until the wee hours in the morning. One New Year celebration, we continuously gulped beer for more than 24 hours.

It is never exciting anymore. The next day, I am usually bedridden because of hang-over. I have told my boss canned excuses not to work the next day because of hang-over. I attribute losing a high-paying job two years ago to drinking alcohol over my limits. My countless fights with my wife (I actually separated from my family several times in the past), were the results of my drinking habits. I have no peace at home and with myself.

Until one day, I realized I have nothing anymore. I have no work. No family. No wife. I have no money to pay the bills. Legal actions for the unpaid bills and the home mortgage came next. All I have is my car. All because of my addiction. I have to put my life in order. I have to live again. I need to put my life back.

That was the time I went to counseling because of depression. I met my kind and very accommodating counselor and I admitted to her everything. I need help. I cannot help myself. I need God in my life. She referred me to Alcoholics Anonymous. At first, I was in denial. But I had no choice. My life was rockbottom. I remember the priest who gave me regular confessions. He told me that he will administer confessions to me with one condition, that I attend my meetings with the Alcoholic Anonymous. I was forced to attend. I was reluctant because I was afraid. What if I knew someone there. Two months after, I am now relatively sober. Never tasted alcohol for a while.

My wife is a big help. BTW we got together just this January. I spent Christmas and New Year with my parents. My wife guards me like a leech. She understood what I am undergoing right now in my path to recovery. Every addict has the tendency to crave once in a while. Evey time I crave, she gives me an orange juice with a taste resembling that of a wine. It removes the crave and I can survive for a day.

In the serenity prayer, alcoholics live one day at a time. Don't think about tomorrow or next month or this year. If you do, it will overwhelm you. Focus just today. That you will not drink or give in to your addiction. If you achieve that objective, congratulate yourself. When tomorrow comes, again tell yourself to live one day at a time. I do that and it works for me.

I have discovered this site stayingcyber.org. They hold meetings online. I have registered and joined the group too. If you are an alcoholic and hesitant to do a face-to-face meeting, this is the way to go.