Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Can't Blame It On The Bottle

Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better."

Emile Coue (1857-1926) Overcoming Addiction Quote

Day 21

Just a shorty today. I can hear a collective sigh of relief. I just have a few incidences that have happened in the last week in sober world that I want to share with you.

1. I have a burn on my left wrist and I have no idea how it got there. But that’s okay because I know I wasn’t drinking when it happened. When I lived on the sailboat I continuously had bilateral burns about mid-thigh on my legs. In the galley of sailboats you have what are called gimbaled stoves which rock with the motion of the boat so your cooking surface stays level. When we were underway I would have to tether myself to the stove to cook which means I would put a strap around my waist and fasten it to each side of the stove. Unfortunately I usually failed to latch my oven door securely and when the boat would rock to the starboard side the oven door would fly open and hit right at mid-thigh. Ouch! Last summer I woke up one morning and found bilateral burns on the outside of my forearms. I have no idea how they got there. I can’t blame it on the boat because I wasn’t aboard the boat but I can probably blame it on the bottle. I thank my Co-writer every day that no one except me has come to physical harm because of my drinking. I can’t speak to the emotional harm I might have caused.

2. Last Friday I returned from the grocery store to the apartment we are staying at here. I let Stanley, the blind killer bichon, out in the front of the apartment to do his business while I carried in the groceries. I took one load in and put it on the counter and went back outside. Mr. Stan is nowhere to be seen. I look all around the small apartment unit. There are 4 apartments to a unit, 2 up and 2 down. We are on the ground floor. I can’t find him anywhere. “Come on, he’s 17 years old and blind, he just can’t move that fast,” I tell myself. The office is right across from our unit and I go over there and ask them if they have seen my dog. No but the nice lady gets on the walkie-talkie and alerts all the maintenance people that I’m missing my dog. I walk around the complex of about a dozen units, still no Stanley. I get in my car and drive around the neighborhood. Nope, no sign of him. He’s been missing about 30 minutes now and I return to the apartment and something makes me look up. There is my poor little blind dog standing at the door of the apartment above ours. He’d probably been there the whole time. He’s usually so smart about figuring out new places but we’d been in that apartment less than 24 hours. But you know what? The whole time I was frantically searching and repeating fervent prayers to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, the one phrase that kept repeating myself in my head was, “At least I’m not drunk.”

3. The cap’n and I went and explored the Carlsbad Caverns last weekend. It was a beautiful, fun day without a hangover in sight. I wasn’t shaky or anxious and managed to walk about a gazillion miles. I laughed and got goofy without the benefit of a drink. My emotions are still a little bit wonky and I found myself welling up when the ranger started talking about the efforts they are making to preserve the caves. Yep, that was a real hanky moment. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I toured anything without just tolerating it and waiting for it to be over so I could get a drink or being drunk while touring. I have to be a witness to the fact that it was a lot more fun sober. I’ll admit that a cold beer sure sounded good when it was over but oh well. Tonight we’re going out to watch the bats fly out of the cave at dusk. I’m sure a glass of wine will sound good but oh well.

So today I’m just out there doing my best to find other places to lay blame and keep myself from going completely batty.

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