Friday, April 6, 2012

Coming Clean: Part II...finally

It is the hour to rend thy chains,
The blossom time of souls. ~Katherine Lee Bates

Day 216 of Sobriety

So here is what happened.  The day before my birthday, the cap'n and I were sitting in a little courtyard restaurant in Merida for lunch.  Because I wanted to celebrate I ordered a daquiri limon sin alcohol con ron seperado. In other words in English, I ordered a daquiri without alcohol but asked the waiter to go ahead and serve the rum separate on the side.  I did this because they are going to charge me the same with or without rum and someone at the table will always drink that shot of rum. (Yes, it's usually the cap'n and yes, I know how to spell E-N-A-B-L-E-R).  Anyway, the drink came and I did what I usually do, I sniffed the drink. I've ordered a daquiri in this same manner before and the waiters or bartender, who just can't comprendo why someone would want a daquiri without alcohol, have still delivered to me a benign looking frosty drink loaded with enough rum to make my eyes water. In the past, I have always promptly returned these drinks back to the bartender and ordered a Coke-lite.  This time the sniff test had a negative result.

But when I tasted the drink, it tasted...uh, funny.  It didn't taste like rum but it didn't taste like a straight lemonade (which is what I should have ordered) either.  Was it possible, after all my safeguards, the bartender had still snuck in a little hooch? The feeling of elation that swept through me was intense, and I'm not exaggerating.  In a blink of an eye, I rationalized that I had done my part and, if this drink happened to have alcohol in it, I was absolved of any wrongdoing. And it was my birthday. And I was turning 50.  And that was special enough for a little transgression.  And no one would know.  And, after all, I had done my part.  And maybe I would just allow myself this one day to drink.

And instead of sending that drink back, I gulped it down and motioned for the waiter to bring me another.

Alas, the drinks had no alcohol in them and the only buzz I got was a sugar buzz and as we walked back to our hotel I had that sluggish, indolent feeling that too much food and sun gives you.  But those two bogus drinks had lit a fuse in my brain and I had all but made up my mind to give myself a  special 50th birthday gift.  I was going to let myself drink.  Just a glass of wine, okay maybe two.  Just for that one day.  

 I know. I know.  Cringe!

We got to our room at the hotel and I turned the key in the lock.


Our friends, Barbara and Jack, had driven up to share my birthday with me. 

Poof! There went the insidious birthday present I had planned for myself.  Because, while I knew the cap'n wouldn't support me in my plan to allow myself to drink, he wouldn't tell on me. He'd keep my secret.  But all my plans and schemes were now laid to ruin because my friends had showed up and I have too much pride to let them see me throw away everything I had worked for and they had supported me through. And they would tell everybody else.

Thank you, God!

That cliff is still right in front of me.  I'm not standing at the edge looking over anymore but I'm just a hop and a skip away.  I need to keep backing up. 

This week I am laboring to dig my well of compassion for others a little deeper, I still suffer the sin of condescension and I know when I get to thinking of myself being above others' transgressions my Co-worker is fixin' to give me a smack-down.  I need to remind myself that when I was considering that duplicitous birthday gift, I knew very well that booze isn't a gift that keeps on giving, instead it keeps on taking and taking and taking...and you never know what it's going to leave you with.

So today I'm just out there doing my best to keep on digging and backing up.


  1. I believe that an "almost" accident can be a big blessing. How many times have I been careless and almost had a car accident--that terrible breathless heart-pounding moment. For weeks maybe months after some part of my brain remembers that and I think I'm more careful behind the wheel.

    Just take a deep breath and let this be your almost. Nothing bad happened, but you were given a great gift--a glimpse into how fragile your new sobriety still is in spots. Take your new knowledge and let it help you find ways to strengthen your course. I know that you don't want to do AA, but hopefully you can find something that will help... or perhaps more time will do the trick on it's own. What the hell do I know? ha!

    And about the judgmental stuff--yeah, well me too. It's pretty close to the top of my list of character defects I just assembled for my step six. Sheesh...and it's a LONG list. haha!

    you're doing great, Kary. You're an inspiration to me, my friend.

  2. Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod! No! No! Don't let it twist your brain up and away into that place of addiction. It's a drug! We don't need it! Jeepers I feel freaked out. Phew, thank goodness for your friends. xxxx

  3. Unfreak! I don't know if I really would have gone through with it but it was a good wake-up call. I was getting too complacent but I'm feeling strong now.

  4. Just found your blog Kary May, I love it. I also think we may have the same heads, thought wise!!!

    I am still receiving 'gifts' far too often though :(

    God bless and keep you safe.

    Ros in the UK xx

  5. I've found a lot of us have the same heads, and we're all pretty damn smart, it was the drinking that made us stupid. "Gifts" are supposed to make us happy aren't they, unfortunately no one told alcohol that.