I made some comments this weekend on message in a bottle's blog The Bubble that I feel I should apologize for, or at least try to explain.
Paul wrote about his experience in rehab and when he wrote about his physical withdrawal symptoms, I really identified with them. Although I have met others, on various message boards and blogs that I follow, that have drank long enough and hard enough to build up a physical dependence and then suffer through the same resulting withdrawal symptoms that I suffered, the majority of the bloggers I follow seem to have experienced a softer bottom than I did. Sometimes when I read those blogs, I can't relate, I find myself saying, "Really? You only drank one bottle of wine a night? What's the problem?" I'm sure the writers of those blogs read my blog sometimes and say, "Jesus, why in the world would someone let booze control their life that long? Didn't she care about her family? How could she let herself sink that low?"
A hard bottom is not a red badge of courage, nor is it a Scarlet Letter of Shame. It is what it is, a turning point. The same can be said of a soft bottom. I've often thought that having a soft bottom takes a lot more strength and willpower. To me, it seems much easier to walk a way from a trainwreck of a life that has been "totaled" then to walk away from a life that is starting to show the wear and tear and collateral damage from alcohol. It takes so much more fortitude to pull back on the reigns when you can see that you are heading into danger then to let go of the reigns and barrel ahead, seduced into thinking that what lies ahead isn't as bad as it seems, that the ride might be worth the fall.
But then again, what about the courage it takes to crawl out of the bottle long enough to see all the destruction that your drinking has wrought lying about you in smoldering ruins and not crawl back in? To see drinking yourself to death as an easier alternative, but decide to do whatever it takes to get sober, even if it kills you.
I take back what I said about hard bottoms not being red badges of courage, they are. And so are soft bottoms. We are all courageous survivors of the same bloody war.
Thank God we bounced!