Friday, June 27, 2014

15 Years Ago I Was Forced Into Detox...

15 years ago today, I was ordered into outpatient detox by my therapist.  It was that or lose my health insurance.  I haven't had a drink since June 27, 1999!  WOO-HOO!

Jon Stewart dancing
Jon Stewart says, "Hey now!"

My first week of detox, I ended up in the St. Vincent's psych ward in New York's West Village.  My second night there, I thought, "I can never drink again."  There were mandatory AA meetings upstairs in the violent ward (!) where every door was locked, the way you see in the movies.

The day I was discharged, the wonderful woman who ran the meetings spoke to me for a long time.  I don't know what she said, but it somehow cemented my resolve not to relapse.

I spent the next year in outpatient rehab.  I was a "high risk" patient, so I had to take Antabuse* and other pills in front of a counselor.  There was also random drug testing, where a counselor watched me pee into a cup with the bathroom stall door open.

I'm writing this because I'm not anonymous as an alcoholic, far from it.  That's a story for another time! My sobriety has gotten easier over time.  I used to say in meetings, "my mental illness is kicking my ass much more than drinking".   I haven't gone to regular AA meetings in 5 1/2 years (burn-out) but I've been dropping in at some this week to celebrate.  I'm still an atheist, and I have the most lackadaisical sponsor in the world.

 Supernatural boys dancing
Dean and Sam are ecstatic as long as I don't ask Dean to stop drinking

The biggest incentive is that when someone who had been sober "goes out," all of their previous sobriety counts for nothing, so they have to say, "I'm ___ and I've had five days back."  I vowed NEVER to have to say "I'm Elisa and I have three days back."

So far, so good.  

*Antabuse makes you deathly ill if you drink, smell booze, anything.  I have a bottle in my box o' meds just in case.