This guest post comes from Mark Goodson, author of the blog ‘The Miracle of the Mundane” (great title, great blog). He has been sober since October 13, 2007. This is a beautiful piece of truthful writing.
I will never forget the withdrawal. That trembling of nerves under skin, sweat from shaking pores. Wave after wave of tremens. The delirium. I thought the world ended. That I was already in the afterlife and had to make my way through purgatory. I stripped naked in a Mexican church and ran to the fields on the edge of town.
I will never forget those psych-ward slippers. Blue felt, paper bottom. The nurses taking my blood pressure. The concern on their faces. My teeth grinding.
I cannot remember many a drunken night. But I will never forget waking up with my jaw broken. A two-inch fracture of the mandible bone. My jaw clinched shut with wires for weeks. Sipping the pain medicine. Then drinking it, soon after downing it.
I will never forget the rehab. I first admitted I was alcoholic because I couldn’t read the prayer they gave me and I had nothing left to say.
I will never forget that relief. One small step forward in a life reeling in delusion, grandiosity, anxiety, and doubt.
I will never forget the people who helped me stand when I couldn’t stand myself, those who loved me when I loathed myself.
I will never forget feeling accepted—finally accepted into a group. The longer I stayed sober, the more clear things became. I was alcoholic, and there was a way out. I took suggestions. I shared honestly what was going through my head and I learned to let what was going through my head go…and go…and go.
I will never forget meeting my wife with two years sober, or marrying her with three years sober, or buying our house in my fourth year sober, or seeing our son born in my fifth year. In my sixth year I completed my masters in teaching English. In my seventh, our baby girl was born, and in my eighth I started a blog because I couldn’t keep in the joy any more.
If I ever forget the bliss of my sobriety, I fear I may drink again. I stay grateful to stay sober. I stay sober to stay grateful.
May I always remember.