Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published September 2011.

Web Exclusive: Valentine's Day in the Detox

His sobriety began when he was served with divorce papers while at a detox

"While in treatment I was hit with divorce papers—on February 14th to be exact."

I'm coming up on a year now and I will tell you, it has been fun. I've heard a lot of people on annual birthday nights say, "This has been a real hard year for me!" And maybe it has, but for me it has been a wonderful journey.

A lot of things have changed since February 11, 2008 and it started with me—was I willing to go to any length? I can honestly say to you, "yes." We don't care for change too much and this drunk was no different. When I got here I was perfect. Little did I know, I was actually far from it. Alcoholics Anonymous is the greatest thing for ego-driven people. You bring me down to size every time I sit down in a meeting. I'm very grateful for that.

On February 9, 2008 around 5:30 in the afternoon, I was arrested outside my home in front of my family and not to mention all the people on my street and all the people who drove by. I remember very little about that day just bits and pieces. I do remember that I was very drunk, very angry, and very mean—I wish I could forget the whole damn day but I cannot. A lady once told me that, "If you can't remember your last drunk, you probably haven't had it yet." Makes sense to me. The more time that I get, I start to remember the day more and more. I have even had dreams of it, but things are still a little foggy at times.

Getting out of jail the following morning, things became very clear to me. I thought to myself, "You have really done it this time." No one was there to get me and no one would answer the phone calls. As the day progressed, I finally got hold of my boss at my job. He too was fed up, and as we talked he kept hinting about the fact that I needed help and if I didn't get any help, that my time with the company was over too.

I had been to treatment two times before. This would be the third time in five years that I would have to go through this again. How could I honestly think that this time was to be any different? I really was hopeless. I went through detox and treatment in West Texas before and it didn't work. But I didn't give it any effort either. I wanted people to hand me the gift of sobriety. One of my character defects to this day is being lazy. It is something that I really have to work on on a daily basis. I do a pretty good job at it, but it is tough at times. Progress my friends, just a little bit at a time.

While in treatment I was hit with divorce papers—on February 14th to be exact. What a way to spend Valentine's Day: in detox signing divorce papers. There was also a restraining order and I was not allowed to be around my two-year-old son. That was tough to swallow. I love my son very much, but I used to love to drink more. Bill W. once wrote, "Alcohol was my master." I know what he was talking about, but today it is not!

After treatment, I went to a halfway house for men with drinking and drug problems, and that is where I learned who I was. I finally found myself, and honestly I really didn't like what I found. This is where I learned that alcohol and drugs weren't the problem, I was. Finally, I started to understand what you folks were talking about.

One of the many things you learn in AA is who we really are, what we like and what we really don't like. And, I really didn't care for myself in any way. So here is where I changed, or should I say tried to start making some changes. I finally turned it over to God—I can't run the show anymore. I got a sponsor, an old timer with a lot of time.

We worked the first seven Steps together. He shared with me how he stays sober and suggested certain things to me that might help. He was critical for me in early recovery. At times he was the only person I could talk to. He was very dear to my heart. At six months sober, I was asked to come home by the woman who filed for divorce and to start things over. Today things are well, a lot of work to do there still but we are getting along better than ever before. It will take time to heal, but we are willing to try.

The sponsor that I use today is one I had before in 2005. He is the perfect fit for me. If you saw us together you would think we were two fellows that would not normally mix. I think I've read somewhere and I believe that God puts certain people in our lives for a reason. He is one of those people. I feel very lucky to have him as a sponsor and a friend. He would be the first one to tell you though that he is just doing what you people taught him—so, thank you!

We finished working the Steps and Traditions, and we started going through the Steps with another guy who is starting over, and I can't wait! Thank you for giving me hope! Thank you for always leaving the doors open! Those promises that I have heard about are indeed coming true!

-- Anonymous

Lubbock, Texas

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