Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published September 2011.

Web Exclusive: The Missing Bottle

Her plans to continue drinking were stymied when she couldn't find her secret stash

"Later that night, I found a bottle of vodka under my bathroom sink."

When I first came into the AA program I was very scared. I did not dare to ask someone to be my sponsor because I did not want to take up someone else's time. I figured that I could work the program on my own. I went to meetings and read the Big Book. For some reason I did not feel connected to the group.

When I was about two months sober, I saw someone that had over three months sober go out and drink. He came back a short while after. I could not believe that he was brave enough to come back after going out. I was very moved by his courage because I was sure that I could never enter the rooms again if I failed.

Before I had three months, I had stopped going to meetings. I did not feel like I needed the meetings anymore. I could do this thing on my own. I was wrong.

The weekend before I had four months sober, my life fell apart. I did not have the tools to help me get through it. I felt like my life was over. I drank on a Friday and planned to stop on Monday. But by Monday, I was depressed and suicidal. In the afternoon, my 15-year-old son called 911 because I was unconscious after taking a bottle of pills, along with several glasses of vodka.

Somehow, I was given a second chance. While I was recovering in the hospital, I was determined to get back into the program and find a sponsor. I knew that was the only way I had a chance to live. I remember the guy that had gone out and drank and came back in. I figured that he if had enough courage to do it then maybe I could also.

After a 72-hour hold in the hospital, I came back home. I was determined to go to a meeting the next evening to find a sponsor. I prayed about it all day long because I felt like that was the only hope that I had.

Later that night, I found a bottle of vodka under my bathroom sink. Even with all that I had gone through that week, I thought that I could have one more day of drinking before I found a sponsor the next day. I had it all figured out. The next day, after my husband went to work and my boys went to school, I would drink that bottle of vodka. If I drank it all in the morning, then I would have enough time to get sober by the time I needed to be at the meeting.

I was very anxious for everyone to leave the next morning. The vodka was the only thing I could think of all night and that morning. Finally, everyone left. I got two big glasses full of ice. I brought them up to my room where I usually drank. I locked the door, turned on music, and I got everything ready for one last drunk. I went to the cabinet under the bathroom sink. The vodka was gone. I started to panic. Where did it go? Did I just imagine it being there? Was I crazy? Should I get a new bottle from the liquor store?

As all of these thoughts raced through my mind, a new thought came to my mind very loudly. The thought that came to my mind was, "If you drink today, you will die". That stopped me in my tracks. I took the glasses and dumped the ice in the sink and put the glasses away. I got on my knees and prayed to find a sponsor that night.

I asked my husband later if he knew what happened to the vodka that was hidden under the bathroom sink. He told me that during the night he woke up and went into the bathroom. For some reason, he felt like he should look under the sink. As he looked, he found the hidden bottle of vodka. He dumped it in the sink, threw away the bottle and went back to bed. I have a hard time believing that it was just a coincidence. I feel like he saved my life along with the help of my Higher Power.

That night, I was very nervous as I entered the meeting to find a sponsor. I raised my hand when they asked if anyone was in their first, second, or third meeting. I shared during the meeting and explained my situation. I was so desperate.

That night, a wonderful woman came into my life. I will always be thankful for the gift she is in my life. I do not know if she will ever realize how important she is to me and my sobriety. With a sponsor, the program has just opened up. I do meetings all the time, I have met so many wonderful people, and I am working the steps. I have a long way to go, but I feel so good right now. My life is not going to be perfect, but maybe I will have tools to help me through the trials that I will have in life.

This program is so priceless to me. The people in the program are my family. I have never been in any other place that I feel so understood and so loved. I will always thank God for this gift that I have been given.

-- Diane R.

Highlands Ranch, Colorado

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