Good morning everyone! I thank you for all of the love. Your love got me through yesterday. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Today, I don’t want to talk about any of my medical stuff. Today, I want to focus on my blessings, of which I’ve so many!
The greatest blessing in my life is my wonderful partner Tamara. I know without a doubt, that I would not be here without Tamara. In October two years ago, my life began to fall apart when my Mom was diagnosed with Stage four breast cancer, with metastasis to her liver, her lungs and her brain. My Mom died two months later and my life blew completely out of the water. Tamara carried me through. Fairly new in recovery, this would have been the one thing to drive me to drink again…losing my Mom. I had a choice. I know myself well enough to know that I would have never come back from that. I know that had I started drinking again, I would certainly have joined my Mom. Tamara walked right beside me.
My Sobriety came unexpectedly to me. I was invited to a meeting with a friend who was struggling in her life. I was on my way to happy hour and my friend needed me, so I delayed happy hour to go to a meeting with her. This meeting was to be my first AA meeting. I was scared shitless. I had rehearsed my lines…”My name is Coral and I am a friend of AA…”I got this. I’ve totally got this. And then I was next…shaking and sweating…”Hi, my name is Coral and I am an alcoholic.” What in the fuck? That definitely was NOT my line! What the fuck just happened?! From that moment, in that room, my entire life began to change in ways I could not have foreseen or imagined. My name is Coral and I am an alcoholic.
Do any of you know what it feels like to not know that you are an alcoholic? I mean, truly, to be so deep in it, that you cannot see the reflection in the mirror in your hand? With a dying Mom and the worst pain of my entire life, I made a very conscious decision to stay sober. Had I been drinking when I found out my Mom was dying, I would have made a very conscious decision to keep drinking. You see, I drank for everything. I lost my job, I drank. I got promoted, I drank. I went to work still drunk from the night before on more than one occasion, and I began drinking again when I got off.
My choice was always beer! I fucking love me some beer! Over the course of my drinking lifetime, I drank me some beer! Okay…I drank enough beer to kill a person if I’m being honest. Almost Every day I would grab a twelve pack on my way home. Some days more, and hardly ever less, as six packs seemed ridiculous to me. Why bother? That would barely get me started, and what a tease anyway…like I would stop at 6, unless I ran out, which I hardly ever did. So, let’s just say that I drank between 6-12 beers a day, and for this exercise, I will round up, because I was there, to a twelve pack a day. Just for the hell of it, I took my life, minus the years I have been sober and minus the first 21 years of my life (just for the purpose of my little exercise here) and I came up with the number 19. So, for 19 years, drinking fairly countinously, which is 6935 days. I drank a six to a twelve pack of beer a day, and many days more than that. So, $138,700 I spent, very roughly, to drink what I drank, about $15-$20 a twelve pack. I rounded up to $20, over the course of 19 years. This fails to account for all of the alcohol I consumed in my first 21 years, which was excessive as well. Let me say that number again…$138,700. Let that sink in.
My life was consumed by alcohol. I was born into alcoholism. My thinking about alcohol did not come from a nurturing or responsible or a caring place. My relationship with alcohol began pre-verbally and continued until I was 41 years old. My name is Coral and I am an alcoholic. I know that now, and you can bet your sweet ass that I was too fucking drunk to see it then. I was a social drinker, except for the small fact that I also loved to drink alone. If I went to venues without access to alcohol, you can bet your ass that I took my own, or had plenty before I got there. I really tried to avoid restaurants and venues that didn’t serve alcohol. Sunday’s and voting days fucked with me in the beginning. How can you stand here and tell me that you cannot serve me until noon?! What bullshit! Total and utter bullshit!
My name is Coral and I am an alcoholic. Why do I share this with you today? I share with you today what I see people close to me struggling with. I feel my own struggle listening to them, as they are telling my story. Someone very close and dear to me is 60 days sober today. On this day, right now, he is 60 days sober. Can we all give it up and send some mad and deep and encouraging love to him you guys? Congratulations my love! Keep coming back….it works if you work it. I fucking love you and I am so thankful and so happy and so fucking proud of you! How many days do you have? How many years? I am so proud of you too! Let’s all keep coming back. It does work if you work it. You want something to be fucking proud of, I mean really fucking proud of yourself for? Quit drinking. Like, honestly, quit drinking. You have no idea how your life will open up. You’ve no idea how clarity comes as the fog fades.
I also write this for the alcoholic who still suffers. Actually, I wrote this whole blog especially for the alcoholics who still suffer. I see you standing knee deep in a river and dying of fucking thirst man! I found myself in a bar the other evening, downtown, where I used to work and drink a lot…both working and drinking. I have not been in a bar, since I quit drinking, I avoid all activity with alcohol, as I know my limits. I am a fucking alcoholic and I stay the fuck away from it, at all costs. The other night, in that bar, watching people that I knew and many people that I did not know, getting progressively drunker, right before my very eyes, as I PTSDed out a bit at it all. What and where in the fuck was I? And what a mirror of who I was…it was alarming and painful and uncomfortable. I’m so glad I was there. I really am, as it reminded me of who I was and put directly in front of me, exactly who I didn’t want to be. I saw and smelled and felt things that I hadn’t felt sober and I did not like t at all. I was those people…all of them…and I had no idea how I occurred to others, until the other night in that bar. I’ve no judgement, only the deepest and most heartfelt gratitude for that moment, those moments, that remind me why I am sober. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
There are others that inspired this blog today…many, many others. There are people whom I love deeply that are alcoholics who like me, do not even know it. Maybe they do know and cannot admit it. I see them not even see themselves and it pains me deeply. I have been there and that is why I am here. I see people hurting their loved ones and their spouses and their children and friends with their addiction. Mostly though, I see you struggling, with seemingly no way out. I have been there most of my life…Yes, even all the way up to yesterday…struggling and trying with all of my might to hold on. Your husband, he fucking needs you. Your son…he loves you with all of his heart. Your daughter…she doesn’t want to lose you, anymore than she already has, to your addiction. Your wife…she needs your help man! Your Mom, she doesn’t want to fucking bury you my friend. Me…I am right here. I am right here. I know you have my number, and in case you don’t, I will post this on FB this morning too. Set your bottle down and call me. Talk to me about you and maybe I can help. You will never know if you don’t ask, right?
If you are reading this and your are thinking that I am talking about you…you may be right, and you’re welcome. Truly, no one ever had this talk with me, so again, you’re welcome. When we love people, I mean when we really fucking love people, don’t we tell them the truth? We must take personal inventory and be honest with ourselves before we can be honest with anyone else, right? Try me. I’ve no judgement, just a whole lot of love for you. If your drowning…of you’re lost…if you’re scared and feel alone, I get it, and you’re not. We are all right here. Hey, have a beautiful day everyone. I close today with my heart overflowing with gratitude for every moment I have been sober. I close today with The Serenity Prayer. If you are so inclined, please say it with me now. And so it is.
God, grant me the serenity to accept he things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.