My husband is out of town, I’ve been sick all week, my 5 year old has a scary high fever, my house is a mess and all I want is a drink.
Just one glass of wine. Just ONE.
But I can’t.
I want to be like other moms who sip on wine while they make dinner. A cold glass of white while standing over the hot stove.
I want to be like the moms who count down the hours until wine o’clock- the golden hour when the kids are in bed and they can relax with a glass of red and their favorite show.
I think about how nice it would be to clean the house with a little buzz and some music blasting.
But I can’t drink like those moms because I’m not like those moms.
I can’t have a glass of wine because if I did, I’d drink the whole bottle. I can’t have just one.
And after the bottle was gone I’d leave my kids home alone and drive to the store to get more. I wouldn’t intentionally leave them, but I’d leave without even giving them a thought. The powerful obsession to get more alcohol would be the only thought in my head.
I can’t drink a glass of wine because I’m an alcoholic and even the smallest drop of alcohol would unleash a monster.
A monster I haven’t seen in nearly seven years but that still lives inside me, waiting for me to take that drink. A monster that turns me into a cold, empty, heartless shell of a person.
But I’m not going to take that drink because last time I took the drink I tried to kill my husband. That’s what alcohol does to me, it takes away my conscious. It robs me of rational thought and any emotion. It hollows me out.
I can’t take that drink because I don’t know what would happen. My children would not be safe. I would not be safe.
I’m not going to take a drink because by the grace of God, my children have never seen me drink. And I don’t ever want them to.
So instead, I clean. I vacuum and scrub and think about all the reasons why I can’t drink.
And I call another alcoholic and we talk about all the reasons we don’t want to drink.
And the desire to drink slowly but inevitably dissipates.
It’s okay for me to want to take a drink. I’m an alcoholic, of course I’m going to want to drink.
It’s okay to be sad, frustrated, even angry that I can’t drink like other moms. It’s okay to feel those feelings (they rarely come anymore). But it’s not okay for me to drink.
ONE drink doesn’t sound like a lot but for this alcoholic, it’d be everything.
I would literally lose everything I have if I took that first drink.
I’d lose my husband, my children, and within a short time, my life. Alcohol would kill me, it’s come close before and I’m entirely convinced that to drink again would mean death.
And I want to live. I want to be here when my husband returns from his trip. I want to watch my child get well. I want to sit back when the kids are in bed and the house is clean and breathe deeply as I feel the presence of the peace that sobriety has gifted me.
I want to stay sober more than I want to drink.
That’s all it takes, friends.
Strength, experience and hope doesn’t come automatically. It doesn’t come from easy days that are going well. It comes from moments like this. Moments that take everything out of you but that show you just how willing you are.
Just for today, I won’t take that drink.
*Image courtesy of Stock Photo Secrets