I woke up in the middle of Monday night and felt the mind race gearing up so I turned on the TV. I was looking for Law and Order (always on, puts me right to sleep) and the image on the screen froze. So I started flipping channels. They were all frozen. Then this appeared on the screen:

“After eighteen years of sobriety, Terry relapsed two years ago.” 


Holy shit y’all.

EIGHTEEN YEARS. 

RELAPSED. 

6570 DAYS. 

Holy fucking SHIT y’all.

It turns out the show was “Intervention”- which for me is enthralling and totally depressing. I used to get secret satisfaction from watching people who were waaaayyyyyy more fucked up than me. Then I would rationalize: “I’m not chugging mouthwash in a locked bathroom. Phew. I’m just fine.” I liked to see the people get better. That made me feel like if only someone would whisk me away to a fabulous rehab then I could be the sober one waiting for my family to get there. And that my hair would look better.  

And then sometimes the catch-up info at the end would say things about relapsing, and getting sober again. And I would think it wasn’t possible. That everyone goes back. Why even try? 

I haven’t watched “Intervention” since I quit drinking. I found out that watching people fucked up on booze and drugs is uncomfortable and depressing. And not (for me) a vehicle of deterrent. More like the bus over the high cliffs of hopeless. I read that sentence on the TV screen and wanted to shake Terry with all my might. I wished I could have been there to yell “DON’T DO IT!!!!” when he picked up that bottle and told himself after EIGHTEEN YEARS that it was OK. (Terry also went back to his crack habit, too. Thank you sweet baby Jesus I never had one of those.) At the intervention he said yes. Then he relapsed again. And then got sober again. And now? Well, who knows?

I have been almost rudely lucky since the stars aligned and I chose to get sober when I was exactly the readiest. I don’t want to drink. Most of the time. Ninety percent of it. The I see some shit like that and I feel like I might need a suit of armor. A bodyguard. Or at least a guard dog. A mouth chastity belt? Now that would be cool. Right. Mouth locks are the new black. 

This looks comfy eh?

I don’t want to be at my sons’ wedding in eighteen years and blow it. “Why is mom doing keg stands at the family reunion?” Lord. 

I don’t tell myself,  “I won’t drink today, just for today. I can drink tomorrow if I want to.” I tell myself,  “You can never ever drink again. It ruins you.” Because then for me there is no decision to be made. It’s kind of like asking if I’ll push that old lady in front of the speeding train. It’s the never asked question. There is no question. The answer is always “NO!!!”. And you really don’t have to ask. This doesn’t work for everybody. The thought of never drinking again makes me feel relieved, not desperate. It could be all in the way you look at it. Or it could be just me. But it works for me. And hopefully it will for years.