June 13th, 1990
It was probably, for most folks, another ordinary day. It was a Wednesday ( I
remembered that, for some strange reason), a gallon of gas was about a buck and
a quarter, Daddy Bush was president, and the #1 song on the pop charts was "It
Must Have Been Love" by somebody named 'Roxette'. (I had to look that one up).
The stock market had just cracked 3000. I was 33, and dying.
Coming off a monumental drunk, I tried to stop. Summoning up every ounce of
willpower I had, I tried to stop. I might have made it till 11 AM or so.
Holding on the the kitchen sink with both hands trying not to shake myself to
pieces, I remember thinking "just one drink....it'll take the edge off". 9
shots later, I was feeling well enough to call a counselor I knew and tell her
what had happened. She said "Go check yourself into detox and take a little
three-day vacation". It was the first time I had ever called myself an
alcoholic. It was the last drink I ever had.
I got a step or two in the door of the (now) Lakeview Center, got a whiff of the
place, turned around and left. I had met a young physician who told me to come
see her if I ever needed anything, so I got on a bus and went to her office. I
think she knew what was happening the moment she saw me. She gave me a butt
full of B-12, something else to take care of the shakes, and told me to go home
and eat as much fat, sugar, and electrolytes as I could stand.
I detoxed, alone, on Gatorade and Oreo cookies. Took about 3 days, "smoking
cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo". I couldn't keep anything else down,
so I stuck with what was working. Gatorade and Oreos.
I picked up a silver chip at the first meeting I attended (on Thursday night, at
St. Christophers on 12th Ave. in Pensacola). Later that summer, when I made
amends to my Mother, I told her "I can't tell you I'm gonna be a good boy from
now on, and I can't tell you I'm not gonna do 'it' anymore. I CAN tell you I'll
try to be the best I can be one day at a time". I gave her my silver chip, and
told her if I ever decided I needed a drink I'd ask for it back. She keeps it
in a little frame, on her nightstand, next to her bed.
For most folks, it was just an ordinary day. Not for me. My life began on June 13th, 1990. It's going very well, thank you, One Day at a Time.