It seems a silly thing to celebrate. 30 hours of sobriety. The average person can go 30 days without batting an eye. But here I am – checked into detox and waiting for the gross parts to pass.
I can’t take credit for most of that sobriety, just yet. They gave me a pill to help me sleep – and sleep I did, for 12 hours. I sweat like Niagara Falls and had the worst nightmares of being stuck in a photography dark room sorting through black and white negatives of grotesque murder scenes. I peeled off the t-shirt I slept in like a second skin. Disgusting. It should just be burned – and I’m sure all the alcohol that seeped out of me and into it would fuel the fire like gasoline.
Small accomplishment No. 2. I didn’t drink on the plane.
I wanted to so badly. But reminded myself that it would just start the cycle over and I’d be in detox even longer. So I resisted and pretended my tomato juice was 50% vodka.
Small accomplishment No. 3. I’ve eaten. A lot.
On top of all the alcohol and addiction, I resist eating. I’ll go days without food sometimes, and just fill myself up with litres of wine and not a morsel of nutrition. But I’ve eaten solid since yesterday – including a bag of sour peach candies last night that made me want to be sick, but I needed something to excite my taste buds for the lack of wine. Sugar. Anything.
They’re feeding me well here (and I can now say I’ve experienced octopus salad, which was a culinary masterpiece). I will admit I did not want to eat, yesterday or today, since I’ve got here.
And I don’t think it’s because of hunger.
It’s because I don’t really want to be social, just yet. These first few days of detox, I’m allowed to do as I please, for the most part. And talking is among my absolute least favourite things to do on a good day – especially with new people. And everyone here is “new people.” Not many of them thankfully (there’s 7 of us at the moment) but it’s like my first day of school and I’d just rather wrap my head around the fact that I’m actually here rather than start spilling my drunken beans to total strangers.
I have the shakes. I’ve smoked one extremely long cigarette since I got here – I barely need a lighter because I could literally light each one after the one before if I cared to. I need to work on that.
For the first time in forever, I’m not listening to music – at home, there is music playing 24 hours a day. It’s my therapy. Right now I’m listening to the birds, and the wind. I hear hammering in the distance, and someone singing.
I think it’s Genevieve. She’s a doll.
My leg won’t stop shaking. I could seriously power a vehicle with it right now and my head feels like someone is inflating a glass balloon. My stomach has started doing absolutely horrible things and in the last hour I’ve developed a pounding in my ears – not from my heart racing but something beating far deeper inside me.
Tonight, I meet with the doctor again, and we’ll discuss my treatment plan. I’ve already met two of my counsellors, both seem wonderful. I was greeted with the biggest hug when I arrived at the airport. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
Funny how your mind can create an entirely different world for you to waste your time dreading. Expecting the worst, when only the best is waiting for you. Lining up worst case scenarios like little toy soldiers just waiting to attack you.
I just looked at my hands for the first time. I knew they were shaking. They’re actually trembling as much as my leg. Sad. It could be the coffee, but even that I’m trying to moderate. So far, not going well on the coffee front.
One day at a time.
And, for the first time in over a decade, I can say “I didn’t have a single drink yesterday.”
Tomorrow, hopefully, I can get out of the detox room and into my actual room. The Detox room is totally depressing. I’m looking forward to ‘settling in’ – right now I can’t even unpack. The only thing I’ve unpacked is a toothbrush and 4 framed photos of my cheering squad back home. It helps.
I’ve been questioning if I belong here since the moment I landed. The guy in the detox room next to me looks like he’s been run over by 15 steamrollers. He hasn’t slept since he arrived on Monday and the poor guy is losing his mind. I feel for him – any meds they’ve given him aren’t working. He’s been too strung out on opiates for so long that he’s literally immune and his brain just won’t shut off. Like one big stationary thunderstorm that won’t stop rumbling.
He has the thirst and it’s not giving up. But I’m so proud of him for being here – whether it was his choice or not. I’m rooting for him.
I’m rooting for myself.
I question if I belong here then I remember that I’m out of control.
So, today is Day 2. Of forever.
But all I’m going to worry about today – is today.
For a much welcomed change, I’m not going to spend my day wound up in the last 3 decades. Or the last year. But I will dwell a little on yesterday, because I’m damn proud of it.
It’s still early – 11:17am, but I’m fixated on wanting a drink. I have been since my last one at 3am yesterday morning, when I made a conscious drunken effort (is that possible? Conscious and drunk in the same sentence?) to remember every single moment of that last drink, and the weight of the glass as I placed it in the sink. Bawling my eyes out. I can hear the glass stem hit the metal and could paint you a picture of what it looked like.
My last glass of alcohol, and it was so much heavier than the glass itself.
Being here – and I mean really being here, in this moment – is going to be the hardest part of this journey I think.
Wish me luck. It’s this time every day I start drinking and I’m literally fixated on that. Just spoke with a fellow patient here and he’s suggested I go ask for a Valium to chill me the hell out – he noticed my hands shaking and my nervous leg that’s pretty much able to vibrate this entire island at the moment.
Sorry this has been all over the place. Appropriate for how I’m feeling right now.
One day at a time.
A dragonfly just landed on my laptop.