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Grapevine : January 2011
APRIL 15, 2010, was a great day for my family and me---we just did not know it at the time. Tax day does not seem to be a great day for any- thing, but this tax day was the beginning of my new life. A er several at- tempts at sobriety, and several periods of long-term sobriety followed by failure, I had given up. My brother, Paul, an active member in our Fellowship for 23 years, recommended an extended-stay treatment center in Tennessee. What did I have to lose? I could always go back to my misery; it would be waiting. My wife and I made a three-and-a- half-hour trip to the Airport security time went on, that one day got very long, and I was shocked to find out how really bad I was. I could not find the place called normal. Even just the basics took time. I did not know when or what to eat. She told me there was lots of sugar in alcohol and that I should have some honey or something sweet around all the time, because the crav- ings I had could simply be for sugar. What I was shaking for was definitely not a chocolate bar, but I was willing to listen to anything. I had a heavy coat, as it was March in New York, and I kept two short rolls of choco- late chip cookies in large pockets. I went to two meetings a day and to a diner after meetings at night. It was a central location for after meeting fellowship from five towns. If no one was there, you just waited. Someone always showed up, day or night. I ate a hot fudge sundae every night for the first year. I figured I would rather be fat than dead. Eventually my sponsor talked me into more bal- anced food groups. I could not sleep, and was told, "Nobody ever died from lack of sleep." Like so many of the things I heard, all I could think of was "What the hell does that mean?" It meant that being awake would not hurt me, watching TV would not kill me, but drinking would. I was told that most people have trouble sleeping when they get sober because the whole central nervous system is shot and needs time to figure out how to get to normal. Nothing just happens when you stop drinking. It's all a process, 44 January 2011