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Grapevine : July 2011
It beckoned, seductively trying to woo her back S obriety gave me a life I never expected, happy, joy- ous and free ... the exact opposite of life when I was drinking. The obsession and compulsion were gone and the promises came to fruition at every turn. Life was going so well, I got complacent. I lingered around the edges of AA, kept up with pro- gram friends, read a little literature, and every once in a great while, I re- membered to thank my Higher Power for my life and continued sobriety. It seemed like that was enough for a number of years. Then, my partner of nineteen years died. I stayed sober, but edged further and further away from people, choosing to live alone with my pain. In the process, I edged further and further away from any- thing resembling happiness. Over time, my emotional sobriety eroded, until there was a thin veil be- tween me and insanity. I entered a re- lationship, became a tortured victim to emotions spun way out of control, and that thin veil was torn to shreds. Alcohol, I thought, was the only way I The bottle on the counter could possibly deal with it all. One night, on my way home from work, I bought a bottle of whis- key. Setting it on the kitchen counter, I told myself I would open it after dinner. After dinner, I stalled my fe- rocious urge and promised myself a drink before bed. I fought with my- self all night, pacing the apartment, crying, forgetting to pray. I wasn't sure who to call, or if I could even pick up the phone. Exhausted, I finally slept, but it was a poor rest. I woke every couple of hours and crept through the dark, silent apartment to make sure the bottle was still there. Reassured, I would go back to bed. Today, I still have yet to figure out who I thought was going to take the bottle away from me, as I live alone. In the morning, I told myself I had to deal with some emails, then I could crack the seal on the bottle. A new message, bold in the Inbox, caught my eye. It was an AA friend, who knew about my emotional struggles, but had no idea about the bottle sitting on my counter. It con- 34 July 2011