Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blessed, not Dead

I have never been more sober in my life, yet I’ve only just received my three month medallion. One year ago, I stopped drinking for one month while I moved into Hunting Hotel. Before that, I was homeless in the dead of Winter in Minneapolis, Minnesota, jumping from treatment to homeless shelter to detox and back. Here is my story of what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now.

Having failed three treatment facilities in one year, I’d stayed drunk on money from plasma donation. It seemed like a good idea at the time; nothin’ better to do. I had a case of the pore me, pore me, pour me another drink. I drank to near blackout and stayed at the Indian detox facility in South Minneapolis for two to three days at a time, just long enough to dry out to supply my blood for plasma…a never ending cycle. On one of those occasions, I left there as a guest for the very last time. That was April 2nd, 2010.

On that day, a councilor convinced me to try the Hunting Hotel. He gave me the address and the name of the manager, Matthew. It took a half a day of waiting, but I got in. That night I slept on my own bed for the first time in years. Contrary to common understanding of sleeping in a novel place, I slept like a rock and woke refreshed. That’s odd too, because I had another stranger in my room; we shared a single room. From that day and for the next month, I abstained from alcohol.

Long story short; after that month, my roommate moved to Northern California, which gave me license to drink in my room, now that I was alone. I drank until September 13th, 2010.

On that day, I had decided to stay sober. It was not for any Earth shattering epiphany. It was simply due to me being tired of being tired all the time. It was not because of some revelation I’d read in the Big Book, a spiritual experience, or hitting bottom. This time I was simply tired of being tired…physically.

Then things started happening. My mind cleared and I started pursing things; things that would improve my quality of life. You have to understand; being at the Hunting Hotel allowed me to not think in survival mode all the time. It also allowed me to drink, albeit covertly. But, because I knew how not to get caught there, I had a choice whether to drink or not. There suddenly was no pressure either way. So, prospective employers started returning e-mails and calls. I had some interviews. One of which landed me a job I interviewed for back in April.

Before starting the CallCenter job, I had a brief seasonal job ringing bells for the Salvation Army. That gave me enough money to buy a decent wardrobe for my CallCenter job. I’ve held it ever since.

I had a one-day relapse on Christmas Eve after three and a half months of sobriety. But, I now have those three and a half months of sobriety back now. I’ll describe in detail that relapse in another post. I attend up to three AA meetings a month. I live in a house with an old sober friend. I feel serene.

Please post comments and I’ll update this blog more often, okay?

-- Without Wax