This is my first summer being sober since my stay at executive alcohol rehab last fall. I know this will be a difficult one. I can’t remember the last sober summer I had; it must have been during my younger, early-teenage years. Gosh, it is hard to believe it but yes, I really have been drinking for decades. Well, thanks to my executive alcohol rehab I guess it is more accurate to say that I was drinking for decades—past tense!
But, I must admit that I have been thinking all about the nice craft beers and new summer ales that I used to love sampling this time of year. I know it isn’t worth the risk. I know that I can’t have “just one” – as much as I might try to convince myself of that possibility. My first BBQ will be difficult. Will the burger taste the same without the ice cold beer beside it?
An addict never stops thinking like an addict. That is one thing that the steps teach. I suppose I will always think about having a drink but the veterans tell me that it gets easier with time. The thoughts will still occur, just less often and with less intensity. I do look forward to those days. But until then, it is a one-day-at-a-time mentality that I must focus on.
Getting sober was the most difficult surrender I have ever made. However, I think it is the business of staying sober that is more difficult. They warned me of this. They told me the detox would feel like the hardest part of it all but the real challenge would be to make sure that I didn’t land back in detox again, however many months or years later. Man, were they right.
It makes me wonder if I will ever stop “tasting” that summer beer when I see the commercials on TV. I ponder the idea of finding a non-alcoholic light beer and just sticking a slice of lime in it but I know that could be a trigger. Better stay away from that! There’s no way that that stuff tastes half as good as the real thing, anyway. I should ask the veterans in recovery if they have forgotten the taste of their favorite beer. I think they might get a kick out of that. It will probably make some of them laugh. But that is a legitimate question, isn’t it? Maybe it is better to remember what the beer does taste like – then there is less temptation to remind oneself by cracking one open, no?
I just have to keep reminding myself that it is not worth losing my family over. I am lucky enough that they gave me this second chance. Moreover, I’m lucky God gave me this second chance and that I didn’t drown deep enough in my addiction where they couldn’t reach me to throw me the life vest of executive alcohol rehab.