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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Monday, July 28, 2014

Romancing the Drink

In the early days of my drinking I was in it for the pleasure. I always imagined myself a sophisticated Myrna Loy type (from the Thin Man movies) leaning against a bar at New York’s Plaza Hotel. I’d be elegantly dressed, holding a fluted glass of champagne, with tons of friends in the room — laughing, dancing with everyone drinking till the sun came up. The fantasy included a handsome, dashing guy in a tux, sweeping me off my feet. All fun — and no repercussions. Oh, the power those old movies had over me. How romantic it all looked. 

But that never happened. Whenever I drank, I got drunk.

Being determined not to follow in the footsteps of the disease I grew up with, I worked very hard at trying to figure out a formula where I could drink and not suffer from the blackouts, hangovers and the awful consequences which are part of my story. No matter if I stopped for a day, a few weeks or a month, the result was always the same — I was thrown out, blacked out and persona non grata. Still my romance with alcohol continued anyway — that’s delusion. 

By the time I got to the big city and really had the chance to drink at the Plaza’s Oak Bar, I wasn’t standing against it — I was more likely passed out — on, or under it. I was there only once, and it went on the list of another place I was not welcome. By the way, there was no dashing man in a tux, I was not among friends, I was far from elegant and when the sun came up it was always the same… “what did I do?” “how did I get home?” “is there anybody I can call to ask what happened without wanting to crawl under a rug first?” That’s not very romantic.

I am grateful I no longer have to live that way. Was the dashing guy in the tux a metaphor for what I was truly seeking all along? Maybe. 
Maybe, it’s the connection with my Higher Power, the fellowship of people who are just like me, their genuine kindness and understanding; and a program and book that offers a way to live my life authentically. 

Four years into recovery I met my debonair guy. We were blessed with 17 wonderful years trudging the road together. Rich, poor, sickness, health and everything in between... our commitment to sobriety first, then each other — that’s when the true romance for life began, and by the Grace of God it will never end.