Although it is very possible for even the worst of Alcoholics to get sober, we are never cured. Alcoholism is a deadly disease. Very much like Cancer, alcoholism can be treated and enable for us to go into remission and as long as we do what is necessary we can stay in remission but we are never cured. Once we have the disease, we have it for life.
Many of us hit what we call that “Pink Cloud” when suddenly we feel better than we have in years, we feel like we are finally a part of something and we feel stronger than we ever have. Although this is a very enlightening phase of our recovery, it can be very dangerous as well. Quite a few of us get on that pink cloud and feel we are cured. “I’m stronger now, I can handle just one drink.” That thought goes to our head loud and clear. If we continue to follow our programs of recovery, than we will instantly know that those thoughts are not realistic. If we have not allowed ourselves to forget the pain and havoc our drinking caused, we will instantly know that it’s our disease trying to call us back. There are those of us who get caught up in that amazing feeling and it brings us right back to where we were.
No matter how much sober time we have, it could be one year, ten years, twenty-five years there is absolutely no way we can ever drink again. It’ll never happen. It’s not hard to convince ourselves to the contrary, but remember, if you do, you will be ending your remission and allowing the disease to speed up. In order to stay in remission, we must take our meds and those meds would be the program of recovery that helped get us sober. We must do this on a day to day basis and can never forget where we were and how bad it got. Once we start to feel better, it’s easy to forget the pain, the havoc, the hard times. Doing that is dangerous to our health. As much as we’d like to forget those times, we can’t. We’ve got to let go of the guilt that comes with it and face the fact that it was our disease that caused us to do those things, but we can’t forget.
I like to refer to my disease as being in remission because that’s exactly what it is. It can come back at any time if I stop doing what I must do to keep it there EVERY SINGLE DAY. My medication to prevent that from happening is following my program, working with others and blind faith. Slacking on any of that will bring me one step closer to the bottle rather than ten steps away. Every day I have to remember that I AM an alcoholic, I am powerless over the alcohol and I can NEVER drink again. I have to remind myself that I was a monster when I drank, and all it would take to turn me back into that monster would be just one drink. The thought of never drinking again used to unnerve me. Today the thought of drinking does the same. For “normal” drinkers, they can drink and put it down, I can’t. One will lead to thirty and set everything in motion for destruction. I hold within me a deep rooted fear of going back out because I know for a fact it WILL kill me. That is NOT an exaggeration by any stretch of the imagination. I DO have another relapse in me, I don’t have another recovery. I know I will remain in “remission” as long as I keep doing what needs to be done. If I put in the work, I stay alive, it’s really that serious and that simple.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist
January 13, 2015