The Holidays. The Bermuda Triangle for addicts: Thanksgiving; Christmas; New Year. Who will go down?

On the 23rd of December, my specially modified Lockheed Electra 10-E aircraft, the one Amelia Earheart used to make her last flight, took a nose-dive. I jumped out, but pulled my parachute strings a little too late, and I broke my recovery legs.

First I ate, then I felt the darkness flooding in; filling up my lungs with black. I found the cough syrup in the cabinet and took a few swigs, had my mom drive me to the AA share-a-thon, threw up, and nodded my way through the whole meeting. It wasn’t fun. I had no “high.” I was just sick and sleepy and depressed.

Do I still have my day count? Am I still sober for over a year? After all, it was alcohol that was the “rapacious creditor” (Step One), which had bled my body, mind, spirit and family into lifeless despair. But I get a nasty feeling that other AA’s might insist that I must start over, so I have told no one.

I am pulling away from the program, sneaking into meetings and out again with a half-hearted salute. I’m breeding resentments in my pocket: other women are bonding; no one likes me; I am now a liar; who cares anymore. Might as well just hit the streets and die.

When Amelia Earheart disappeared, there was a transmission which was logged as “questionable”: “We must be on you, but cannot see you—but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.”  There were scattered clouds in the area and their dark shadows on the ocean surface may have led to her demise.

Amelia, can you show me which direction NOT to go?


Share and Enjoy

  • Kary May

    The number count is not important, in fact, it’s detrimental and destructive if it’s destroying your self-worth. You took some cough syrup, you called your mom, and you went to a meeting. There’s much to be proud of in that scenario. No reason for shame. No reason for confession. Yes, I know you probably didn’t take the cough syrup of medicinal purposes, but you STOPPED! That’s what matters. You haven’t been sucked down into a cesspool of relapse. Hold your head up! Be proud of yourself. You are strong!

  • Catherine

    Thank you, Kary May. I agree with you in so many ways. It’s just that AA, the program which saves my life, has certain suggestions (rules). And if I don’t follow them I feel like a fraud. I am in a pickle. Gotta sit on it for awhile.

    Thanks so much!


  • Kary May

    I understand, and I understand your loyalty and gratitude to AA. Me, being me, if I was in a group of my peers that I respected and trusted, and wanted the same regard toward me, I would step forward and take my lumps, because whether I told them or not, I would know and I would feel undeserving of their respect. It’s up to you whether you regard going back to day one as a failure or a victory. Just my two centavos.

  • Karen Kuehl

    I hear you.

    You must tell someone. Anyone with solid recovery will understand. I hate this “starting over” thing, because you are not really starting over. The progress and sobriety you attained is never lost. This is part of your recovery journey. This crazy, irrational, stupid event, yes, it happened, but it is not the end of the world.

    The shame and secretiveness is going to suck the life out of you. It already is. You have shared your secret with an internet world of strangers. Now tell someone you know. The relief will know no bounds. And you’re back on the path, just like that!

    Please, Catherine. Do it. Tell. You are not alone.

    • Catherine

      Thank you, Karen. I hate the “Starting over” thing too. You are absolutely spot on with each point you have made. I have told my AA sponsor and an AA friend. They have both suggested to go back to Day One. But I am trying to look at it, not as a statement of my failure, but as you said…just part of the journey.

      You’ve given me a feeling of comfort.