14 Days Out. A little perspective:
Christmas this year was the end for me. I got blackout drunk and ruined Christmas Eve, again, after which I was driven home and put to bed. When I awoke the morning of the 25th, my wife and daughter had gone off somewhere to avoid me. A just outcome, given my behavior the previous night, and a wise decision, given that I had Christmas day off, and thus would more unpredictable drunkenness from me surely ensue.
My last drink was later that night of the 25th – a margarita which I drank alone at a table at a Mexican restaurant, while the families around me celebrated the holidays.
None of this sunk in, of course, until the morning of the 26th. When I awoke the day after Christmas, incredibly sick and filled with dread, I saw that my wife had given up on me. Her eyes were resigned. She wasn’t angry, or even disappointed. She would no longer watch me drink myself to death and destroy our family. She had finally accepted me as I was, just as I had always asked her to do. She finally accepted that I would not change. But she also accepted that she could not stick around to facilitate the death spiral.
The things we accept for alcohol! The suffering of active alcoholism is bad. It sucks so hard. The shame and guilt and physical sickness, and fear. It’s a constant sense of chaos closing in and of impending disaster, and of self-loathing. It’s so, so awful.
But the thought of suffering all that alone, without my wife to comfort me in my shame-wracked bouts of self-abuse, was not among the things I could accept.
And that look in her eyes. Remember that look, Eric. Remember that moment every day.