“Just How Bad Does It Need To Be?”

Yesterday I was so hungover that I got sick.

My hangovers are the devil, but I haven’t been that sick, vomited, in years.

I’m on Christmas vacation with my entire family – kids, parents, siblings – and we are all sharing a rental house at the beach. The walls are thin and most of the bathrooms are in shared spaces. Once the horrifying reality that I really was going to be sick set in – that I wasn’t gong to be able to cheerfully fake it one more time – I went into my room, shut the door, took my dog’s empty food bowl and – laying on the floor in a very “down dog” position, threw up into my poor dog’s bowl.

Sick as a dog. Ha.

As I was laying there trying to wrap my needled, maimed, spinning mind around just how sick I was, I remembered some moments in AA meetings where people with whom I “can’t feel a real connection” shared their low moments.

Maybe I hadn’t pissed myself, or lost my job, or gotten a DUI – but laying on the floor, quietly throwing up into my dog’s food bowl while my family baked cookies and wrapped presents just outside the thin, thin door – seems pretty low to me. And, as someone asked in an AA meeting a few weeks ago, “Just how bad does it need to be?” before you stop?

So I googled AA meetings in this tourist town, told my family I was headed out for some last-minute Xmas shopping, and found the church where the meeting was taking place.

And there they were – addicts and alcoholics, looking like addicts and alcoholics. My people?

I think I hate this snob voice inside my head as much as I hate Wolfie. Or are they the same voice?

I’m no longer interested in comparing my outside to their outside, because inside we share some powerful DNA that levels us in different ways, but collectively raises us up.

Merry Christmas Eve. (Day 2)


9 thoughts on ““Just How Bad Does It Need To Be?”

  1. Our bottom is personal to us all lovely and if this was it for you then it’s a turning point. Welcome to Day 2, Merry Christmas Eve and we’re here for you 🙂 xx

  2. This is my first time posting. I too struggle with alcohol abuse and in the same vicious cycle that you are experiencing. Your last two blogs really hit home for me.. It’s as if I wrote them. I want to thank you so much for your courage and honesty. There is no such thing as a coincidence and I believe your message came at a time when I needed to hear it…. Believe it. God bless you and I hope you find peace in your life. Xo

    • Thank you for such a nice comment.

      We just got home from Xmas Eve service. As I was sitting in the pew I was thinking back on that AA meeting from last night. There was a girl there, young, who was talking about how she used to move from town to town all the time. She said since she was little she never stayed in one place for more than a year or so. And now, she said, she was trying to “unpack and be okay with staying in one place, because I am going to be here tomorrow, too.” She is staying put, I gathered, not out of a real desire to stay HERE, but some law enforcement issue had made the decision for her.

      But tonight, as i was sitting in the pew, I thought about that girl and how i need to “unpack and be okay” with staying sober. I just need to stay put. And hope that I’m going to be here tomorrow. Feeling stronger.

      Because tonight I’m anxious and afraid and tired and ashamed and confused. But I’m just going to stay put. Tonight.

      Thank you again. It was a nice Xmas eve gift to read your comment.

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