Six years ago, some time around today, I travelled to Vancouver with my youngest son, still just a baby. I picked my sister up and off we went to do an intervention on my brother. Nothing could have prepared me for the state I found him in, his body a shell of its former self, passed out in his bed. Vodka bottles strewn about the floor, cigarette butts everywhere, burns in fabrics and carpets. Him, beyond thin, dirty, unshaven, ketones smelling strong on his breath and body.
He was so out of it we had no problem getting him dressed and loaded in my van. My sister sat in the back with my little baby, while my big brother sat beside me in the passenger seat. He alternated from consciousness to sleep to having seizures that would rattle and shake him for a few seconds. When we got to detox they wouldn’t take him until he had been to Emergency and been given some medicine for his seizures and was okayed by the doctor for entry into detox.
I learned in Emergency that the doctors don’t put too much faith or care into alcoholics because they don’t really change, just continue to damage their bodies over and over again until their livers fail or they kill themselves in some drunken accident.
We got my brother into detox and then rehab. He found God and lost him, but has been sober ever since.
I started running a couple months ago. I want to run the Victoria Half Marathon in October. I want to be healthy. I quit drinking yesterday. I don’t think I’ll quit forever. I want to be healthy.
In the past six years, I have spent many more nights curled up with a glass or four of wine than not. I have used alcohol to self-medicate, to placate, to cure loneliness and to feel less lonely in a place I didn’t want to be. Alcohol has been the driving force behind every mistake I have made. Alcohol has been really fun sometimes. Not that often. I have had to sleep away too many days because of hangovers and headaches. I have struggled with moderation until I just gave up on it. I blamed it all on the stress of being single and single parenting, when in reality it just made all of that harder.
I’m not single anymore; I’m not married either. I am still maintaining my own home and consider myself to be mostly a single parent. But I do have my ex-husband back in my life and I really want to do every single thing I can to give this my very best shot. This is my last chance with him. I’m not doing this for him — I am doing this for me. I am getting healthy for me. Six years is a long enough time to take advantage of a body.
“My dad is 100 years old” striatic @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
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