February 7, 2019

My day was more difficult. I woke up with a headache again and my body seems to be fighting this change. This is something I knew would come but I have to be strong enough to keep going. I take the medicine the hospital gave to help with my anxiety. I cannot take the medicine for tremors while working. I hope I do not have another episode. Luckily, I am able to manage through work. The whispers are fading but I can still hear them. I confess to my boss what I am enduring. He is incapable of understanding the depths of my problem but he tells me that if I need anything to let him know. I am grateful. If I have found nothing else, I have found an appreciation for the people in my life. For my co-workers, my family, my friends, and that includes all of you here. I am not alone. I attend another meeting and the people there are glad to see me. They shake my hand and invite me to sit again. We have a discussion, much like before. I am gifted the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book by the members there. They know I will need it. I read some of it before bed. The words are reassuring. I am not alone.

February 8, 2019

I slept horribly. At one moment I was freezing and the next I had soaked my clothes in sweat. I pray for help through this. If I slept three hours I would be surprised. I was warned of this but I only have to endure a few more days and I can start to heal. I remind myself of this every time I want to drink. I made a promise and I intend to keep it. My wife sends uplifted text messages to me while working. It reminds me of what I am fighting for. I have a lot of life left. I have a loving wife and two beautiful kids that need me. I have family and friends that would miss me if I were gone. I have a God that loves me more than anything and wants me to be free of this demon. I ask for strength again. I know He hears me.

My co-workers ask how I am doing. I am unable to properly articulate myself without crying. My emotions are a roller coaster but eventually, there has to be an end. That is the thought that keeps me going. I make it through my work day with little issue. I am able to endure the mild tremor I have after lunch and when I get home I take my final pill. It helps me settle down. Hopefully, I will be able to sleep. My wife is still worried about me. I can see it in the way she looks at me. I am worried too, the weekend is here and with so much free time I am afraid I might slip. I have to keep myself busy. I have made a plan for the next two days. I only hope it is enough.

February 9, 2019

My night was filled with nightmares. The kind of dark dream that keeps your body stirring. I had to change clothes again from the sweat. I hope this is the last night of this. I lay in bed until six o'clock and decide to get up. Rest is not my friend lately. The rest of the house is quiet. I try to keep myself quiet too. Before the change, I would have opened a beer right about now. I would be working my way toward my stupor, blocking out any chance of any real feeling. I try not to listen to the voice in my head. It tells me how easy it would be to go to the gas station for beer. It is only a two-minute drive. I make me a cup of coffee instead. My children spent the night with my parents, so I am alone until my wife wakes up. I open the book I was given and read a chapter. My mind must not be my enemy in this. I must keep it preoccupied. My plan for today included going grocery shopping with my wife. When she wakes up I suggest we go early. I have to keep my mind on something.

She instinctively takes the car keys. She was so used to me being too drunk to drive. I ask for them. She smiles at the thought of me being clear enough of mind to drive. It is nice being a part of my family again, instead of a shadow in the room. I enjoy the simple things again and we have fun together. That afternoon I take our car to my parent's house. We need to check on a problem I am having with it and I know working with my hands will be a good distraction. It keeps me busy all afternoon. When I am done, I return home and my wife knows that the nights are my enemy. She suggests we celebrate my sobriety and asks if I would like to go out to eat. She wants me to pick but the places she suggests serve alcohol. I cannot be tempted to order a beer. She suggests another, which does not serve it and I quickly pick it. I have to keep focused on my goal.

February 10, 2019

We get up early enough to shower and prepare. My plan for today was to go to church again for the first time in years. The Devil had other plans. Our debit card was missing and we would need it to purchase gas before going to church. We tore apart our home in search of it, getting angry at each other during the event. In my frustration, I kick off my shoes and tell her to just forget it. That it obviously was not meant for us to go to church. I felt defeated. We argue. This is not the way I had hoped this weekend would go. My wife finally finds the card and we are able to keep to our plan. We apologize to one another and things seem right again. The demon cannot win. The church service is more than I expected. The pastor's sermon seems tailor-made for me. At the end of the service, he asked that any who feel lost to come forward, speak to the Lord. I hesitate, even though I know that I am more lost than I have ever been.

I bow my head and pray silently as the choir sings. The song finishes and he asks them to sing another verse. God knows what I need and he speaks to the pastor. When I still do not move, he speaks to me. I hear the words, "Go now." My feet begin moving before I realize it and almost as quickly I am upon my knees at the altar in tears. I beg for forgiveness and ask to be led back to the light. I silently scream inside my head for assistance as I feel the pastor's hand upon my shoulder. He prays with me in the quiet of that tiny space and for a moment there is nothing else. There is no congregation, no choir, and no world around me. It is me and God. I kneel there with him long after the song is done. I stood, wiped the tears from my eyes, and I felt stronger. I will keep my promise.

Each person I pass on my exit thanks my family for coming and asks that we return. The pastor shakes my hand and tells me that if I need anything to let him know. It feels like he knows already. We walk to the car and as I sit down to turn the key I feel as though nothing can bring me down. I turn the key. The car will not start. I open the hood and do what I can to identify the problem. I am no mechanic but members of the church soon come to help. A couple of the men are familiar with the type of issue I am having but tell me that I will need parts. This is not the way my plan was supposed to go. My father and I have to tow the car back to his house. My mother lets me borrow her car to get home. I leave my key with my father so he can take a look at the car. I am tired and the whole way home all I can think about is having a drink. I try to push the thought out of my mind. The day cannot get much worse.

My wife and I approach the back door. She assures me that she left it unlocked. It won't open and her key is inside. My key is still on the chain with the car keys. We argue about who locked the door. Meanwhile, my three-year-old is standing with my cell phone in his hands. He is watching videos on YouTube and at that very moment, he gets sick. He empties his stomach all over my cell phone. My wife suggests I drive back to my parent's house to get the key while she cleans up our son. Luckily, my wife had left a window unlocked while airing out our home earlier that day. I was able to pry out the screen and open the pane. I am able to hoist my ten-year-old inside and he unlocks the door. We get the boys in bed and I suggest we do the same. I do not want another instance of bad luck to occur. The events of the day weight heavy on me, but I sleep. It is restless, but sleep none the less.

February 11, 2019

My body wants to stay in bed but I know I have to get up. I am tired but at least I am not hung over. I do not hurt as I have hurt and I know that I am better for it. I arrive at work and go about my duties. When our book keeper arrives, she tells me that she had shared my story with the group in her bible study. Someone within her bible study felt that I could use a blessing. She said that this woman knew that when you are already struggling and something like this happens to you, it makes it even more difficult to get by. This woman handed my co-worker $200 and asked that she make sure I receive it. This will pay for the parts I need for my car. I have to fight back tears as I ask who this person is. They wanted to remain anonymous. I ask her to thank them for me and I pray again. I thank God for his blessings and ask that he bless those who help me, not just this person but my co-workers, my family, and my friends. That extends to all of you. Your words of encouragement are far greater than you can imagine and I hope God blesses you too. This would be so much more difficult without all of the support I have received. I will keep my promise.