The topic last night was relapse. The woman who spoke was pretty harsh and brutally honest:
“This is a progressive and fatal disease…what is your story with relapse? What are you doing to fight it?”
Her lead was 100x more direct, powerful, and articulate than how I just paraphrased.
We started going around the circle. One newcomer with less than 6 months shared about the two funerals he’s already been to in a very, very short amount of time.
A kid younger than me shared his experience with relapse: “I wanted to experiment one night…and wound up experimenting for 3 years.”
This past Monday a member of our home group died. He was young, had a wife, and a 3-year-old son. A member who went to the funeral gesticulated with his hands to describe the agonizing look in the wife’s eyes. “I don’t want my family to have to bury me.” He said.
The leader of the meeting told the group she had a sponsee who wanted to go out for “just one night,” and wound up killing two kids via vehicular manslaughter.
I suppose this is what’s called “keeping it green,” which used to be an expression I linked to packing a bowl; now it’s what I need as a constant reminder for my sobriety.
Sometimes I still want to self-destruct. Sometimes I want to see myself at the lowest point again, where I was in the basement of a stranger’s house with blood on my face and no idea how to get home. Sometimes I even want it to get worse than that, and I have no idea why. My thinking previous to AA was geared towards “party hard and die young.” Even after over a year, that death part still sounds appealing.
“I learned in rehab that the longest a craving can exist in your brain is 15 minutes, unless you continue to dwell on it.” The leader said. “So you pick up the phone, you go on a run, you watch TV, whatever it takes to move a muscle change a thought.”
I said, “I know all about those 15 minutes.”
I’m sure we all do, because whether or not we work through the discomfort determines whether or not we’ll pick up.
Sometimes I regret having not tried heroin, and I KNOW how moronic that sounds, but it’s the way my mind works; the self-destruct button is never far from reach.