Mental Illness and Alcohol

I am dual diagnosed. That means I am mentally ill and alcoholic. The two illnesses cannot be separated. What I say about them in A.A. meetings is intertwined. I cannot mention one without the other. My relapse two years ago after twenty five years of sobriety proved that. One day I was happy, the next day I was miserable. The relapse was fun. All the old pleasures I got from drinking Manhattans returned. I had two drinks, weaved out of the bar, and took the bus home. The next day, I was filled with remorse. I checked myself into the nearest A.A. meeting and confessed. Thus began my long road back. I started all over, with one day of sobriety. I acquired a new sponsor and began working the steps again. He suggested a Fourth Step workshop. I found one that met once a week for four hours for seven weeks. Concurrent with that, I enrolled in a vocational study at the VA that met for six hours per week for thirteen weeks. I socialized a lot during this time. Then I attended an A.A. fundraiser with my best friend. I was shot like from a cannon into what Bill Wilson called “a fourth dimension.” I was happy. The woman running our workshop noticed it first. The VA claimed my happiness was permanent. I smile a lot these days. I am still pinching myself to remind myself it’s true. My cravings for alcohol went away three days ago. I pinch myself over that, too. Life is good and is getting better each day. Played handball this morning, which made me happy even in the depths of my despair. Handball is icing on the cake. The cake is unending.

Published by Christopher G. Bremicker

Special Forces medic stationed at Ft. Bragg NC from 1968 to 1970. BA English and MBA, both from University of Minnesota. Fisherman, grouse hunter, downhill skier.. Plays handball and reviews theater. Present job at Walgreens in St. Paul MN is forty-sixth job since high school. Hometown is Cable WI.

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