The humiliation and fear didn't last long. It just didn’t sting enough, I suppose. I obtained a lawyer through a friend, paid a fine and lost my license for three months. Once a year was up, it would be gone and no one needed to know. So, I continued to do what I was doing – drinking as if there were no consequences – as if I didn’t hurt or inconvenience anyone – as if I wasn’t killing myself.
Work was horrid. I was sick everyday. I couldn’t concentrate or care. I was constantly late and unproductive. I was pouring sweat by every afternoon going into withdrawal. Thankfully, there was always someone to go downstairs to the bar with at 5 o’clock. Once I had that glass in my hands I knew relief was close.
The only person I was fooling was me. Obviously, there was only so much my boss was going to put up with. HR was not happy either. I was put on a last chance contract. Part of that deal was I had to regularly see the EAP counselor. I was actually already seeing her on my own because of the grief. She was completely on to my alcoholism, but now she had me. I had to see her and take her suggestions or lose my job.
“Go to a ‘what’ kind of meeting?!?! You've got me confused with someone who has a drinking problem. My problem is that I’m depressed.”
That was my response and answer for everything, “You’d be sad, too”, “You’d be depressed, too”, “You’d drink, too” – if it happened to you.
I continued on like this for months - sick every day, paranoid, fearful, angry, sad and all around unpleasant. It was this tedious suicide plan that was taking way too long to work.
Every day I was hanging on by my finger nails to get through. All I could think about was that drink waiting for me at home. It’s what could make everything go away. (foreshadowing!)
Anniversaries of anything Rich would be my favorite excuse to do nothing toward growth or healing and wallow in my pity party. January was usually the time I’d become completely unglued and I could once again blame his death for my reckless behavior.
Two years had gone by since I got the DUI. Not that that has anything to do with anything. I changed nothing.
It was a Tuesday and my mother in law picked up M and E from daycare. My plan after work was to limit myself to two glasses of wine with co-workers, get a hair cut and then pick up the kids.
I woke up in the emergency room on my way to a MRI…