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Today, Mornings Are Simpler

Amy, Florida

Good morning all. Another day and another morning of knowing exactly what I did last night. Awesome! I've been really busy with work, meetings, breathing, sleeping, eating, and putting one foot in front of the other.

A few weeks ago I was doing the newbie routine at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting: Why is this so hard? Why me? Why why why? Blah blah blah.

One of the guys said, "Did you get out of bed this morning, brush your teeth, and eat breakfast?"

Yes, of course.

"Well did you find any of that to be particularly difficult?"

I impatiently replied, Uh, no!

To which he said, "Tell me about a typical morning when you were drinking.

Ahhhhh! As my dizzy brain went back to those mornings after, I slowly realized what he was pointing out. I don't know about y'all but my mornings went a little something like this:

Wake up at 4 a.m. cause the booze wore off and my nerves were screaming. Id have a class-A headache, desert dry mouth, and a stomach that felt like I'd ingested bleach the night before. I'd crawl to the medicine cabinet; find something, anything, to quiet the war in my skull. Crawl to the kitchen for the last thing my stomach wanted but my brain knew would help a couple of huge glasses of water. By now Im dizzy, about to hurl. Theres a twenty-one gun salute going off in my head, and Im promising God and everyone on the planet that I aint gonna do that anymore. Next, I crawl back to bed to wait for death or relief, whichever comes faster; I dont care at that point.

I'd awaken again by 6:30 a.m. My partner would be home from work soon. Id have to get rid of the evidence from the night before. I'd get up again, stumble into some clothes, gather all the empties, and take them out to the trash. I live in a downtown residential-business district, so Id usually sneak over to the office next door and use that trash can. Then I'd creep back to my place as the neighbors retrieved their morning papers, jogged, walked their dogs, headed off to work, and tried not to stare at that nut job in her pajamas, hair sticking straight up, stumbling around the yard, taking the garbage out again this morning and why does she take it next door? I'd slink back inside, brush my teeth and find some peanut butter. Yeah, peanut butter worked wonders. It masked the toothpaste, which masked my alcohol breath. At the time, it made perfect sense. Then I'd hop back in bed and fall asleep until the afternoon when I would get up, take more aspirin, and go to work.

After sharing that, my friend in the meeting said, "Isn't this much easier?"

I had to laugh and agree. My mornings are much simpler, thank you. And, frankly, I can make the case that every square inch of my life is easier than the old planning, scheming, manipulating days of getting it, using it, hiding it, and recovering from it. I love this group.

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