CREDOS: Alcoholism — I

When I first got sober, I was crazed and off centre. I barely slept for the first several months and couldn’t concentrate on anything. Work was impossible. I was employed as a senior editor of a large publishing company, but between anxiety, ongoing detoxification from alcohol and cocaine, and a chimerical aphasia, I was incapable of doing my job.

I went to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting after AA meeting, once setting an all-time personal best, attending seven meetings in a day. In the first 90 days, I went to over 250 meetings. I lived and breathed “recovery.” There was nothing more important to me than to never feel again the way I had felt on a daily basis for the previous seven years. I had no old friends left and making new ones was difficult.

I sat in AA meetings with my mind wandering from distant past to endless future and from the moment just passed to the dreaded lonesome night just ahead. I often sat in open meetings planning my menu for that night, never hearing a word that anyone said. I cannot tell you to this day the content of the remarks of any speaker I heard during the first 30 days of my new life. I knew that I needed to find something to do to occupy my mind for at least a few minutes in late evenings.

That was the hardest time for me. I had broken up with a woman I thought I loved only six months or so before I sobered up. I was, as well, still obsessed with a love affair gone horribly wrong. —