I drove drunk again.
I lie here, in my bed, trying to piece together the shattered details of an ordinary night gone straight to hell.
I remember swerving.
Closing one eye so I could focus on the blurry road in front of me.
Did I hit something?
Or worse, did I hit someone?
I know I have to turn on the news.
Check my car for any dents.
I lie here, in my bed, horrified and drenched in sweat.
I stare at the ceiling as my eyes adjust to the morning light, and the familiar Shame and Anxiety begin to creep up and latch on and threaten to suffocate me.
I am in disbelief that I would sacrifice all that I have worked so hard to attain.
I am mortified that I would, after all of this time, forsake my family and friends, risk losing everyone I love, crush everything I have dedicated myself to build and sustain.
Most importantly, I am devastated that I let myself down; the self-respect I covet so much, that I lived so long without, begins to slip away in the grogginess and haze of the early hour.
How am I going to face myself in the mirror?
How am I going to face my children, my husband, my loved ones?
How am I going to explain that it was just a mistake, that it will never happen again, that I can and will do better.
Who will believe me now?
I consider seriously for a moment, never leaving this bed again, never showing my lying face to the world again, never breaking promises and hearts again.
I consider laying here until I’m good and dead.
Whatever it is I think I’m doing isn’t really living anyway.
I lick my dry, cracked lips.
The stale taste that used to follow these wretched nights is not there.
The pounding headache and overwhelming nausea that greeted me each day is also missing.
My body doesn’t feel as if it’s been run over by a parade of big rigs.
My vision isn’t doubled.
I lay still for a moment.
Catch my breath.
And let the slow realization that the horrors of last night were just a dream wash over me and cleanse me from the inside out.
Just a dream, Jo.
It was just a nightmare.
There is nothing left to do but weep.
Weep for the mistakes of yesterday.
Weep for the forgiveness of today.
Weep for the nightmares that plague and haunt and terrorize me, for they remind me how close I will always be to losing it all.
Just one drink.
One drink stands between these nightmares from becoming reality and so I know better than to chase them away.
Instead, I am grateful for their suffocating presence.
I rise from my bed, the Shame and Guilt and Horror falling to my feet and I stand tall and step over them as I make my way to the kitchen, the sounds of my children waking, my husband washing, my coffee brewing accompanying me with every confidant step I take.
It is the soundtrack of my life.
My sober life.
And for me, there is no other way.