For one year. Er, almost one year. Outpatient rehab totally worked for about ten months, followed by two months of "normal" drinking, followed by this message that I sent to friends on the night of January 30, 2011:
On the phone with my mom at midnight (she's a night-owl), I told her how much I didn't want to make the call, and how I had thought all day of ways to avoid it, or lies I could tell to explain it. But she always sees through everything, anyway, so I knew it would be useless to try to explain a mysterious and sudden three-month trip to, like, who doesn't have cell towers these days? Somalia?
I said to her "What I am about to tell you is incredibly difficult, and it's hard for me to form the words. But, have you noticed I've been drinking more lately?". I was humiliated to learn that she ABSOLUTELY had (but in a weird way, also kind of relieved). "Well, E and B were supposed to come to Portland today to have breakfast with me, but instead it was all of my best friends in two cars who came to have a chat with me about their concerns about my drinking, and..."
"Exactly an intervention."
She cried tears of joy, the first time I've heard my mom cry (unless from laughter) since her mom died twenty years ago. Reared in Appalachia with twelve siblings in a three-room shack in the middle of the coalfields, at 5'1'' she has an admirable sense of style and a full on NO BULLSHIT attitude about everything.
So that happened today. I saw everybody arrive and asked, "Uh, is this like an intervention?". A, my oldest friend who allowed me to move into her lovely home in my new city a month ago (fun fact: she used her Wheel of Fortune winnings as a down-payment) while I looked for work and relocated from my old city, confirmed that it was.
Having gone through outpatient rehabilitation in the past, we were able to skip the grit. Yes, I know I have a problem, blah blah. No storming out of the room and having a "chaser" come talk me back in.
I think I tend to associate with hyper-organized people who Get Shit Done because I am the opposite. There was the bulleted list of "focus items" (If he says no, focus hard on #3, if he says yes, skip to #5). There was a seating chart (disregarded). And the whole thing was so well put together. There were many, many tears from my friends who I fucked over, but we were able to joke in no time, as always.
I am terrified. I can't believe I let this happen to me. But I am so grateful to have the best friends in the world and I've been aware of my problems for a long time. Looks like no chillaxy outpatient, "I'll just come in after work" therapy for me (which, by the way, works for LOTS of people, it worked for me for the year I attended and the reason it didn't stick is because I wasn't even a little diligent about using their recommendations afterward). What's been proposed is three months in-patient rehab. It's probably the best option. But it's such a huge new commitment. I'm confused. We'll see.