Warning! Morbid Post Ahead.
I don’t know if other recovered drinkers do this, but I do. Sometimes I tell myself, “If (fill in blank) happens, I’ll let myself drink again. Just once. One night. Then I’ll go back to not drinking.”
The blank is usually a death. For example: I tell myself, “If the cap’n dies, I’ll let myself drink in memory of him and I and all the good times we had while drinking. I’ll buy a fifth of Jack Daniels. I’ll drink and dance alone in the moonlight, like we used to.”
Or: I’ll tell myself, “If one of my kids or grandkids die, I’ll let myself drink again. Maybe I’ll never stop. I’ll deserve it.”
I don’t know if I really would. I hope I never find out.
Then this morning, I had this drinking dream…
I dreamed that my youngest son died. He is a sergeant in the Air Force, so that is an always present underlying fear that I don’t let myself think about, even when he’s deployed. But, in this dream, I was at his funeral and they were just getting ready to close the casket. I fell down on my knees in front of the congregation, grabbed the mortician’s hand and begged him to wait, because it finally hit me that I would never see him again. (Gawd this was an awful dream and I’m just about to cry reliving it.) I don’t think I’ve ever really grasped that finality of that act, the closing of the casket, as I did in this dream.
In the dream, my oldest son came up and grabbed me and pulled me to my feet. I looked into his eyes and saw disgust.
“How could you,” he said. “You’re drunk, aren’t you?”
“Just this once,” I said. “I had to.”
I looked around the congregation, my daughter-in-law, my grandkids, my ex-husband, for understanding. Surely they could understand that I needed to get drunk. But they were all sober and somber. And noble. As my son deserves.
So, now I don’t think I’ll drink when someone I love dies.
As I’ve posted on here before, my youngest is the one with whom I still feel I have some amending to do. While his brothers sought refuge from my escalating drinking and the maelstrom of our gas and striking match blended family and moved back with their dad, Matt stuck it out. I think maybe he felt like he had to, because the other two hadn’t. This is what I wrote to him on Easter:
You know, Matt, I’ve never told you how much it meant to me that you stayed with me all through your high school years, I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t. I feel like I abandoned you after you graduated and Chantel was pregnant. I am so thankful that I have the chance to rebuild the relationship you and I once had, those nights I’d wait for you to get home late and we’d sit outside on the step and talk about everything. I want that again. I’ve missed it. I love you.