I know. It’s Bold. But maybe that’s what I need to write in 2016. And maybe that’s what you need to hear. The truth.
Someone asked me the other day, “do you think I can stay sober while my spouse still drinks at home?” I looked at her the same way I looked at the bank teller last week when I went to make a withdrawal.
“I would like take out X amount of money from my savings please,” I asked.
The teller left and came back minutes later.
“Sir, you have .76 cents in one of your savings, should I withdrawal from the other?” she asked.
Seriously. No. Make it happen with the account that has .76 cents!!! (The Look)
And that’s the same look I gave my friend who asked if she could stay sober while her husband drinks at home.
I get it. We are all different. Some of us can still go to music venues, some of us can still work at bars. However from my experience, I only know one way to stay sober. And that’s full commitment. Which meant for me, real change.
I know, I’m lucky. My wife stopped drinking all on her own when I finally came back home. (How someone can just stop drinking at a moments notice is absolute insanity, just a FYI) But I would not have been able to stay sober without my wife’s support. I don’t know either if I would of stayed or left if she decided to keep drinking, like I said I’m very lucky. But its either it is, or it isn’t. And I’m on the side of that if you want to stay sober, you can not live with someone who drinks or uses and most of all doesn’t support you. There is not even a little trick I know, or a little routine on how to get by when living with a spouse that drinks. No clever sayings or suggestions. Just simply no. It can’t be done.
What can be done is your spouse can support you by understanding the disease. By going to a meeting with you. By not drinking or using.
I guess it all comes down to, what are you willing to change, sacrifice and let-go of, to get sober?
I am not sure what I can offer. My story is the same than everyone else’s. My recovery is the same as well. So what sets me apart? I have no idea. I am not sure how I got sober either. When Manuel asked me, I answered quick with the AA fellowship and the steps. However I have not worked all the steps yet and I have not talked to my sponsor in months. In fact I do not even have a San Antonio sponsor yet. I do know the entire deal was a process that started sixteen months ago. I was talking to Rudy. I knew where my life was headed, and I knew the decisions I would be making over the next few weeks would effect my life for the next fifteen to twenty years. So I made the decision to rent my house out to my sister-n-law. The sole reason being, the party had to stop. I did not want it too, but I did know it had to stop, and it started with this house. My plan was too rent out the house, and go live at the Haven For Hope, a homeless shelter in downtown San Antonio. This is right about the time I bought a pair of hair clippers and started giving myself fades. I wanted to save twenty bucks a month on hair cuts, so I could do more drugs, because in a year that was over two hundred dollars I would be wasting on things other than drugs and alcohol. I wanted to live free at the Haven For Hope and save the incoming rent money. I also wanted to talk to people living at the center, get their stories. The stories CNN dosen’t have time for. No one has time for in fact. Most the people are going to die addicts. Like Manuel. I give him no chance. Southsider, Mexican mafia, addicted to heroin. We had to finally tell him and his girlfriend they had to move out of the metal shed in the backyard of our rental house on the south side San Antonio, that they were living in. I remember a few weeks ago, when I first met Manuel. I told my Dad someone was living in the shed, my Dad blew me off as to say no way, no one could ever live in their especially with this over one hundred degree heat. My father is a very smart and intelligent man, however when comes to addiction and poverty, is has not the slightest clue. Not that he was born into old money, he has worked hard his entire life and gave my sisters and I everything we wanted and needed. But he just does not know the disease of addiction. So Manuel popped up at our rental after the people moved out, and said he gave the renters two hundred dollars a month to stay in the shed. My Dad could not believe it. I asked him what his deal was, he said heroin, and asked me how I could tell? I told because I was an addict also. Then he asked, then why aren’t you high? Because I am six months sober, I replied.
Then that’s when he asked me how?
I was in the metal shed today looking around at the little property that Manuel and his girlfriend had collected over the year of them staying there. I glass jar filled with lighters, I candle with a picture of Jesus Christ laid on the floor. A dingy full size mattress covered most of the cement slab. A loaf a bread on the make shift shelf that is the top of the tube television. Cigarette buds everywhere, dice, shoe string and a sticker that said SUPPORT YOU LOCAL SOUTHSIDE MC. Empty little boxes of anything and everything littered the entire floor. What caught my attention was a certificate, hanging on a nail above the TV and make shift shelf, partially hidden by another piece of paper that had the word JESUS written in pencil. The certificate said MANUEL DIAZ successfully completed DETOX 2012. I have no idea where he and his girl moved too. I heard maybe across the street to someone else’s backyard, yet I have not seen them around.