a long time coming

they say you relapse long before you relapse. i believe that.  i’m sure it happens now and again, but i think it’s rare that a person wakes out of bed one day, walks down to the bar and just asks the bartender for a shot.


and so it goes.  i have been wanting the drags of cigarette i took tonight for MONTHS.  planning, plotting.  in fact, in the last week or so, i’ve come so close as to hold a cigarette in my head, pantomiming smoking while i talked on the phone.  i really locked and loaded the idea when i heard that a good friend of mine, whose long-term sobriety i really respect, recently had a brief relapse in *his* sMobriety.  really?  he could do this? he was still sober and walking around and god had not smitten us all?  yes, this could be for me, too.


the night was warm and lovely and it was only a matter of time.  we were on a friend’s rooftop deck and after all the asking i had done of people here and there, i thank my friend, joe, for acquiesing and giving me a drag from his Parliament.  i have to say, i was shocked to find it tasted delicious.  it was like nothing had changed.  it was great.


later, at the break of my homegroup, my other dear friend, john, let me complete the circle, and “take down” about 3/4ths of his Marlboro Red.  it was a backwards circle, since when i smoked, i started with Reds and ended with Parliaments, but it worked nonetheless.  i realized after the second drag of marlboro why this wasn’t a good idea — my head started to swim a little and talking with my sponsee was a little hard — i was slightly high.  that couldn’t be too good for standing around trying to be sober, right?  but i got over that and enjoyed my time during the break.


soon, i was also equally happy to be disgusted by how my hands smelled and how my mouth tasted.  perhaps this really was a one-off.  that this wouldn’t last.  that i wouldn’t be compelled to go buy a pack of cigarettes like i would be most certainly doomed to a run if i had started drinking again, for instance.  writing up this post, i can say that i am truly glad that i did it.  my throat is shredded and while it’s not exactly a headache, there’s something going on up there that isn’t quite right.  it was worth the brief moment to know that it’s not something that’s for me.  i have since 3.10.05 smober, and i will truly call this a “slip.”


always good to know what i’m dealing with.

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