Friends have told me numerous times,  “I definitely have another drunk in me; I’m just not sure I have another recovery in me.”  I always thought, “My God, need you be so damn dramatic?”  After my drunk dream last night, however, I begin to understand their sentiment.

I dreamt last night that I was about to go on a date with Adam Levine (okay, so I gotta dream big), and I got skunk drunk, knock-down-drag-me-out-of-the-bar drunk.  I naturally humiliated myself and he wanted no part of me, leaving me ignominiously on the street corner.  Though the details are somewhat hazy now, several hours later, kind of like the hazy morning-after memories of those now long gone days, I nevertheless remember the panic, the feeling that this is it, I can’t possibly fathom putting together two days sober, two weeks sober, a month sober.  April 27th 2007 was the last day I fell down snookered, and April 28th this year I will celebrate six years sober, God and the universe willing.  I begin to understand, dramatic or not, I may not have another recovery in me so I better make this one count.

I have thought about starting up another blog site, “One Drunk to Another,” and I personally feel it might make for a great book, but I really don’t want to jinx myself.  I’ve got my life going on pretty good, heading creatively in the right direction as a writer who actually writes rather than dreaming about, but not working on the Great American Novel, and most days, I don’t have to think about alcohol or the effort involved in maintaining sobriety.  It often seems deceptively easy.  I laid a pretty good foundation, if I say so myself, and now weeks go by without me even thinking how great a Jack Daniels would be to take the edge off or make me more relaxed and interesting, or some other such nonsense.

Plus, I surround myself with positive people, and seem to naturally draw people with similar values into my life.  Even those friends who drink don’t seem to have a problem having A GLASS of wine or A BEER, or if they order a second, often leave it half finished.  This is unfathomable to me, and at times I find myself wondering, “How on earth can they simply leave a glass unfinished?”  During my drunk bar days, I needed to have a glass in my hand at all times, and though now the glass holds a soda water with a lime, that behavior hasn’t dramatically changed.  I still feel most comfortable holding that reassuring clear-bottomed glass in hand.

Strange enough, I have made numerous friends at Northwestern who speak in code, and let me know, “I had to quit drinking, or die.”  Again, these friends seem to have a flair for the dramatic, but there is truth in the sentiment.  I might not have physically died, though it was certainly a possibility driving home after far too many cocktails, I most certainly would have died spiritually and emotionally.

I have dreams again, and the courage to pursue them.  These dreams are far different than the drunken stupors I once found myself wallowing in, and it is a rare reminder to have a nightmare to reinforce that all the good in my life starts with me taking responsibility for my actions.  Hugh Jackman, in talking about the painful life experience of having his mother abandon him when he was eight, refuses to wallow in life’s disappointments.  He said, “There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life.  You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself.