With detox done in 2009 as detailed in my previous post, I entered a - by my standards - pretty long period of sobriety, initially with the intention of keeping it that way for the rest of my life. Mind you, alcoholism has a relapse rate of around 95%, but at the time I was confident I was done with the subject because I felt I had enough for a lifetime.
What happened after detox was a long period of attempting to heal. Trying to get my life in order again. Get out of depression and anxiety and panic attacks, start a job, maybe some day a family, anything. I must say that at the time were a number of things. There were my parents who one month after detox showed at my front door with a tiny black puppy and told me they think having a dog would help. It really did, and I love my dog more than anything. Another thing that helped at first was an outpatient psychiatric nursing service that visited me once a week and helped me try to learn doing normal things in my life again.
I went to an inpatient psych ward for two months in 2011, which didn't help one bit, but I met two of my friends there. Went to a day clininc in 2012, which at first helped a lot, but turned out to make me miserable because they left me with nothing to continue my progress with afterwards. I met a very nice girl there I briefly dated, and that's sort of how it started.
She liked to drink alcohol. She never asked me to drink with her or anything and respected my wishes, but at the same time it really got me thinking that I'd really like to be able to drink with people again on rare occasions. So I did an experiment, bought two cans of pre-mixed Jack Daniels and coke, and two bottles of beer, had them for a nice evening just to see what happens. Got a nice buzz, but what I was really curious about was whether or not the next day I would yearn for more, and I didn't. Not the next week, either. They told me since childhood that as a sober alcoholic, you drink one drop and you're all back in full on addiction. That didn't seem so likely anymore. And I talked to doctors about it, and they also told me I could drink normally if I didn't overdo it, and that the whole "one drop and you're back"-thing is nonsense.
So every now and then I would be drinking. About once a month at first. Then occasionally I did more than once. It took about a year of that to realise that there are still times I could go completely out of control and drink heavily for days. That's when the whole thing started to scare me. I will right into a clinic, the schizophrenia ward I have written so much about. But they didn't want to talk about alcohol, to them I was schizophrenic and nothing else.
After the schizophrenia it continued as before. Sometimes once a month, sometimes every week, all normal. Until a few months ago when things began to completely spiral out of my control. That was when the worst thing I ever did happened. I went to a bar with friends in a neighbouring city, planning to go home the same night. But I fell asleep in the bar bathroom, woke up there the next day, and continued drinking. The reason this was the worst thing I have ever done was because all the while my dog, which I love more than anything, was still at home without food and more importantly without walks. I have felt so rotten ever since, and I cannot live with it.
I still continued drinking, for about two months, but that's gonna end for the time being. My dog is just fine in case you wondered it got hurt. But I'm not fine about it. I can't continue hurting someone I love, and I will try everything in my power to do differently from now on.