Thoughts on Statistics

I’ve been very open and blunt about my stint in rehab, and my addiction to alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Enough to put me as close to death as one can get without actually being on the slab. I talk about it, I joke about it, and 104 days after my last, almost fatal drink, I’m still beating it soundly, as they say, one day at a time.

I’m one of the lucky ones. In more ways than one.

I got a phone call today from a fantastic person I went to rehab with. We were thick as thieves there, and by the time we became “old timers” there, were more caregivers than anything else. I was, obviously, a drunk, he a “pharmaceutical enthusiast.” We both had serious drive to get better, and coming up on four months on the outside, we’re both doing very well. He just became a father, and I’m regaining my independence. We are not the norm.

We chatted about who we had heard from and/or about, and out of all of us, we are the only ones left who haven’t “gone out” again. The statistics for relapse are grim, and for today, he and I are indeed, in the vast minority. I was proud of us, terribly proud, and at the same time, incredibly sad for all the people we knew who are back out. There’s nothing we can do for them, and that sucks. But, given the damming statistics, we can’t. We have to take care of ourselves. It’s not easy, being selfish. But we have to be. Just listing all the names of the less fortunate made that grimly obvious.

I don’t have anything stellar and inspiring to say about all of this. I’m just a little stunned at the perspective I gained from that conversation. I think often about the people I went through rehab with, I wish them the best, I worry about them. But for today, I’m just incredibly grateful for what I have, and that my pal is doing so well.

Congrats, DP. You’re going to be a great dad. You know what to do. Love ya.


Thoughts on Statistics — 6 Comments

  1. Hey,

    I’m really proud of you. REALLY proud. I haven’t seen you in years, but seriously, DV, I think you’ve all growed up into one super fine woman. And super strong to rehab your way into a different life for yourself and to make that daily effort. If you were up here in Boston, I’d make you one super awesome “celebration” and “encouragement” and “I am officially a DV cheerleader” dinner. And if I could, I would introduce you to one of my best friends, this totally righteous woman who I met at the start of my MFA program, who is to this day one of my best friends, and who, now, has been stone-cold sober (and happy! and balanced! and pretty fucking kickass!) for 8 or 9 years.

    You rock on out, girl.
    I’m happy you’ve been finding your footing and that you’ve found it in a steady place.

    (and I sort of wish you were in Boston next Friday–I have my first poetry reading in something ridiculous like 5 years and I am nervous as shit.)

  2. Congratulations on your recovery – you totally rock. I am 9 months sober and of all the people I went to my 30 day rehab with .. only 2 are still sober. Its scary. We’re all in touch with each other and helping each other out – I hate this freaking disease.

    Thanks for your courage and honesty – you have a fantastic blog! I’ll be coming back!


  3. Congrats on your sobriety. I have 20 years although most of those were on a dry drunk. Last summer I went to rehab to learn how to stop being on a dry drunk and finally found recovery. I often think of those who were in my group at rehab. I just wish the statistics were higher.

  4. Hi – I saw your link through DaMomma and had to check it out.

    My Dad was revealed as an alcoholic just over a year ago when he had a massive stroke and went into the DTs (he never got really drunk and it was hard to tell how bad the problem was since he had lived alone for over 10 years). It wasn’t pretty. I have seen alcohol rip families apart and what it does to individuals. I commend your strength.

    Good luck with your continued recovery!!

  5. You have no idea how proud I am that your still pushing strong. It’s good to see you writting again, you always were fucking good at it. Keep up the good work and don’t change, I love reading you twisted views on things

  6. Yay, RSS! I finally figured it out. And though I’m a bit late to the game, I am SO proud of you. (And sorry about the Grecian! I probably would’ve loved it.)

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