Six months ago, I was lying on a couch, shaking uncontrollably, sweating, freezing, and hallucinating. I hadn’t been able to keep anything down, including microscopic sips of water,for 24 hours.
I was so dehydrated that I spent hours fantasizing about drinking ice water. But I couldn’t get down the stairs to the kitchen to get ice. I couldn’t move at all. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything but shake and puke. All I wanted to do was sleep. Within 24 hours, I would be in a coma.
I wondered, after the fact, why I couldn’t sleep. Surely sleep would be the best thing at this point. And oh god, did I want to sleep. I know now that if I had fallen asleep, I never would have woken up. My body kept me awake to keep me alive. I know this now.
Steve came over the next morning and called the ambulance. A paramedic carried me down the stairs to the stretcher. The pain was so intense that being carried reduced me to tears. I was in a coma and on life support within 12 hours. No one expected me to live.
I lived through the coma, through 17 days in ICU, 30 days in rehab, and now, six months later, I’m clean, sober, and putting my life back together. I’m alive. I’m here. It’s been a hell of a ride, but I’m in it for the long haul. Get used to me, cause I’m not going anywhere.
My name is Danielle, and I’m an alcoholic. I have six months sober today, August 16, 2008.
That’s damn right.