Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Real Miracle

I was one of those closet drinkers. Though occasionally I did get drunk in public, most of the time my benders were at home, a private matter between myself and a full glass, especially if Chelle was working late.

On those nights, she'd call from work before heading home to let me know she was on the way. I barely remember these conversations.

Chelle tells me that back then, whenever she'd hear my voice slurring on the phone, her stomach would tie up in knots. Her biggest fear was coming home and finding me dead. I'd fallen and hit my head, or I'd passed out and choked on my own vomit.

Yep, and back then I'd thought I was a "normal" drinker who just occasionally overdid it a little. Denial is a powerful thing.

How my life has changed. Thank God my life has changed.

Chelle's away for a couple of days and her trust in me has been completely repaired. Scrounging around in the fridge last night to find something to make for dinner, I found some leftover cooked chicken. I took it out, brought it to the counter, started stripping meat off the bones to add to some pasta, and it dawned on me. There were two Dogfish ales in the refrigerator.

And I didn't care.

Curious, I opened a cabinet door, and there were Chelle's three partially consumed bottles of bourbon, including a very expensive Booker's which is something like 110 proof. I smiled and closed the cabinet door.

I'm not even remotely tempted.

This is the real miracle. It's not that I'm not interested in tying one on (that's a miracle of another kind). The real miracle is that Chelle now trusts me so much it doesn't worry her to leave booze in the house when I'm here alone.

There once was a time that was inconceivable to her.

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