This post is a late entry for #JusJoJan Daily Prompt – January 14th, 2018 .
Disclaimer – I have spent the last 24 hours in a quick but horrible bout of food poisoning.
As a person who has struggled over the years with my alcoholism and cocaine addiction, I have received many ultimatums from my husband Cruz. The first came in October 2001, not longer after I moved in with him due to losing my apartment etc., when he found my cocaine. He stated then it either the cocaine or him! I had been what at that time I would have a NORMAL drinker and he was okay that but not the cocaine.
After that first ultimatum, I did not touch cocaine for 10 years no desire, no obsession no nothing. Then in the summer of 2011, I cannot explain it, but I wanted it and I was getting it. When this vicious cycle began so did the vicious cycle of not being a NORMAL drinker. This went on for 2 1/2 years through the death of my 99 year old grandmother on 11/2/2012 and then the death of my 89 year old grandmother, who was my biggest fan and who spoke to every morning at 7:30AM to have our morning coffee, on 2/11/2013. This long stretch caused me to lose a most fantastic job with my Alma Mater The University of Texas at San Antonio where I had worked for 6 1/2 years moving up in four different departments. I loved that job, I was well known and served on several committees. When I lost this job it was devastating. This time it was a much stronger ultimatum from Cruz regarding my drinking and drugs and my house, my babies and him it would all be gone. You would think that would have lit a fire under me and make me want to give up the ghost. It didn’t.
It took me until February 13, 2014 a day before our 13th anniversary to figure it out. Beginning in August 2013 when I left the university, I continued to apply for positions trying get rehired even though my family and friends said you will never go back. I posted for 46 positions, I had 9 interviews and then on July 1, 2015 I did return with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. I was so excited to be back, relationships folks in other departments picked up right where they left off. I was good at my job I was in this position until February 2017 when I was allowed to resign. My downfall began when I started drinking again after May 2016 when I came from work and found the fifth dog out of our ten laying dead in the middle of the street, we had already lost four between January and April 2016. It was too much for me.
I continued to drink, not every day up to September 14, 2016 the day that I turned 50. It wasn’t planned, but I sabotaged myself. I went to all of my old haunts got drunk and bought a crap load of cocaine. This started my next downfall and continued until I lost my job at the university again on. In April 2017 I attempted suicide, not planned it just happened, my Higher Power whom I choose to call God had other plans. I still don’t know what they are yet. In the summer, Cruz being the patient man who loves me again gave me the ultimatum, either the drinking and drugs or him. I did not pay attention again and my idiocies continued through November.
Then the greatest thing happened. I attended my first ACTS Retreat. This retreat was the most faith affirming, transformation and life changing event in my life. They say to leave everything at the alter and you will receive God’s blessing. I am a firm believer in this statement. I left my alcoholism, my cocaine addiction and many other health concerns on the Alter of the Tabernacle at that retreat. Since the retreat the incessant obsession with alcohol and cocaine have been gone, no desire and no thinking about it. This does not mean that I am cured, it just means I need to continue to do the work that needs to be done.
So the current and most important ultimatum is my own ultimatum – do the work, stay CLEAN and SOBER JUST ONE DAY at a TIME or die. I don’t think I have any more stretches in me and frankly I don’t want to find out!!!