What happened When I saw the “Whiskey – $5″ Sign

Even after being sober for a good amount of time, I am still not immune to the occasional crazy cravings that just sneak up out of nowhere! I used to hate these moments, feeling like there was something wrong with me, because I should not have these feelings anymore. But now I see them as my little reminders, that even after some time, it is still cunning, baffling and patient!
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Last week I took my two oldest kids to The Great Wolfe Lodge, a kid’s resort with an indoor water park, arcades, outdoor game area, and many other children’s activities! Nevertheless there a three bars there; not a problem with that, I have accepted this as a part of the world I live in. The resort is very parent friendly too, and for convenience I was given a wristband that would grant me the entrance to all the activities as well as allow me to charge any purchases directly to my credit card… yes, too convenient! LOL!

After spending several hours at the indoor water park, the kids wanted to go to the outdoor pool where they could play water basketball. As we walked out to the game area, right away I noticed a bar! As we got closer I detected a pyramid like display, in the middle of the bar, made of many fancy liquor bottles, which seemed to be glistening under the bright lights. Then I spotted some colorful lights blinking to the beat of the 80’s music which was blasting out of the speakers. Oh, this must be where the parents are supposed to be hanging out, I giggled to myself!

20140829_130659~2The kids ran into the pool, and I sat on the lounge chair close by, and opened my diet coke. I looked back at the bar. There was a large chalkboard with colorful writing, “Whiskey – $5.”

Suddenly, my mind went into overdrive…

There is no one at the bar, how convenient! I could actually buy and drink several shots, in a matter of a few minutes and no one would know. The charges are listed under Great Wolfe Lodge. My kids are in the pool playing. I could sit back on my lounge chair as if nothing happened and enjoy my buzz! Isn’t this a vacation for me too damn it!? Then another look back – the sign is still there, and there is still no one sitting at the bar. This would be so easy. Would the bartender say something? A woman, alone doing shots of whiskey – would that be too weird?! How many could I have before the bartender would say anything. Oh wait, I could get a soda and pour the shots in the cup. Then I could just sip on the “soda,” no one would know! Perfect! I could finally relax!

OMG. I am just a wrist band away from a drink!

This is crazy, what am I doing. The pull was sooo strong and I got scared, I mean like freaked out, scared. Holy shit, what is going on in my head. I have to tell someone, now! I sent out four texts immediately.

“Hi. I am at Great Wolfe Lodge. There is an outdoor bar – sign says whiskey $5! Big time cravings. Don’t even like whiskey but it’s like I could get away with it. I have to tell someone. Help. Hugs.”

First response back:
Glad to that you reached out. This happens to me too! Makes me think we just sometimes have an automatic thought to have some alcohol. Great that we are at the point where we are able to think it through and know what a messed up thought it is. But cunning, baffling, and PATIENT. Right? Hang it. It will pass.

Oh damn, I haven’t thought it through…

If I run the tape all the way through, and if I actually drank, I would most likely have done several shots all at once and been pretty buzzed, maybe even feeling nauseous. I would probably panic at first too. Than I would most likely sit back on the lounge chair, and try to act normal and watch my kids. But honestly, watching the kids would have quickly become secondary, because I would have been instantly sucked into a full-blown obsession of figuring out how to drink more.

If I keep going with the tape, I would probably find a way to drink more, then possibly black out and pass out. Not sure what would happen to my kids! OMG? Would they have to carry me back to the room? Would they have to call someone to help!? They would be so scared and confused. I am sure that they would call their dad too. How would I explain? What would happen then? I can’t even think of that! In the end, and to be completely honest, I would probably continue drinking, because I would be filled with soo much shame, that I would make that a reason to drink even more! Would I be able to get sober again? Do I have another recovery in me? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out!

This is not a path I want to be on!

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As I turned back to the phone, I noticed three more texts filled with words of support. As I was busy taking with my sober network, the cravings were subsiding, yet I decided that I also need to leave the area. I gathered up the kids and convinced them that we needed go and check out the arcade.

Later, my very intuitive daughter asked why we had to leave the game pool so quickly and I told her –  the truth – the sign was talking to me! LOL! Well, I also told her that I was too close to the bar and I didn’t feel comfortable there because I didn’t want to drink. She gave me a hug and said, “Good job!”

The next day the sign said: Creamsicle – $5. I felt nothing… no desire, no craving – Creamsicle, bleh, and it would take too long to get a buzz! LOL! But seriously, that was super scary, yet I know that this is sort of a natural thought process for me – I am an alcoholic. This is why, for me, every day has to be about staying sober first. The work never ends, and it might seem like a lot of work to have to do for the rest of my life, but it is way better than the drunken existence I used to call my life.

For me… recovery continues, as I am still an alcoholic.


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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Powerful stuff, Maggie, I am so glad you shared this! You are helping so many of us by your example!

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    1. Powerful indeed! Surely came out of nowhere. I usually travel with my husband who is also in recovery and my support if I have a craving. We usually laugh them off together, not because it’s not serious of course, but because we understand how these things work. But I was alone this time. Glad I have a big support network! Thanks Josie, hugs!

      Like

  2. Tar Heel says:

    I still get down on myself when I have those urges. Thanks for sharing. I need to remember it’s not the thought and urges, but my actions that matter. Your post was amazing and really helped.

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    1. Thank you! I like what you said – it’s the actions that matter! So true and good reminder that I don’t have to act on my thoughts. They are just thoughts!
      Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.

      Like

  3. robertlfs says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am amazed at how this stuff can creep up on me. It’s always when I least expect it. My wife and I were having dinner at a restaurant a couple years ago. She got up to use the restroom. I looked at the folks at the table sitting next to us. They were both drinking red wine. And just like that, I thought “I wonder what a glass of red wine would taste like today?” Every now and then that lime flavored mineral water fires the synapses in my brain that say “gin and tonic” and catch me off guard. I appreciate and enjoy that after the flash of reverie, the bit of advice I remember from detox was to not just think about the first drink, but where that first drink always leads me. To date, that little technique has done the trick!

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    1. Thank you Robert for sharing that story. I still can’t drink the lime drinks, like diet coke and lime, same reminders! I once bought an Apple juice drink for my kids, it tasted like the cheap wine I used to drink! Ugh. Don’t butt it anymore! Have you been to Wegmans? Their wine aisle is like the Nile! I once got lost in it and almost freaked out too! Lol! It might seem silly, but all this can really be dangerous for me. I have several times (when I was trying to get sober) walked into a store with no intentions to buy any alcohol and walking out with boxes of wine! I don’t want to take these chances. And the longer I am sober the more protective I am really. Running the tape through has been the best tool ever for me too!

      Thanks! Hugs.

      Like

  4. That same sort of thing zaps me too sometimes. I will be near a beer truck and the signage looks very refreshing and wondering what beer tastes like…you know, all those craft breweries I used to love trying (hammering). Then I realize I am just thirsty, will have some water and it goes. I play that game of going down that path for a moment, and don’t like that ending. Just like how it happened to you. I have come close to calling / texting but until now (never say never) I can reel it in before it gets too crazy.

    Great post – did you stay at GWL? I was there a year or two ago. Great fun!

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    1. I really think it was because it was just me and the kids, and it would have been really easy to get away with it… at least in my mind. That was my thing for a while, hiding and sneaking and lying. I can’t afford that anymore. I have to say it out loud or tell some one. My secrets keep me sick!

      Yes we stayed, nice rooms and comfy beds! But I have to say that the park is just ok and everything is horribly over priced. Nevertheless, I stayed sober and the kids had a blast and that’s all that matters! These are the good old days 🙂

      Thanks Paul! Hugs.

      Like

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