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The Anatomy of an Alcoholic Relapse

Updated on January 7, 2015

A choice? Or Inevitable?

My heart is heavy now as I tell the story of my decision to drink again. As I look back at this 'choice,' I am more and more convinced that the situation essentially demanded it, though I take full responsibility for my actions. In A.A., it is advised that no matter what life sends your way, don't drink over it. I chose not to heed that advice. What I felt I needed was comfort.

Most alcoholics are uncomfortable people in general. We don't function well when faced with some social situations. So discomfort is often the underlying cause of drinking behavior-In the alcoholic brain, that is. Alcohol seems to provide the answer to a number of baffling and confusing interactions, it smooths the sometimes rocky landscape of human communication. That bottle can be an escape, even a perceived solution.

Bad News, Sad Memories

I can't say it was a complete surprise, but then any death can be explained away as unexpected, taking the sting away from those of us left behind. But as you age and become aware of your tenuous hold on middle-aged existence, serious self-examination tends to follow:

I received the phone call late one night earlier this month informing me of the death of a favorite uncle and was urged by family and friends to attend the services. While I have avoided many family events in the past, I felt it was indeed time to get reacquainted with my clan. This was the perfect opportunity-sad, but true. Major events are often the only way to gather extended family members together, and unfortunately this includes funerals.

So I boarded a Southbound bus headed for Los Angeles, a city I vowed I would never visit again-bad memories, you understand. The trip was uneventful, and within five hours I had arrived at my destination. Arrangements had been made for me to stay with a dear cousin and his wife, who are not drinkers. The first few days I spent with them in Oxnard, California were spent reacquainting myself with these and other long lost relatives, and alcohol was the furthest thing from my mind.

The day of the funeral was one I will not soon forget. Many of my relatives are buried at this cemetery, and I was not prepared emotionally to see their final resting places. At the service, we were seated directly over the graves of my father, his sister, my grandparents, and other immediate family. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.

My father suffered from cancer and had been ill most of my young life. When he succumbed to the disease, I was 8 years old. Much of my early life was thus centered around death and dying. I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at this age and have been battling it to this day. The doctors who attended to me emphasized my father's lingering illness as part of my diagnosis.

As I aged, then, death was to be a constant companion in my life-many others in my family were struck down almost yearly from my father's death on. You could accurately perceive my relationship with death as essentially intimate, a constant companion.

I have been conscious of the danger of so-called 'triggers' that can make drinking seem a reasonable option in daily life since my hospitalization, but I was fairly certain I would not even consider such a thing since my experience had been so very life-threatening.

I was mistaken.

Enter Alcohol

After the gravesite service, around 1,500 people attended a buffet dinner in memory of my uncle which was held at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles.  'Gordy' had been a high school football coach much of his life.  The dinner was attended by most of my surviving family and greetings were given all around.  

One unexpected aspect of the dinner-at least to me-was a fully stocked bar.  Initially I ordered Cokes, but as the evening wore on, I asked the bartender to add rum to my drink.  I enjoyed the gathering with increasing ease.  

Even though my 2 1/2 year sobriety was now officially over, I did not consider the consequences of this decision.

Home Again

When I returned home, I immediately returned to my old drinking behavior, consuming a fifth of scotch daily. All was well until around 2 weeks later when I began vomiting. In June of 2008 I had been hospitalized with a case of acute pancreatitis which almost killed me. The vomiting had been a warning then, and it was beginning again.

I emptied the bottle down the kitchen drain, aware that my body was no longer able to handle liquor. Three days later, withdrawing from alcohol, I had a grand mal seizure. My husband and son were able to catch me as I fell so, besides the brain cells destroyed, little other damage was done. This time.

Yet Another Relapse

In 2012, when I first published this article, I wrote, "Today I am again a recovering alcoholic, grateful that I have yet another chance to enjoy my sobriety. Only now have I decided to share this experience with my friends; this is not a comfortable topic.

But I am willing to share this story in hopes that others do not choose this path. It simply is not worth it."

Now, 2 years later, I have come to realize that this cunning, baffling, and powerful drug has a stronger hold on me than I thought possible. I have tried numerous times to 'control' my drinking to no avail. I have relapsed into addiction over and over again.

Today (this time) I've amassed 128 days of continuous sobriety.

This is not a soft or gentle disease, rather it is an amazingly worthy opponent in my battle to stay alive.


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    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      7 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      You are so kind, torrilynn! I am proud to say I've now been sober for over a year and have very few thoughts of drinking. Not sure if or when those will stop, but even if they don't, I am sure I'll remain sober-I simply think about the damage I've done to my body, my friends and family and choose NOT to incur any more pain!

      Thanks for your words,


    • torrilynn profile image


      7 years ago

      very inspiring hub. this can help many others to not take this path and it shows them what could possibly happen if they do. you are a great writer and im more than positive that you will remain sober. thank you. voted up.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      7 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      No worries at all, Louisa!

      Thanks for coming by and sorry for the late reply!


    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 

      7 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Lorlie, this was gripping, and I could see and feel every phase. I'm so glad you got clear that alcohol was not possible for you.

      Also, I apologize if the question I asked about pain meds in your other hub was insensitive. I later worried about it.

      Take care!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Thanks so much for the link-you must have read my mind!


    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      I would be honored for you to link to this writing, doctorulna. Thank you for your glowing comment-I do appreciate it.


    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Thanks so much, J Burgraff-so belatedly, I am afraid! Don't know if you'll ever come back to read this, but thanks for coming by an commenting-the support here at HP in particular is amazing and wonderful.

      Thank you again,


    • J Burgraff profile image

      J Burgraff 

      9 years ago

      Lorlie, thank you for your courage. I think jpwriter was correct when he stated that expectations for the recovering alcoholic can be very high and that people would not have the same expectations for people recovering from another disease. From what I can see, you not only have a community of support in AA, you have a whole community of support right here on hubpages. Stay strong, and when you aren't...write and reread some of these posts. My best to you.

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 

      9 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Thank you for your candidness. I recently was watching a program that was talking about how our secrets can't taunt us anymore once we share them - that they lose their hold on us. I believe that and see that by writing about this you have not only started the healing process in yourself but are also helping others by telling your story.

      Thanks and God Bless!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi stars439-Thanks so much for coming by!

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      God Bless You Precious Heart.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      susanlang-Sometimes the cross seems impossibly heavy, sometimes light-it depends on my mindset every day.

      I thank you for coming by!

      Dearest Peg, thanks so much for the encouraging words. Yep, I find that death brings out the very worst in most people, certainly in me.

      I appreciate you coming here to read.

      AskAshlie-Sorry it's taken me so long to respond! I'm not spending much time on the computer these days, I am enjoying my new grandson!

      Thanks for the visit.

      Docmo-It's a pleasure to see you here. Thanks so much for the heartwarming words!

      Amy-That little girl was heartwrenching to me, too. I am glad the picture conveyed the emotion.

      Bless you for coming by.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      lorlie, The photo of the little girl crying with abandon made me see and feel the depth of the pain you felt watching your father's illness and early death. That made me cry. Thank you for so purely sharing your grief and attempts to assuage it. Take care of yourself, beautiful lady.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      This is such a brave and heartwarming account - takes a lot of courage to share and inspire. sorry for your loss and well done on your faith in yourself.. as another poster has already said- a true, heartfelt narrative is worth a thousand fictional tales. yours certainly is! I am glad I dropped by. Hugs and a kiss.

    • AskAshlie3433 profile image


      9 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

      So sorry for your loss and your pain. You are very wise and deserve nothing but the best. Your words inspire me and I am sure many others. Best wishes.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      9 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      You've let us peek into the secret chambers of your heart, Lorlie. You're braver than I'll ever be. We all have our demons - hopefully we can take them on with strength and determination like you have.

      A death in the family is a heart wrenching event where we examine our past and open up long-lost veins of grief. I'm sorry for your loss and grateful that you have prevailed to inspire others.

    • susanlang profile image


      9 years ago

      wow...I didn't know this was your cross bearing burden!

      a very touching story indeed.

      so glad you pulled through your relapse, that took great courage and faith...good for you!!

      again, a very touching story!!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi Jamie-You are very kind and I appreciate your coming by to comment. Yep, Bill W. is a powerful presence in my life and I'm glad you and I have something in common.

      We really DO tend to congregate together-there's a special something when in the company of other drunks!

      Take good care, Jamie.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Ya know lorlie.. I ran across your profile and just by looking at your profile pic I immediately felt some kind of connection to you. After skimming through and found this hub, and here it is.. we are both friends of Bill W. It's funny how we can somehow pick each other out and I think it's no mistake I ran across this hub. I too have struggled with relapse (multiple times) since I've been in AA since 1996. I'm grateful to have found this hub!! I hope we can get to know each other here :0)

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi sueroy!

      I do appreciate your comment-I've never found it difficult to be honest about these things; whether or not that's wise is still a question.

      But that's okay, I'm pretty much an open book.

      Thanks for the visit!

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 

      9 years ago from Indiana

      Wow! I'm blown away by your ability to so distinctly put your shortcomings out there in hopes of helping others. Amazing.

      I saw you wrote the "30 minute hub", and hope you're block is over. I just came to your hubs today, I'm looking forward to reading more of your art. Writing is an art, and you are an artist.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      @MFB111-You are so sweet to come by with encouragement and hope. I think I've finally learned that alcohol is poison to me. The cost is far too high to indulge ever again.

      Thanks for the visit.

      SJ-Asking for help is one of the hardest things an alcoholic can do. There's a saying in AA about the extreme weight of the telephone-it's terribly hard to pick up the damned thing when you need to talk to someone. The PTSD is indeed an ongoing problem, but writing is certainly one of the best ways to deal with it.

      Thanks so much for coming by.

    • ahostagesituation profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh, Laurel, I'm sorry, how did I miss this one? Mortality is a very curious thing. It's everywhere around us, but few of us really believe in it, until we have no choice. The PTSD from your dad's death won't just go away, and is a difficult challenge for sobriety. I really hope you maintain your strength fighting this addiction, and that you have the strength to ask for help when you need it.

    • MFB III profile image

      Matthew Frederick Blowers III 

      9 years ago from United States

      you are in my thoughts, I too have known addictions and turned to writing to beat the demons out of me....sometimes it works and at other times I find myself writng but unsober...yet I am not nor have i ever been a heavy drinker. My addiction is tolerable, but yours is tooo costly and you are loved here so drink in the words that folks leave, and keep the bottles of anything but ink capped...please~~~MFB III

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi Jackie-I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your comment. I really, really understand what you're saying about the holidays! Here it is, the 12th of December-smack dab in the middle of them. I'm hanging on-that's the good news!

      Thanks so much for coming by.

    • bayoulady profile image


      10 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      It's a good time to share,lorlie6. The holidays will be especially hard for my precious loved one to stay sober, as he/she has had their share of heartaches this year. Hopefully your story will be found by those searching for encouragement to stand strong, or at the very least, get back up and try again.Hugs.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Oh Charlie-Thank you for visiting, I'll give it a go as soon as I gather myself together!

      Bless your heart.

      Love you.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      How we doin' wonder gal? Get with the writing, you're good at it. Tell us something new in your life. xox CC

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      I'm so pleased you came by, finatics. I seem to be managing my newfound sobriety well, no new relapses to report!

      Thanks again for the visit.

    • finatics profile image


      10 years ago

      Beautiful hub, lorlie6. Moved me to tears. I'm send you a mind-hug right now :) Good luck and God bless you!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hello, TheManWithNoPants, Jim! Thanks for coming by with such kind words. Transparency is the name of the game when it comes to sobriety-"Getting Honest" is one of the most important parts of real recovery.

      I appreciate the visit.

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      10 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      You are a model of transparency, and you just got another follower. (I only follow about ten!)


    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Your Hub on an 'alcohol-free' holiday spoke to me, actually YELLED at me-which I need!!!

      In AA and elsewhere, I've heard that God doesn't give out more than you can handle. I'm not so sure that is true. After all the various heartbreaks recently, I saw that open bar as a relieving entity. Events seemed to be converging such that I would not be able to muddle through without a drink.

      But in the end, it all got terribly out of hand. I was terribly proud to pour all the alcohol down the drain, but had lost sight of the seizures. I did NOT think of that consequence at all.

      That is perhaps THE classic element of denial!

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Dear, dear lorlie,

      I had no idea. Life's terms have been pretty horrendous for you recently. Thank you soooo much for sharing your truth. You have described perfectly how it happens. So innocently. From coke to coke with rum. So seamless. But how quickly that need for comfort turns into an almost lethal consequence.

      I'm so, so glad you're here (and back sober, that goes without saying!). Wishing you sister hugs. MM

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      I miss your butt, too, Christoph! Now that I'm sober again, I'll try to keep up with your antics...

      Take good care now!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      Hi lorlie. How ya doin? Since we've already "talked," I wont say anything here. Miss you!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Thanks for stopping by, Winsome! I always listen to my pancreas-it's quite the loudmouth.

      If I ever go to LA again, I'll be sure to let you know!!

    • Winsome profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hey Laurel, you gotta watch those family get togethers, they'll kill ya. So glad you're ok. Take your pancreas' advice and you'll do just fine. I'm here for you as well as all the above HP great souls and if you ever have to brave LA again, just send me an email and I'll escort you through to the Texas blessed parts. =:)

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi Lisa-Thanks for your lovely post, I mean it! Keeping the lid on that box is often difficult, but worth the constant effort.

      Thanks again for coming by.

      @Holly-I am so glad you came by, dear friend. Our disease is a lifelong struggle, and I am not ready to give up!

      Thanks for the comment.

      @BennyTheWriter-I've found that sharing my battle is one of the best ways to get through this addiction of mine. Thank you for visiting.

    • BennyTheWriter profile image


      10 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Wow are a brave soul. It can't be easy to expose one of your hardest personal struggles, but I applaud the fact that you did so with brutal honesty and empathy. Truth (honesty with ourselves and others) always prevails, and you and your hub are a testament to that.

    • H.C Porter profile image


      10 years ago from Lone Star State

      lorlie, although I cant say- it is okay..because you and I both know, once an addict always an addict and there is no half way to being sober...i can say, I understand and I have been there too. your hub has given the reality that this is a life long struggle for so many of us. Keep your head up and keep on going girl...we all slip and fall-the key to survival is-get back up/ dust off/ splash some water on your face-and keep on going forward looking ahead so you dont trip and fall again. All my love goes out to you and I am still proud to know you and have you for the encouragement that you so often give to me. Your flaws make you human- your heart makes you whole... Thank you

      xxx Holly

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      lorlie6, when I saw in the forums the news about your dog, I came to see if you had written anything about grieving the loss of a pet. I saw this Hub, and the thing that strikes me about it (besides your courage to speak about it head on) is that this kind of straight talk about a very common (and needless to say, very challenging) problem is, I think, the kind of thing so many people can benefit from, learn from, and/or understand better because of your sharing your own struggle.

      I know you certainly don't need me to point out that you're not alone with this problem; but because of your being willing to tell you story, someone else may not just see that they're not alone, but be more comfortable being candid about their own situation.

      Your strength shows in the fact that you've been able to get to being "recovering". The fact that there was a slip up is not a sign of "weakness" on your part. It's a sign of the power and strength of the "monster" that you've proven strong enough to overcome.

      As someone who's had quite a bit of loss and death in my own life, I know how it can take extra strength and "mental energy" to keep that "Pandora's Box of bad memories, but even good ones" closed. When enough of those things build up in that "Pandora's Box", it can seem like it gets so over-filled the lid just pops open - and when that happens, getting control over it all can be overwhelmingly difficult to do (at least for awhile).

      I don't want this to sound condescending at all (and I sure as heck know I know nothing about being an alcolic, myself - so you've got a whole lot more wisdom and experience to share on this matter than I do). What I've seen (as someone who has a lot of loss and death in life but who hasn't happened to have found alcohol as my own way of dealing with things), is that even when that "Pandora's Box" gets opened, and it all can just seem to be way too much to handle; those moments do pass if we can ride them out (or sometimes even "write them out".

      I guess my point is that life has built a great, big, overflowing, Pandora's Box for some people; and those people have to live their lives figuring out a way to live with the burden of it and keep that "lid closed" as well. People who don't have that "Pandora's Box", or at least who have a small, easily mentally managed one, often (mostly probably) have no way to no how much of a challenge it can be to manage it all the time.

      I think (at least for me) happy experiences and having sources of joy are the things that help replenish some of the mental strength" that always keeping that Pandora's box closed, or getting the lid on it shut again, drains. Whenever I've talked with people who drink regularly (not alcoholics by any means), I've said how drinking makes it more difficult for me to keep that "Pandora's Box lid" closed. Someone once joked, "That's because you don't drink enough to get past that and to where you feel happier." The problem is, it's one thing to drink to get past a tough work week on the weekend. It's another to have that giant Pandora's Box all the time and have to "drink enough" often enough to have it help. For me, more than a small glass of wine inevitably leads to that "lid" being opened - and on top of it, I'm stuck without the "hyped up enough mental energy" to be able to get it all back under control.

      I don't know if any of this "insight" into my own dealing with one of those "Pandora's Boxes" is "insight" at all, or if it's at all useful to you or anyone else here. My main point is that lots of people do understand how very difficult it can be to keep control over too many bad memories or feelings of loss. I think a lot of stuff in those "Pandora's Boxes" can and does settle down after it's all been processed and put back in the box yet one more time often enough. I think, too, if enough positive experiences/feelings/thoughts fill "the main part" of our minds enough, after awhile there's not as much "room" for that lid to pop open quite so easily.

      Stay strong. Forgive the length of this post. I'm just trying to share what I think I've figured out (at least in my own case) about having a whole lot of loss and death to deal with in life and knowing how difficult it is, sometimes, to be able to get a grip on it without resorting to some kind of "assistance" from one substance or another. (I'll be honest: I'm not exactly above resorting to reaching for nicotine when I was at my "peak" of having that lid fly open too regularly. In the case of nicotine, it "boosted" my "mental strength" and ability to get control of the overwhelming onslaught from "the box". For me, alcohol compromises my "mental energy" and alertness; and that's what gives the "stuff from the Pandora's Box" an edge if I drink at all.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Bless your heart, Shalini. Thanks, it's day by day!

      Take good care.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      10 years ago from India

      To you Laurel, you wonderful person - here's to all strength you need! Hugs!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      My HubPages family hasn't let me down yet, tipoague. Getting honest is part of my recovery.

      Thanks so much for the visit!

    • tlpoague profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Thank you for opening up and sharing this with your hub family. It is hard to express to others the destruction alcohol can inflict on one's body. I come from a long line of alcoholics and married one. Needless to say, it was my faith in God that helped me to detour from becoming one. The desire to drink is always there, but I remind myself of the problems that it can cause; which leads me to asking myself if it is worth it.

      Hang in there! It sounds like so far you are winning the battle. Thanks again for sharing!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Elena-It's always such a pleasure to see you! I am feeling much, much better and don't plan to 'go there' again.

      Take good care and thank you for commenting.

    • Lady_E profile image


      10 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Lorlie

      Sorry to hear about your Uncle. Don't be hard on yourself, as you narrated - the circumstances seemed overwhelming. I'm glad you're doing fine again though.

      Really wishing you well.

      Elena xx

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      How true, Dolores-how very true!

      Thanks for reading.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      10 years ago from East Coast, United States

      lorie - the past is the past even if it's a few days ago. Recovery is a life long process. God help you on your journey. We all have our devils.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi ashwani-I appreciate your comment, thanks for the visit.

      @jrsearam-Thank you so much for listening! Isn't the community here amazing? You are an example of the healing power of HP.

      Thank you for coming by!

      @Scribenet-You are so right, alcohol is not a friend of mine. It's unfortunate that I just had to give it another shot, but many alcoholics do just that. Never again! Thanks so much for commenting.

      @Ronnie-Your words are balm for the soul. Apparently 'moderation' is a quality I've never mastered, thus the body's severe reaction. I'm glad your sons have such control.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by.

    • profile image

      R. J. Lefebvre 

      10 years ago


      Your not alone in wake up calls, but you are a demonstration of courage to share your short comings. For a long time I did not have the courage to recognize my negative health wise realities i.e., smoking, drinking, eating habits to name a few. I was especially concerned my sons would follow in my footsteps (one is a moderate smoker and both drink in moderation)phew. I'd like my memorial to state: no matter what happened, I stood tall. You are indeed standing tall with your hubs.


    • Scribenet profile image

      Maggie Griess 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for sharing a difficult journey; I can sense how hard this was to write! You know the consequences and you are a smart woman; do battle with this addiction because it is your enemy not your friend!

      Alcohol is a poison for "your" body. The acute pancreatitus and the seizure point that out, as I am sure you well know! please fight the addiction with all your strength because you have a lot of reasons to live...just read all those supportive comments!

      It seems, we all know or have a family member that has been affected by alcohol we are with you 100% in your battle. Go to war girl!

    • jrsearam profile image


      10 years ago from San Juan, PR

      I wanted to join with all your other well wishers in expressing my support. One of the wonderful by-products of belonging to this community is the opportunity to actually know another human being. Of course that requires an open and honest author, willing to reveal what is true to him or her and an empathic reader that "listens"to the words. I wanted to wish you well because I feel I know you, because you are truly open and honest and because I listened. Stay in the light...JR

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for writing this Lorlie.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hello Denise-Your words are special to me at this point in my life. I suppose relapse is a part of recovery, I just hope I don't have to do it again!

      Thanks for visiting.

      @CMHypno-I thank you for your comment! Sometimes that courage you mention is in hiding.

      Take care and thanks again for coming by.

    • CMHypno profile image


      10 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      It takes amazing courage to give up alcohol, so I hope that your courage keeps you moving forward and making the right choices

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Lorlie-My hat's off to you in the confession department. Not an easy task to voice your 'fall' in public. But, like all things, it's a process. Kudos to you for your courage to face your addiction, your recovery, your relapse, your addiction and now...your recovery. One of the comments was that it took that person several times before they 'got it'. It is no different than anyone who has any type of addiction including the food which leads to eating disorders.

      I support you in your desire to stay sober. It is not easy wanting something that is bad for you and needing to do the opposite. But, you've done it before and you can do it again. One day at a time-one moment at a time. Many Blessings.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      I am so very sorry about your husband, RedElf. That must have been devastating for your entire family. I am terribly lucky to have this second chance.

      I had a cousin-she was like a sister to me-who died in '07 when her body shut down due to alcoholism and drug abuse. It sounds quite similar to what happened to your husband. What tragedies.

      I hope you and your son are well.

      Do take care.

    • RedElf profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Welcome back, Lorlie! I am so glad you chose to try again.

      It is said that for an alcoholic, drinking is just a slower form of suicide. I have seen too many marriages destroyed, too many lives needlessly cut short, and too many friends and family members lost. I became a widow last May because of drink. I cannot adequately describe the pain and heartbreak my son felt watching his father die. It was like losing his dad a piece at a time, as his body slowly gave out. ...oops-liver complications ...oops-heart problems ...oops-circulation shutting down in the legs

      It is a terrible way to die.

      We all know alcohol is a sneaky son of a b**ch, and will catch you out when you least expect it. Please, lorlie, let what happened to you be enough this time.

      The outpouring of love and support in these comments proves you have many friends here, and there is help for your pain, as long as you continue to reach out. God bless - remember, when life knocks you to your knees, you're in the BEST position to ask for help.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hey WS-I'm doing really well! Thanks so much for coming back by!!

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 

      10 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Hi, lorlie... just checking in to see how you are and to say "hello!" Sligobay says it best... Thinking about you.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      'Continuous' is the critical word, though any sobriety is to be valued. Thanks so much, sligobay, for stopping by! Congrats on your 10 years.

    • sligobay profile image


      10 years ago from east of the equator

      One day at a time Lorlie. It took many relapses for me but today i am blessed with ten years of continuous sobriety, just 'One day at a time'. Keep the faith.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Eiddwen-You are a dear friend to me and I thank you for coming by to comment. Secrets are such a dangerous part of addiction-I'm through with them and am proud to say I'm an open book when it comes to this part of myself.

      Thanks again for your words.

      @Deborah-Strength does feel like weakness when struggling with addiction. But I thank you for pointing this out!

      @ThreeFootHat-I sure hope I don't have to go through this again. Friends like you keep me sane and I thank you!

    • ThreeFootHat profile image


      10 years ago from Chicago

      Oops! It posted twice!

    • ThreeFootHat profile image


      10 years ago from Chicago

      I am glad to hear you are back to sobriety, Lorlie. Try not to be too hard on yourself - I think a lot of people relapse at least once if only to remember why they stopped drinking in the first place. It sounds like you got a good reminder! And I bet you'll never do it again. Be strong! And hang in there, lady.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      10 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Lorlie, You are strong. As with many, you may not think you are strong, but you are.

      Thank you for bravely sharing this story with us.


    • Eiddwen profile image


      10 years ago from Wales

      Oh lorlie6 you are a star and the fact that you can share it with us says so much. I haven't been on here much over the weekend or I would have seen this sooner.

      You are a fighter, that is quite obvious since the first time we 'spoke.'

      You are not drinking in secret and hiding bottles everywhere you are facing up to everything and you're getting it out of your system by sharing it on here.

      As you say what better way to help others than to do what you have just done by sharing and being 100% honest.

      I have complete and utmost faith in you my friend and you are a star!!

      Take care and God Bless you my dear friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      10 years ago from Wales

      Oh lorlie6 you are a star and the fact that you can share it with us says so much. I haven't been on here much over the weekend or I would have seen this sooner.

      You are a fighter, that is quite obvious since the first time we 'spoke.'

      You are not drinking in secret and hiding bottles everywhere you are facing up to everything and you're getting it out of your system by sharing it on here.

      As you say what better way to help others than to do what you have just done by sharing and being 100% honest.

      I have complete and utmost faith in you my friend and you are a star!!

      Take care and God Bless you my dear friend.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Thanks FP-I'm pretty sure I'm out of those creepy woods.

      Glad you came by!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      10 years ago

      Hang in there, lorlie. You're doing great!

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Thanks, Wordscribe, for showing up here. I need these comments to remind me of who's out there understanding the concepts of sobriety and alcoholism.

      You mention immediately jumping to the consequences. I really need to do that. Perhaps I will now.

      You're a doll, thanks again for coming by!

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 

      10 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Hi lorlie, true story. I had this little mini-hub written just the way I wanted in in response to this very important hub. I left the room for one minute and heard my daughter say to our cat, Ginger: “Get off Mommy’s computer!” I came back, the whole comment was gone! So, again I will try to succinctly comment.

      First, I regret not noticing this hub earlier. When I first got into recovery many years ago, I relapsed quite a few times before “getting it”. I’d go back to my sponsor and AA, tail between my legs and fess up. I heard “It’s okay, that’s just what we do.” Or, I got messages about how my relapse, albeit painful, will help other alcoholics. I felt somewhat offended, so I will attempt to couch these messages in a slightly more empathetic manner. Bottom line, lorlie, it IS okay! You came back, you are not hiding your relapse, you wrote this very honest account of what happened. And, by sharing your story and writing this hub, you are certainly helping others while you simultaneously help yourself. That is powerful.

      As you know, AA is big on one day at a time. I’m sure you’ve heard old-timers say “The person in this room with the most sobriety is the one who woke up first.” But, here’s the thing, resetting your sobriety date is still hard and feels like a loss. That said, nothing can ever take away the 2 ½ years you have, from the looks of it you very well might not have been alive to tell this tale were it not for that long stretch of sobriety. Furthermore, no doubt, you learned a heckuvalot about yourself during that time. Now you have this great first-hand knowledge about what happens when you take that first drink and the unsavory consequences that will follow. I honestly never even consider drinking anymore, lorlie. It’s anathema to me, the thought of it… But, for the first few years when the thought would cross my mind, I’d IMMEDIATELY jump to the consequences and all the reasons it wasn’t worth it. So, in a funny way, I think having relapsed early on was an integral part of my recovery.

      Hugs to you. You should be very proud of yourself for writing this hub and getting back on the road to sobriety. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi jpwriter-I so agree with you, that's why I mentioned that 'the situation essentially demanded it.' In the future, I plan to remember this and try to stay away from highly emotional get-togethers that include liquor!

      Thanks for coming by!

      @Audrey-Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I worry for Jonathan since he's in classic denial, as you already know. Only he can finally admit he has a problem, so try not to worry so much. Yeah, right.

      I hope you can remember it's not your fault!

      I am glad you came by, as usual!

      @Gerry-Thanks for coming by again. Most of my alcoholic friends suffer from low self-esteem, so I suppose it was a generalization to say they always go together. I thank you for the correction.

    • Gerry Hiles profile image

      Gerry Hiles 

      10 years ago from Evanston, South Australia

      Hey try to go a bit easier on yourself.

      Self-hatred and alcoholism don't necessarily go together.

      As a very badly abused child I had near-zero self esteem in my teens, but I neither hated myself nor drank.

      Ironically I had worked through one hell of a lot and had good self-esteem during my forties - even better now and, guess what, I've been drinking heavily, off and on, only the last twenty years - back on it again at the moment. But that's OK. I know why I relapse ... it's ALWAYS to do with some latest set of things going wrong.

      BIG HUG OK.

      Hey I'll try to give you a laugh - I've had cancer three times, but keep my sense of tumour.

      Keith Richards and I are the same age and share a lot of good habits - though admittedly I missed out with heroine - heck we're still here making bloody nuisances of ourselves, albeit he's FAR better at it than I am. Heck he even made a better job of using Dartford (England). railway station.

      He met Mick there, I just caught trains.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Oh Laurel - My heart goes out to you and I was behind on my reading so I missed this by a day!

      You know I have a personal 'thing' with alcoholism because of my amazingly brilliant 34-year-old son. It breaks my heart every time he slips and falls but I think the main thing is to get back up and keep trying, which you are obviously doing and have done.

      I don't think anyone knows what triggers really are or at least how to avoid them permanently. I often take the blame if we are with Jonathan and I think it is something we said, didn't say, some memory but I don't think it is that. I just think sometimes for whatever reason, people feel overwhelmed and it is a welcome crutch and something to rely on when you need it. I guess it just means that the person going through it is falling.

      You are so honest and in that, you are so brave. Jonathan has a hard time with this issue. He keeps saying he can quit whenever he wants to - SOOO very dangerous. I worry every day that he'll grow sick from pancreatitis or worse yet, be hurt in an accident because of his drinking behaviors. I can't tell you how much I value your honesty and the fact that you face your demons. You don't have to be perfect - you just need to be here! So keep on fighting and I'll always be thinking of you.

      You are a marvelous friend and a wonderful person for offering up yourself so honestly to us - and the rest of the world so they can learn from it. We all have weaknesses though and maybe some of ours are just not as obvious - I try and keep that in mind always.

      Best thoughts, virtual my pal in California.

    • jpwriter profile image


      10 years ago

      re: "Today I am again a recovering alcoholic"

      Do not be too hard on yourself. If I had money for all my relapses, shoot, I'd have enough to buy another one! ;) joking.

      But really, soothe yourself. You did nothing wrong but what you were supposed to do. Sometimes we relapse. From your story here it sounds like the perfect storm, all elements in play for relapse. When everything comes together like that I have to question whether there was literal choice involved.

      Relapse is part of recover though. It's painful and frightening for us and those who see it. I remember clearly the pain at the point of trying again, of withdrawals again, the emotional rawness again, and so forth.

      The medical term for being in recovery is remission (after 1 year). But, it's medical terminology. Just like cancer or other deadly diseases, sometimes it relapses. It happens. When cancer patients relapse we do not criticize them partly because its taken as part of the disease. They aren't blamed and shamed. This is as it should be with addiction. I think that society puts much too much pressure on us to stay clean/sober forever. They misunderstand the brain disease of alcoholism/addiction, usually failing to see it as a disease. This pressure backfire creates a guilt/shame vacuum and sucks life out of addicted people, whether to alcohol or heroin, etc.

      So, thank you for your honesty and for allowing me to offer my thoughts and support. Look back enough to know where to intervene next time. And then work on forgiveness. I imagine you've got a lot of that coming.

      Take care.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Ah Beth-What kind words! Being human is not for the faint of heart. I've fallen down and am proud to stand again.

      @ariariari-I'm so glad you came by. Thanks for your words.

      @Eco_Ali-I truly hope your friend is able to reflect on his problem. The diet you mentioned is very familiar to me, many alcoholics lose interest in eating and do more damage to their bodies that way. Alcohol is quite filling-especially beer-and he needs nutrition.

      All my best.

      @lyndre-So glad to see that avatar once again! Bless your heart for your sweet words. I think quieting the brain is my first priority-you are so right!

      @MPG-My body speaks volumes, I'd just forgotten how accurate it can be in its assessment of my choices. Thanks for commenting.

      @sofs-I don't intend to look back-I really appreciate your thoughts!

      @Green Lotus-You are a very wonderful part of my HubPages experience. Thank you so much for your kindness!

    • Green Lotus profile image


      10 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      lorlie your words always move me and I see that they are a powerful gift of wisdom and support to so many. Thank you for expressing yourself with such courage and simple honesty. Although the story is delicate and sad, as always, you capture my full attention and my heart.

    • sofs profile image


      10 years ago

      Lorlie, a brutally honest story, I hope you will never look back again.. I am glad that your husband and son are by you. Take care you are a brave woman and you will come through this well.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Maria Giunta 

      10 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks for sharing your story, I had no idea you are a recovering alcoholic. Your body was telling you how bad alcohol can be for you when so much is consumed, this experience you shared will help others. Take care of yourself and remember how good you feel without alcohol.

    • lyndre profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for sharing Lorlie.

      I had just finished post on the forum topic hows your now and then came across your hub.

      Keep your chin up.You had 2 and a half wonderful sober years so you know you can fight this.Just slow down that racing brain,and take it odaat.

      I was feeling down but your hub has giving me a kick up the ass to remember that life can be good without alcohol.

    • Eco_Ali profile image

      Eileen M Antolino 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey ~Trenton/Princeton area

      Lorlie, I very much appreciate this intimate glimpse into a delicate time of your life. I do not drink but I live with a man who is an alcoholic and he'll easily put down a twelve pack of Bud a day. He's been here for 3 years during a time when I was healing from a mental breakdown. At first I invited him to move in as a live in "handyman" of sorts since he was pretty much down and out and his OCD keeps him working up a storm around here. But because of my mental state and the meds I was on, it was really easy to become his doormat and believe me he had me running ragged. This is our third year together and I'm doing much better so I dont run here and there at his every whim anymore. Actually I had him arrested last May and after spending 3 days in jail and then 3 days on the streets he came begging back and I laid down the law. So far so good. But I'm worried that he has no health coverage and he would rather drink than eat and he eats lots of fatty processed foods so I'm really praying that his body doesn't take him down too hard when/if it does happen. Reading your story makes me believe it will eventually happen. I just hope he's as lucky so as to get another chance at a better life. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • profile image

      Ari Lamstein 

      10 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this.

    • Beth100 profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Lorlie, we are all human - frail when it comes to facing our own demons. We all react differently -- some reactions are visibily open to the naked eye and some are not. It takes great strength to recognize one's weakness and great courage to stand up and face the demon. You're a strong and courageous woman. We all fall down but not all will stand up. You have. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi SilentReed-Self hatred goes hand in hand with alcoholism, though you may not be in actuality an alcoholic. Coping with real life is not for sissies, so try not to beat yourself up. I hope you are able to beat this thing with confidence!

    • SilentReed profile image


      10 years ago from Philippines

      Been trying to kick the habit for years. Not exactly an alcoholic or a social drinker. borderline case (is there such a thing?) Depression is usually the reason and the after taste of feeling weak by not being able to cope without the bottle is what makes me hate myself.Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Hi Gerry-Even though I don't completely understand your comments, I do appreciate the visit and hope James comes through for you!

      @Micky-Spirituality is certainly the most desirable 'addiction,' and I intend to seek needed comfort there rather than the bottle.

      Thanks for visiting.

      @SilverGenes-It's so clear that you are a very attentive reader and I appreciate that. My son's tears overwhelmed me more than anything. Thanks for your words, dear lady!

      @Uninvited Writer-Bravery? I suppose so, but that's how I heal! Thanks for coming by.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Thanks for sharing this with us, very brave of you.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      There have been many reasons I enjoy coming to your hubs and reading but I think the best reason is YOU. Your honesty and the warmth of the person you are comes shining through, perhaps more than ever in this piece. You noticed your son's tears - that spoke to me louder than anything else. It may be rocky at times but now you have something that will always see you home safely. Laurel, I wish I were closer to give you a big hug. Thank you for every word :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      Lorlie! I am so sorry for IT ALL. I do love your grand heart Dear Lady! If I could drink- it's possible -I would be an alcoholic. My grandfather was. I've tried drinking and it was horrible. I really don't like the taste of any. But- I've needed a "sedative" too! It wasn't the right one. I rely on spirituality but it is lonely here in spirituality. God bless you Lorlie. I love you GIRL! God bless your family!

    • Gerry Hiles profile image

      Gerry Hiles 

      10 years ago from Evanston, South Australia

      Oops Lorlie.

      Crossed wires too complicated to explain.

      Strangely that does not radically alter what I wrote.

      I am on your side OK.

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Who, pray tell, is James?

    • Gerry Hiles profile image

      Gerry Hiles 

      10 years ago from Evanston, South Australia

      Hey I love Lorlie ... you know that Lorlie.

      Up to now James is being a pathetic, spoiled-brat whiner.

      A narcissist. Nailed you James (or not).

      Refute me OK.

    • Gerry Hiles profile image

      Gerry Hiles 

      10 years ago from Evanston, South Australia


      I am an alcoholic. So fucking what!!

      Socrates was an alcoholic. So fucking what!!

      Keef Richards is muliple holics (me too actually). So fucking what!!

      You have lost me lately Jimmy, e.g your strange defence of Israel and complete loss of anything even remotely connected with history ... that is why I have not commented for a while.

      You say you respect me.

      OK, as your friend, I will say you are losing it bro and I know how and why, more or less.

      Contact me, I may be able to help.

      If you have Skype phone me at (Australia) 0885224979.

      I have been through FAR more shit than you could possibly

      imagine. That is why everyone here in the retirement village says, "Talk to Gerry."

      You are in very deep trouble James.

      E.g. why have you done a "mea culpa" piece? Don't you know that you are not to blame for anything?

    • lorlie6 profile imageAUTHOR

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      @VioletSun-I so appreciate your words. It's not easy to live with addiction all around you. My mother was also an alcoholic, and growing up with the disease can be disheartening, to say the least.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      @the clean life-I think that I completely understand your guilt and how alcohol seemed to ease it. Life can get so very overwhelming that the numbness booze has to offer seems far preferable than reality.

      Take care and enjoy your sobriety!

      @Austinstar-I hope one day to have your attitude toward death, it shows a strength I am trying to develop. In the meantime, I still struggle to understand the holistic view of it all!

      Thanks for commenting.

      @Martie-Thank you for your understanding. The need for crutches is indeed universal, though it is far better to meet these situations head-on. Maturity is gained by taking in the good and the bad equally.

      Thanks so much for coming by.

      @Vern-You do speak the truth! Congratulations on your sobriety, and wow do I understand the lure of the liquor aisle! It can be disconcerting to say the least.

      I've heard those 6:30 meetings are awesome-keep going back!

      @Pcunix-You're a dear for coming by. Addiction is everywhere, you are so right.

      Take care and thanks for commenting.

      @Joyus-Congrats on your 3 years! It's so incredibly important to pay attention to our bodies when they are clearly letting us know booze is not the solution! I think I've finally listened!

      @Kathy-Your words are so valued, I do understand the phone call to mom very well-I remember her phone number to this day. What needs to be remembered the most is the loved ones I enjoy today, my 2 and 4 legged loves!

      You're a dear, thank you!

      @Dimi-I hope it's okay to call you that! I adore my son and never want to see those tears again. Thanks for coming by.

      @Saddlerider-I hope this was a test, too. I have hopefully passed and will live now to see my child and grandchild grow up-I now have clear eyes!

      Thanks for your friendship.

      @Shail-I really appreciate your words, and I will keep what you've said in mind!

      @Sunflowerbucky-I don't really have much choice but to be honest. I suppose I am an open book-I just hope my story can help someone else, and in the process, help myself.

      @Laura-Thanks so much for commenting, dear lady. You are a lovely friend and I appreciate your words.

      @Wayne-Yep, who'd a thunk throwing up could save yer arse? I did feel remorse within myself as I asked for that rum, just wish I hadn't had to actually drink it!

      Live and learn as they say.

      @Anna-Your kindness is such a breath of fresh air. Alcoholism in the family is such a difficult thing, I am glad you've resisted it.

      Take good care and thank you.

      @Charlie-That kick in the pants was quite necessary, I just hope I learned something!

      @daydreamer-I really thank you for your comment, it does mean a lot.

      @The Senior-I like the skin analogy quite a bit! Oh, and I think the funeral people believe it's appropriate to seat you near your relatives, but on TOP of them? Thanks for understanding my discomfort.

      @barbergirl-You're a doll for saying that. I need to write these things or they pull me down.

      Thanks for coming by.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      10 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      You have great strength... I applaud you for your abilty to once again stand up and fight back. Your story took lots of strength to write and thank you for sharing!

    • TheSenior profile image


      10 years ago

      Ok so you have fallen - chalk it up to life. Being placed over the graves of your dead parents/relatives was not very considerate of the funeral guy. Yes your were influnced by 'triggers' but now that you have fallen get reintouch with yourself and you will be a little stronger - remember what I was told by an MD skin at first is strong, but when it's cut and forms back it becomes stronger - you now have more strength to fall back on.

    • daydreamer13 profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a wonderful hub. Thank you for writing.


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