So I told my Love about the fact that I think I am an alcoholic. This was not easy, and I was filled with fear before I did it. Nameless, gripping fear, the fear of rejection, of humiliation, of being judged. Self-centered fear, yes.
I thought about it first, practiced my words, tried getting my mind in order. I even walked out to our pond and told the wise old fish who lived there about it. I knew they would understand. I decided that putting it off would not make it easier.
I asked her if we could talk. I saw the curiousity, the concern, the worry on her face. We sat on the couch, together, and I told her.
I told her more about my drinking than I have ever told anyone else. I told her of the many vomiting sessions, the blackouts, the morning shakes I have sometimes had. I told her about the arrests, I told her about having unprotected sex with guys I didn't know.
I told her also about the first time I ever had a real amount of alcohol in me, of how it felt, of how for the first time in my life I felt free of something that had always held me back, some fear, some veil, something between me and everything else, how the alcohol made me feel really, totally good and complete for the first time in my life and how I have chased that feeling for the next 12 years.
She was quiet, her arm had come around me, my head was on her shoulder. She stroked my hair.
"You've talked to your dad about this?" My father is in AA, sober for 25 years.
"No, not yet."
"You come first to me."
"Well, maybe you should put yourself as first, Sara." She pulled me tighter. "Do you know what you are going to do next?"
"No. I'm not sure. I'm not even totally sure I'm an alcoholic, just that I really may be."
"Well, you have a copy of that book that your dad calls the Big Book, right?"
"Yeah, sure. I've had a copy for years."
"Then let's read it together, and make a plan."
And we did. We read the first 164 pages and the Doctor's Opinion, we talked about whether or not I was a "real" alcoholic. And we made a plan.
But the plan itself is not important. Yes, I will try some controlled drinking, and if I come back to AA knowing that I am an alcoholic, then fine. If I discover that I am a heavy drinker, but capable of stopping when I wish, that too is fine.
The important thing is knowing that the wait is over. I have told her, she has not rejected me, there is sun in the sky.