Have a Story to Tell? Had a medical error?

This blog is about patient safety, medical malpractice, staying healthy, and preventing future errors. Help & empower someone else, Teach a lesson, Bear witness, Build our community - Email us or call 781-444-5525.

Frustrated with a health problem?

Need an ally in your health crisis? Call 781-444-5525, or learn more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A steadfast partner: Sobriety and relapse

From Caroline Knapp's memoir:

Michael and I still see each other most nights, but I am taking time to be alone, trying to understand myself as a person a little better before I make any choices about myself as part of a couple.

Choice is the key word here, and it's still a relatively foreign one for me. For the first time the relationship with Michael isn't washed over by waves of alcohol or haunted by Julian; for the first time I feel I'm with him because I've decided to be, not just because I've been buffeted in his direction by circumstances or pain or need. There's great relief in that: I often look at Michael these days with the sense that I'm finally seeing the relationship through glasses that have the right lenses. Sobriety has helped me appreciate his kindness with greater purity and depth, as though it exists in its own right now and not merely as a measure of comparison to Julian. I can't imagine a more steadfast or supportive partner: Michael hasn't had a drink in front of me since I went off to rehab, and he's as bolstering about my sobriety as anyone in AA. These days he does a great imitation of me in the kitchen before a dinner party, compulsively trying to drink a glass of wine and smoke a cigarette and stir a sauce all at the same time, and I appreciate his ability to capture the frenzied insanity of those days and to help me laugh at it too. If I've been through a war, he's been in charge of triage through most of it, and sometimes the gratitude I feel toward him wells up so powerfully I think I'm going to burst.

Advice to drinkers: Find a loyal friend to help you stay sober.

Read one of our stories about a friend as patient advocate, or read more from Caroline Knapp's memoir, Drinking: A Love Story.

No comments: