Tulips & Alcohol Treatment

It has been 2,556 days since I began my alcohol treatment, and the tulips are beginning to show. Tulips always add another year to my sobriety.

While in my alcohol treatment program, I read books on mental associations and associationist theories coined by various psychologists. I just wanted to understand how I got to where I was. I figured. if I could identify what things would trigger my desire to drink, I could eventually eliminate that desire and stay sober. Rainy days are definitely a mental association of my alcoholism. It is rainy days like this when my sobriety can feel burdensome. In a way, it makes me remember the days when I would wake up with a raging hangover, and, if it was raining, I just would not get out of bed. I\'m not sure if it is like this for everyone but even before I started drinking, the rain made it easier for me to sleep. Some hangovers could only be cured with sleep it seemed. When I think about that now I wonder if maybe I was avoiding the world around me, and sleep was my medium to escape. I\'m thankful that every day is not rainy and overcast. If I lived in a climate like that, there\'s no way I\'d be able to stay sober. I\'ve heard of seasonal affective disorder, and while I know it is not recognized as a distinct psychological disorder, I believe in it. I know that the winter and the beginning of spring, the rainiest season, affect my mood negatively. And, like my sobriety and serenity prayers tell me, I know I\'m not alone in this fight.

Before I started my alcohol treatment, I was in the hospital for a long time. They told me I went into an alcohol induced coma, but I have no memory of how I got there. My memory of waking up, however, is as vivid in my mind as yesterday. I woke up and there were tulips. Tulips everywhere. My mom had covered my hospital room in tulip potted plants, tulip bouquets, tulip everything. After a few months of watching me sleep, she\'d come up with her own theory that I wasn\'t waking up because I wasn\'t at home. So she brought home to me. The backyard, the front yard and the garden at my parents\' house have always been filled with tulips. They were my grandmother\'s favorite flower, and my mother had convinced herself that, if I could just be surrounded by a natural scent of home, I would (eventually) wake up like it was just any other morning. I was lucky to wake up. Little did I know that every day following my alcohol treatment, I would wake up and celebrate my sobriety.

Laura M.