When you go to alanon, they warn you that every time your qualifier relapses, it will be worse, and if you choose to stick around you'll need to brace for that. What they forget to tell you is that every time they bottom out, it will be worse. They don't tell you that bottom is verb, not a noun, or that "rock" is subjective and prone to change without much, of any, notice.
Every time he bottoms out, I think it has to be the rock bottom bottom out because it simply can't get worse than it did *this* time. I think nothing can be worse than months of jail, nothing could affect him more than losing his family, that there is no punishment worse than losing a job of 11 years, that driving every single person out of his life must be the final straw...but what I forget is that, for him, there is nothing at all worse than not having vodka in his veins.
Sobriety is his rock bottom.
Ten weeks ago tonight, he hit rock bottom.
Ten weeks ago, he walked in the door -13 hours after he walked out of it, 11 hours after he blacked out drunk in the middle of his work day - stone-cold sober and, for the first time in the 17 years I have known him, said he had a drinking problem. He lost ten hours, his car, his job, and himself that day. I am trying to decide if he lost me, too.
He's been gone for three days of the three weeks that he'll spend at rehab, and while I haven't remembered how to make my jaw unclench itself just yet, I am reveling in the quiet solitude left in his wake. I forgot what silence sounded like. I forgot what it was like to be able to make phone calls. I forgot what it was like to be able to leave, and not worry about what was going to happen while I was gone. I forgot what is was like to let myself feel anything at all, and beyond this raging headache and the throbbing in my jaws I think there is something.