The day that followed Kimberly's nightmare was a stormy one. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed frequently as the patients and staff followed their routines. When Kimberly's morning group met with Dr. Lincoln, she instructed everyone to continue their lists from the day before about who their addictions affected and how severely. Lately, the only name Kimberly had been able to write down was her own. After all, her drinking affected her health the most. Everyone else just dealt with the aftermath of some of her binges. But now, Kimberly sat down and really thought things through. Then, she started adding names.
Me - health, lifestyle, never enough money, can't get through a day without at least two beers
Grandma Jocelyn - mental strain, can't trust me
Kimberly stopped writing after that. Before, she hadn't cared about who trusted her as long as she could get them to slide her twenty or forty bucks. She got good at that once her own money dried up. But even with that, she'd always held back with asking Grandma Jocelyn for money. After a while, she only went by her house to stay the night, get a meal, or check up on whether her arthritis was badly bothering her. But now, Kimberly knew her name only invited stress for Grandma Jocelyn. Stress and mistrust.
With a deep breath, Kimberly went back to writing.
Mom - trusts me less
Bruce - robbed his shop
Lenore - stole from her
Carol - former friend, stole identity
Kimberly stopped again and put her pencil down. She'd forgotten about Carol Myers. Carol had been her best friend all through high school. They'd even merged their graduation parties together and unintentionally started a block party. Carol had been one of the few people who'd stayed in Kimberly's corner after her second intervention. She'd helped her get a job before one of her less severe relapses, and even co-signed for her so she could get an apartment. But then the stress and expectations got to be too much for Kimberly, and she let everything go sideways. After getting evicted, Carol had laid down some house rules and let her stay at her house. For two months, Kimberly had done well. By month three, though, she was gone with Carol's checkbook and all the cash in her wallet. She was able to feed her habit for three dutiful months before she was arrested.
Dr. Lincoln's voice brought Kimberly back to the present, and she looked up at the woman with tears in her eyes.
Kimberly wiped her eyes and looked back at her list. There were names that weren't written down, but their faces flashed through her mind as she put her head in her hands and resumed weeping. Other friends like Carol. Other family members like Grandma Jocelyn and Mom. She'd pushed them all away. Picked alcohol over them. But now, she didn't have either one. The alcohol had almost killed her. Everyone she cared about had nothing left to give because she'd taken it from them. Now, neither did she.
"What have I done?" Kimberly asked after calming down. By now, Dr. Lincoln had taken her to one of the solitude rooms while another doctor was called in to supervise the rest of the group. "I hurt everyone...I didn't even think twice about it..."
"Of course not," Dr. Lincoln replied. "That's one of the many things about addiction that makes it's so dangerous. The need can overpower everything. As for what you've done, Kimberly, it's simple but true. You've reached rock bottom. The only way from here is up."
Kimberly thought back to her nightmare and the pit. She shivered as she remembered how quickly the water had covered her.
"What if I relapse again?" She asked. "What if I can't climb out?"
"You can't." Dr. Lincoln answered. "At least, not by yourself. That's part of why you're here."
Later that evening, the storm decreased it's intensity. The rehab center stayed operational without so much as flickering bulb. Kimberly and Dr. Lincoln both slept soundly that night with the same final thought.
Positive progress was being made.