April was one of my favorite times of the year when I was using. I loved having the weather heat up and enjoying an ice-cold beer by the pool, celebrating 4/20, and my favorite of all, Coachella! But this week is especially important, not just because I get a couple days off of school, but because it is Easter. When I was growing up I was raised Catholic. My mom always went to church and my dad, well, not so much. He would always get out of it somehow by saying “the game” is on or he had a conference call. I went to a Catholic lower school where we had mass once a week. I participated in First Holy Communion, Confession, and once I got to high school I went through Confirmation. As I grew older and my views of religion changed, I compromised with my mother and only went to church on Easter and Christmas, and have continued to do so for years. Now as Easter approaches I have been met with a dilemma; a sort of obstacle in my sobriety. If I receive the blood of Christ is that considered a relapse?
For those of you who are not religious, communion consists of the priest “changing” bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, which you then consume. I have always participated in communion in the past but this year is a bit different since this is my first sober Easter. At first I was trying to convince myself that it would be okay to just take a sip of the wine at communion and be done with it because it was for religious purposes much like Rastafarians are allowed to legally smoke marijuana for religious purposes and also how many religions use psychedelics for religious ceremony. One little gulp of wine twice a year wont matter right? Since AA is a spiritual program that suggests recovery can only come through the belief and help of a higher power, aren’t I simply connecting even more with my God or higher power by receiving communion? Alcoholism is an allergy of the body and a disease of the mind and I realized my alcoholic brain was trying to convince me that it was okay to drink. I remembered something I had heard people say in the rooms of AA, “I don’t drink, not matter what”. If you are a true alcoholic this is a good motto to go by. All it takes is one drink and you could be well on your way to a long full-blown relapse that a lot of us alcoholics never come back from. One of my coworkers reminded me that they often serve grape juice at church as a substitute for wine, I guess for people under 21. For me, I think that might even be too much of a trigger much like the same reason why I would never drink non-alcoholic beer. So if any of you alcoholics are going to be at church on Easter please stick to the bread and pass on the wine. Your life is not worth gambling. God will understand.
Filed under: Addiction, Featured, Holidays, Life, Treatment · Tags: 420, alcohol treatment center, Catholic, Catholic lower school, church, church on Easter, Coachella, early sobriety, easter, mass, Recovery