I began my alcohol use at age twenty-two. It feels like I didn't miss a year for the next sixteen. What started as socializing, eventually resulted as self medicating. Looking back, I can not believe that it has been two years since I successfully stopped consumption. I cannot believe I did not go to sleep drunk those nights, I cannot believe I didn't evade any everyday stress or pain with whiskey, I cannot believe that I know I will not drink anything today, tonight or tomorrow. The first year felt very easy once I stopped. The light at the end of the tunnel returned, and brighter! Like everything usually does, all the good and happiness passed and I eventually discovered relapse. I had been suffering for just about a decade of an incurable chronic pain condition. A desperately surprising surgery revealed an opportunity for recovery, yet it still didn't fix any of the problems I had accumulated up until then, my life was in ruins. Bourbon became my best buddy and I didn't care to acknowledge the danger, I was in denial about the danger. I was happy and I was having fun too. It didn't seem to fix any of my problems when I stopped drinking and I didn't get any pats on the back on one of the most difficult achievements in my life. I was making new friends and I felt in control of everything. Life was wonderful. I had beaten becoming an alcoholic. It only took a couple weeks to match my consumption tolerance and only about a month to have an incident that required two bar patrons to carry me off the barstool before I fell and then carried me through the alley into my studio. I was very fortunate to live nearby. I cannot believe how close I was to a scenario that without the help of strangers and friends, my life was threatened. I also had the courage to review my private security footage; I cried a lot watching how many times I had fallen from an upright position and into-through things. It isn't the first time I realized I should be dead. It was infuriating and terrifying to witness how careless I was. I relapsed once more a few months later. Relapse is something to fear, prepare for but also respect. It must not be considered a part of the process. It is not a step, it is a foul. The goal has to be not to omit relapse into your recovery with the idea that it is so common so it is ok. A relapse is a second suicide attempt with the arrogance attached to it that you will be fine.