7 months sober!
I haven't been here in awhile...I read a lot of your blogs and I love them! I sometimes even post a comment. Well, I am here today, because 15 years ago today is when I became a daily drinker. September 11, 2001. My dad worked two blocks above the WTC and lived a few blocks below in Battery Park City. At the time, my youngest sister was living with him. After the 2nd plane hit, my dad ran out of his office, past the WTC, to his apartment to get my sister. As he entered his apt.. the first tower collapsed. His building filled up with smoke and he and my sister ran down 23 flights of stairs with wash cloths covering their noses and mouths. Then they were trapped in the lobby due to zero visibility. A police officer entered and told them all to run because their bldg. was going to explode. (It didn't). They physically leapt on a police boat that had already left Battery Park City. They had no fear..they just did it to save their lives. Somehow, they got to my house. To this day, they aren't sure how.
My husband worked downtown near the WTC. He also had to evacuate as his bldg. filled with smoke. In a strange sequence of events, my husband also got on a boat (this one hadn't yet departed) on a different river than my dad and sister...and there he got to NJ with another guy that was from our town! Then the 2nd tower collapsed and the air filled black. My husband got on that boat and then they found a taxi driver to take them to our home..which was about a 40 minute taxi ride. After he got home he said he needed to hug our kids so we drove to their schools and picked them up. I felt so badly for my kids as these two young boys could not understand why their father was crying. He is not a man who cries!
That morning, I was going to play tennis and I rec'd a call from a far away friend telling me not to worry about my husband, he got in touch with him and he is fine. I had no idea what he was talking about. Of course all of the phone lines were jammed. I eventually got in touch with my father, who told me that a plane hit one of the towers (which he could see from his office window). It was an accident. As I kept talking to my dad, I hear him screaming...Oh my God, Oh my God. I kept saying.."what dad? what?" Finally, he said, another plane hit the other tower. That is when he dropped the phone and ran to get to my sister.
I rushed home. When I got there, there were about 15 people on my front lawn asking me if Mark was alright. It was surreal. Thank goodness my friend had gotten in touch with him and I knew he was ok. But, I didn't know how or when he or my dad would get to me. My kids were 2, 5 and 7 years old. The older two were at school.
Then..my phone rang. It was my friend asking me to call everyone we know and start a prayer chain for her husband who was in Tower 1. My friend was 9 months pregnant with her 2nd child. And as miracles happen, my husband came into our house. An in shock husband...but I had my husband. I knew where he was. I didn't know about my dad or sister yet. I then had the opportunity to drive over to my friends house and she was outside her home with many people waiting for her husband to come home. We all prayed the rosary as a group. We kept watching TV searching for her husband. We called hospitals, police stations, news outlets...anybody. (Thank goodness she had a landline as the cells were still jammed). Her husband never came home. Her baby was born a week later.
I went home. Still no dad or sister. They eventually got to my house. If I remember correctly was around 1:00ish. We were all in a total shock. But, especially the 3 of them who were witness to the most horrible act of terrorism that our country had ever seen. The phone kept ringing and the news was bad...many many friends were missing. We didn't know what to do...so we opened wine. Bottle after bottle. I don't even think it had any effect on us because we were in such shock. The days after that were also extremely hard. The news just kept getting worse. News of another friend lost. News of another friend searching for her husband., The first responders who were at Ground Zero...
So, what did I do? I drank and drank and drank...at first (except on that horrible day) I only had one or two. But every day. It took a few years, but obviously it escalated to way more than 2 glasses per day. If I am honest, I feel like a really weak person. My stories that I share with you are NOTHING compared to what others went through. My friend who lost her husband and had a 2 year old and a newborn baby...did she turn to the bottle or drugs or another addictive substance? NO! Many other people I know whose stories are way worse than mine...did they turn to the bottle? NO! And yes, I am aware, that in the wake of a tragedy of ginormous proportions, there are people bound to turn to substance abuse. Why was I one of them? That day, I rec'd a blessing...my husband, my father and my sister...all physically unharmed.
So while I remember 9/11 as the worst day of my life so far..I also remember it as the day I started drinking daily. I can't believe it's been 15 years. I now pick myself up and move forward....it's taken me a long time....but here I am..7 months free from alcohol. This September 11, 2016, for the first time in 15 years, I can say that I am a non-drinker. On this sad day, I am able to find a sliver of happiness in that.
Sober mom at 53