August 1989. It was a day like any other. I went in to work. But on this day, we had a patient who was an alcoholic. I don’t think he was more than 40 years old. He was malnourished, emaciated from drinking alcohol. He was basically only living on a diet of alcohol.
There was something about his appearance. I felt like someone slapped me in the face. I suddenly came to my senses. Realized if I kept going the way I had been, I was going to end up just like this man. I promised myself right then and there that I would stop drinking.
I also decided that it was time to bring the boy back to Spain. Sufficient time had passed for me to realize how much I really loved that little kid.
After I stopped drinking, I pretty much lost all of my drinking friends. It turns out the only thing we really had in common was alcohol.
The one person I did meet during my six month drinking binge was a guy who turned out to be pretty great. I started seeing him regularly. He was really kind. After a couple of months, he told me he loved me. I completely freaked out. I had no idea how to handle someone who treated me well. I found myself being very uncomfortable when I was with him, holding him at arms length, having a lot of anxiety.When the time came for me to go back to the States to pick the boy up, I was relieved to put some distance between us.
While I was back in the states, I realized that I was actually in love with the guy in Spain. I found myself excited to pick the boy up and get back.
There was just one little dark cloud hanging over my head. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen. It’s all I could think about. Like everything was going too great to be true.
I managed to convince myself that some kind of accident was about to happen. I spent the three weeks at home nervous about traveling. I was down right anxious.
To be continued…