During a lunch date the other day at a coffee shop, I ordered a iced coffee drink without fully appreciating the ingredients listed on the menu. It was called the Cafe Borgia, and it had orange and creme de cacao along with espresso, etc...
I sipped from the straw in a thirsty fashion, and it wasn't until the liquid had begun to travel down my throat did I register the alcohol contained in it. It caused an almost simultaneous feeling of warmth that spread down my gullet, as well as a queasy sensation in my stomach.
I didn't drink anymore of the beverage. I did remove the taste with other drinks and food as quickly as I could. I didn't freak out or ruin the rest of my day, nor did I obsess about it. The lunch proceeded, and it was good food, and the warmth and uneasiness eventually subsided. All of this took place around 1:30 in the afternoon.
As I was driving towards the grocery store around 8 that evening, the warmth came over me intensely, a warmth that spread from my throat all the way into my guts. The warmth that used to come from taking a drink of liquor. It was a shock, and more than a little unnerved, I made a beeline for my sponsor at his work.
I told him about it, and we talked, and of course there was nothing for him to tell me. The telling was all on me. I had to share it. I was reminded of the story of a close friend-she had an experience with an accidental drink of alcohol in the first couple years of her sobriety...but she never told anyone about it. She even declined to mention it when she knew she should have, when the group asked her-almost directly-if she had something to share. Her recollection of that event and the following guilt rushed me to my own admission.
I wasn't trying to drink. I didn't continue to drink. It sickened me. It scared me. Even more importantly, it reminded me-of how much I do NOT want to take a drink today. Of all the unpleasant feelings that come along with that old friend, alcohol. Today, thanks to hundreds of others who have gone before me, I am so glad to be able to say that I am sober-and happy without drinking.