Had a long day of work today. The job I’m in, at least once a month I have an on-call shift which requires me to work all weekend. I’ve long since gotten used to it, I even enjoy the flood of things to fix. During a quiet spot I decided to test the bypass valve on my water softener. It’s a plastic valve that lets me bypass the device for maintenance, etc… Simple task that I’ve done before.
Turned the house feed to bypass, no problem. Turned the inlet to bypass, no problem. Turned the outlet to bypass.
Water exploded everywhere. The valve had gotten filled with silt and other…stuff which kept it from sealing properly. I killed the well pump from the breaker box (which is maybe 3 feet from the water gushing out, yes, I know)… Flushed the toilet, turned on the slop sink, turned on the kitchen sink, did my best to depressurize the system. I then hit the switch to depressurize the water softener tank.
As I ran around looking for towels, my phone started going off. Work paging me. Ok, let me put these towels down to soak up the water. I hop on the computer, take care of the problem, check a few other things, then call my plumber. Phone’s microphone isn’t working. I reset my phone and try again, I leave a message. During the gap in work and flood I go to Google to see what I can do.
Zero information on a leaking bypass valve. I look up some schematics to get an idea of what I can do. Outlet valve has a pin on the bottom to hold it together. I pull the pin, push the valve up out of the casing, a bunch more water comes rushing out (thankfully landing in the bucket I placed below). I run a towel around the casing, cleaning out the silt, cleaning off the O-Rings that are supposed to prevent this from happening, and put it all back together.
Now at no time in this mishegoss am I panicking. No worrying. It’s a problem. I troubleshoot problems. I fix problems. I turn the valve off and on a few times, it’s smooth, no more crunch of silt. I switch all the valves back and turn the water on. One or two drips, and that’s it. Disaster averted, or at least diverted (water joke, get it?). I clean everything up, call back the plumber and leave another message that I don’t need more help.
I dive back into work for the rest of the day and I start to feel it creeping up on me. Anxiety. I work through a handful of new problems. Doubt rises up in me. Work’s over. I need to hit the supermarket, but my church is having a chili cook off tonight, and nothing should ease my anxiety and doubt like the epic combination of chili and Jesus.
I think about going to church, the anxiety and doubt ramp up. I’ll go to the supermarket instead. I get in the car, but push through the resistance, I go to church. Had some chili, some good conversation and laughs, but in the back of my heart the anxiety and doubt was reaching a climax. I kept pushing back. I started praying.
I left church and halfway through Warwick a car is on my ass. Any closer and I could have read the VIN number from behind their windshield. I’m 2nd in line, I can’t speed up, and I really don’t care to. The adrenaline is pumping, and I’m starting to get angry on top of everything else. I caught a break when we both reached a yellow light at Price Chopper, I made it. They didn’t. I’ll take the win.
So I get to the supermarket with my list in hand. First item on the list is out of stock. I stood there staring at the empty shelf, confused and dismayed. Confused and dismayed over a freaking GROCERY that I didn’t really NEED yet. I message my best friend, tell her the enemy is banging around in my head like crazy right now. I go through the store, check off my list. Anxiety. Doubt. Anger. Dismay. Confusion.
The enemy was all up in my business. The louder I prayed the worst it got. I’m texting my friend. Telling her what’s going on. Telling her that I am absolutely craving a drink right now. I haven’t had such a thirst in months. I’m driving and I’m praying. I get to Edenville and I absolutely CRANK the Christian worship station on Sirius. The music is blaring, I’m praying, and then… a whisper.
A flash in my head. I’ve got a bottle of Evan Williams, a bottle of Everclear, an airplane bottle of Sambuca, 3 beers, and a hard cider in the house. The urge to drink is replaced by the impulse to dump it all out. God just commanded me and made it clear how to push the enemy back. The radio is still blaring, but all I say out loud is “I will.” Anxiety? Gone. Doubt? Gone. Anger? Gone. Dismay? Gone. Confusion? Gone. Urge to drink? Gone. Resolve? Overwhelming. Clarity? Crystal.
I get home, and I’m on a mission. I kept the bourbon in case my dad came by. I kept the Everclear because it’s really good for cleaning electrical contacts. I kept the beers for cooking. I completely forgot about the Sambuca and cider. EXCUSES.
I’ve been sober for 99 days.
Thank you, Jesus.