Alma had achieved a lot of which others can only dream of. A career in a medium sized company up to the management and this as the only woman. An intact, functioning family with a diligent husband in a similar job position as she had. An unproblematic child, which brought home good marks, behaved itself and hardly ever gave reason to be angry. A fancy flat of their own at the outskirts of the town and a holiday home in the mountains. All this Alma had achieved in a very short time. She managed to get a university degree while working. Her maternity leave was over after half a year. From the outside she and her family looked like out of a picture book. She was the one who had managed to combine career with a family. That was Alma who had done everything right.
But inside Alma an emptiness and endless longing spread. Basically everything was fine but Alma felt unsatisfied. She spent the evenings with a glass of wine and the alcohol gave her the calmness which she had been missing during the day. Alma did not realise how the glass turned into an entire bottle. It happened just like that. One day her husband Lukas, who every now and then drank a glass with her, asked her to reduce the amount of alcohol she was drinking. Alma laughed at him but after that she took care that Lukas did not notice how much she was drinking. She drank in hiding and was sure that she had everything under control and could stop immediately if she wanted to. But she did not want to stop drinking. The empty wine bottles she hid in her wardrobe and disposed them when Lukas was not at home.
When Lukas was looking for her scarf in her wardrobe and found the six empty wine bottles, there was a severe discussion between them. The cat-and-mouse game started all over again and became more difficult because Lucas was watching Alma. It did not take long and he caught her again. Lukas told Alma that she would have to decide between him and the family and a therapy. Alma opted for the therapy. Together they chose one and hid the reason for the therapy before the entire family and also at work. The doctor wrote a false medical certificate for Alma. Alma started the inpatient treatment and it was much harder than she had imagined in her worst dreams. Military regime, punishment for the group for every violation of the rules, a lot of physical work, treatment with the alcohol antagonist drug Antabuse where she had the feeling she was to die of it. Alma was homesick and cried often and a few times she was close to giving up. But every time she clenched her teeth together. She knew Lukas and knew that he would not have hesitate to leave her if she did not comply with her part of the agreement.
After four months the spook was over. Alma returned home, slim, pretty and very thankful. Back at work, back at the everyday routine. She had even managed to trick all her surroundings. Nobody had linked her being away with an alcohol problem.
But from then on it meant NO DROP OF ALCOHOL, in order not to relapse. Alma realised how difficult this was in practical life to keep this simple rule. But Alma knew that this elementary rule did not tolerate any exceptions.