Tough Times

Things are tough these days. A good day is followed by a bad day. My cravings for alcohol have been more frequent and intense these past couple of weeks than I’d like. Last night I just wanted to buy a bottle of wine and some good Scotch, and sit on the couch with my husband, listen to music and get drunk.

I’m probably going to have to kick my own ass to get to my meeting on Sunday because I still want to self-isolate and push away the “good” messages about sobriety. I know they are true. It is just that right now I don’t want them to be true. What I want to be true is the the lie that alcohol will make me happy.

This is nuts. I don’t get it. How is it that I have been sober for 138 days now, and still, despite ample evidence to the contrary, believe that my life just *might* be better if I hit the bottle again?

I guess this is the seduction of alcohol. I was thinking a little bit about how people (including me) have described and thought about their relationship with alcohol as something that is, all at once, heady romance and dysfunctional fuckery. Your Drunky Voice is a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend) who is always waiting to suck you back in. The resonance of Caroline Knapp’s book title, “Drinking: A Love Story” lies, I think, in her insight that the addict’s relationship is intensely emotional in that way that an unhealthy romantic relationship is.

Perhaps the emotional relationships we have with alcohol explain why reasoning your way out of it seems, by itself, an inadequate strategy. Right now I feel like I’m hanging on to reasoning, but all my feelings say GO DRINK! I’m honestly not sure what to do about this. Not today at least.

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3 thoughts on “Tough Times

  1. Just curiosity—are you working the steps, or just not drinking and going to meetings? This is not a judgment, just sharing my experience. For me, if I just stopped drinking and went to meetings, I would feel better for a bit, but then eventually I would want to drink. This would happen because I would not be actually changing anything inside of me—if I’m not working the steps and cleaning up all my shit, then I would stay essentially the same person I was when I was drinking, just without a bottle. Eventually, being that person without alcohol would feel unbearable and I would inevitably drink. Time is great. But I think a misconception by us is often that time is a wall—that if we have enough of it, we have built a defense against our desire to drink that should be too high for us to climb. That has not been true for me. I didn’t like the person I was when I was drinking—I lied, I stole, I was manipulative, living so people would like me was more important than living honestly. The steps changed all that stuff for me—and they continue to, I have to keep working on shit cause that dishonest person is intuitively still in there. If I didn’t do this work, I’d get so uncomfortable in my own skin that drinking would eventually feel like the best option.

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    • Thanks for the thoughts. I will seriously consider what you are saying. Part of my issue (if you want to call it that) is that I still have *no* idea what I want or need to change about myself other than trying to be less of a recluse. But maybe that is part of the point of the steps, eh?

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      • Yes, I would def say that is part of the point. If staying sober for the years i have meant that sometimes i had to grit my teeth and just make it through–if it meant that there were times that i really wanted to drink, then I would never make it. I haven’t felt that way since I was about 4-5 months sober. Like i said, the steps made it so that i could sit comfortably in my own skin. There was a lot i had to discover about myself–i had to got honest with myself in a way that i never had. Once I started cleaning that shit up, the desire to drink went away completely. It’s not that i NEVER think about alcohol–i am an alcoholic. But i can honestly say that I never come close to truly wanting a drink. It’s an amazing feeling, but also the only way i can live. I can’t do the grit my teeth thing-just not a type of life i can sustain.
        If you do decide to go through the steps–don’t do it on your own. Find someone who has done i before who you trust to guide you.

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