“We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole aim of our lives.”
On April 28th, I’ll have been clean & sober for 15 months (God willing).
Most of those days I haven’t had the desire to pick up but obviously some days are better than others. I often resent the day I stepped into a 12-step meeting because that means admitting you have a problem & for a long time I was contented to be in the dark. I felt funnier when I was using. I didn’t have a mean little editor in my head telling me everything I say is shit & making people laugh came easily. Dating dudes came fluently. My writing felt more fluid & creative. Watching movies & TV shows was more exciting- I felt that they were telling me something… that I got it. I often dream that I’m drinking or using still. Those are the same types of dreams where I’m deeply in love with someone- when you wake up & really feel like it was real & the happiness is palpable.
Mostly because I’ve made my addiction plight so public, it has become a double-edged sword. If I started drinking again- even if I were magically able to do so responsibly- people would judge me. I would judge me.
It’s not common, but I know three different people who were in a 12-step program for over a decade, were fully committed to it & then went back out. All three of them were able to “drink responsibly” once they’d left the program. I’d be lying if I said that that’s what I thought the program would teach me: not how to give it up but to get a handle on it. My spiritual advisor tells me to come & talk to her in 10 years if that’s what I’m looking for.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t relate to alcoholics & other times I can’t deny I am one of them. After all, I could go three weeks or more staying dry if I “had to”. I would take tolerance breaks with drugs when I “had to”. (the last three years notwithstanding- a day didn’t go by that I wasn’t under some kind of influence) That said, it’s my thinking that’s the problem, not my drinking. It’s the reason why I needed to get fucked up, not necessarily the WAY I got fucked up. Beyond that, alcohol is flat-out bad for me. I have an allergy to it. I have a mood disorder & alcohol exacerbates all of my symptoms while nullifying the effect of the medication I take to soothe them. I have a spiritual malady & since being in the program my life has become more meaningful & more important than I ever thought it could be. For over 20 years I wanted to die & in the past 15 months I’ve learned how I want to live.
A normal may then ask themselves, why I would miss it so much? It’s because I want to be a normal. I resent the shit out of this disease. Simultaneously, I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Will I drink again? I don’t know. I can’t say what tomorrow may bring. All I can do is the best I can, & hope for another 24 hours of sobriety & gratefulness.