Friday, June 18, 2010

"...Easily Able to Control [the] Desire for Alcohol"

Well, Jerry's off my lap now, so it looks like I can share a few thoughts today after all. Another milestone, of sorts, reached today: Chelle's mom and dad are coming over for dinner tonight; we're going to toss some filets on the grill along with some sweet corn. So, Chelle called me from Safeway with a question. "Honey?" she asked. "Is it okay if I bring home a bottle of pinot to share with my parents for dinner?"

"Sure," I said. "No problem." Piece o' cake.

But. There was a time a situation such as this would've made me extremely anxious. The problem? One bottle of wine wouldn't be enough. If four of us shared a bottle, that would mean just one glass apiece. That wouldn't be enough to get me the desired buzz; it would only make me crave more. But I couldn't exactly turn down a glass of wine, either, especially if it was a nice pinot noir.

What to do, what to do? The solution was never to not just drink. The solution would be to figure out a way to drink more.

Thus you'll see that alcoholics very typically get used to stashing booze, hiding bottles, for "emergencies" such as this. I got away with it by sneaking vodka (usually) in the kitchen. Or I'd just take it upon myself to grab another bottle off the rack and open it, without asking if anybody else wanted more. I would just pretend I'd assumed they would (and secretly hope they wouldn't). I also wasn't above hiding a bottle behind my guitar case, which leans against the wall in a corner of the bedroom. I was really good at dashing into the bedroom when Chelle went, say, to the bathroom, pulling the bottle out, unscrewing the cap, and taking a few quick gulps before secreting it again. When she came out of the bathroom, I'd be back in the kitchen, scraping plates or washing dishes or getting the coffee pot ready for the morning.

But today, I didn't ask Chelle to not bring that bottle of pinot home. The thought of a bottle of wine in the house with other people enjoying it doesn't bother me at all. I have zero desire to drink. No thanks. Not for me. I have come to thoroughly dislike what alcohol does to me. It never made me feel better; all it did was enable me to never grow up, never take life on its own terms. And, I don't need alcohol to take the edge off or put me in a fun, silly mood. In fact, I'm in a much better mood and a helluva lot more witty without it.

I don't know WHO that drunk person was. I think, with a little flinch--I admit that--that anybody who knew me only when I was drinking doesn't really know me at all. They only knew that drunk, lost person.

That is not at all who I really am.

The real Joyce is me, now. I'm no longer a phantom, an illusion, a projection, or even the monster some may have chosen to make me out to be. I'm just me.

The Doctor's Opinion (Big Book)
"On the other hand--and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand--once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules."

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