I knew it would be coming, because I got a tiny one over at Chelle's brother's new condo on the beach the other night. The family cracked open Anchor Steams to celebrate his new venture into home ownership, and he was sitting next to me, savoring the unique San Francisco steam-brewed beer. I could smell it. It was a hot day and we'd been moving a few things up the stairs for him into his new place.
God. I wanted one.
But I shook it off and soon forgot about it.
So today the cravings grabbed me fiercely by the throat. It's the Fourth of July. We're going to be grilling burgers and hot dogs. We've got the potato salad all made. Chelle's beer is chilling in the fridge. It's hot today and we've been out shopping and I'm sweaty. Everybody else is chilling out, enjoying their cold beer, their margarita, their vodka tonic. Everybody but me.
And boy, do I ever crave one. Just one. Just ONE cold beer, to slam down my parched throat, to give me that nice old buzz where everything is funny and life is good and I have no cares in the world.
I'm licking my lips. And for a long, agonizing minute, I was actually concocting a story, one that would get me off the hook of this silly sobriety and get me back into the game. "Aw, Chelle. I'm not an alcoholic. See here, I've been sober for ten months now. Let me have just one."
And thankfully, my rational mind, the AA slogans, the coping strategies rehearsed in rehab, descended on me like a blessed cloud. I had to laugh at myself. "What the fuck? Are you NUTS?!"
Naw, I'm just a recovering alcoholic. Deep inside my primitive brain, my inner addict is screaming for me to stroke its pitiful little pleasure center. That's all.
My best coping strategy is thinking the drink through to the end. That first one is always the one we remember so longingly. We have to force ourselves to think instead of the last drink we'd have on a bender, the one that came along with yelling, acting out, doing stupid things, and preceding either puking or passing out. That's the one that's not so fun to remember, the one you can't rhapsodize about. THAT ONE.
Oh. Yeah. THAT ONE.
Never mind. Pass me a cold Diet Pepsi, would ya?
And if that doesn't work, I'll call my sponsor.