Getting closer to 8 weeks sober, and that’s pretty much all that’s keeping me from cracking open a bottle of red and guzzling it these days. I just FEEL like drinking — it’s been taking all my concentration not to drink, actually. Then again, I’m much (yeah, much, I’d say MUCH) better at coping with the cravings using rational thought. As in:
If I drink one glass, I’ll likely finish the bottle, probably move on to two, or three, since I haven’t drunk for a while. Then, I’ll black out and well, who KNOWS what might happen at this point. At the very least, I’ll be hung the fuck over the next day, which will ruin it. And, I haven’t had a bad, ruined hung over day yet here (this time on island), and I’d really like to keep it that way. So, drinking equals hangover, which sucks.
I have to say, it’s amazing to me that I’ve “re-trained” my mind enough to WANT to choose not being hung over to drinking/being drunk. I’ve regained my sense enough to be able to see that while it’d be great — marvelous — to be drunk, it can only lead to bad things. Is three hours of drunkenness (or less) worth 24 to 48 hours of feeling horrible? Nope.
Again, it’s amazing to see just how you can re-train your mind, how you can overcome addiction, which is of the mind, not the body. AA would say otherwise. AA would also say that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. And I would say what I always say, fuck AA. Get over your dogmatic, outdated, and possibly never in-sync-with-addiction-science mentality, will ya?
Maybe I should give AA another shot, though. It is a community and once you’ve gotten over the hump of staying sober, it could simply be nice to have friends that get it. People who know what I’m going through, that could be there for me when I’m feeling sorry for myself and wanting to binge drink.
I dunno. Everyone talks about how helpful AA can be, and I agree that it IS helpful — to some, and as a way to quit. It wasn’t for me, as every time I went to a meeting, I totally felt like drinking after! All that talk of booze and blackouts…! It’s also a semi-load of bullshit: who made up those 12 steps? Not to mention, AA has always felt to me like you’re replacing one addiction — booze, sex, food, whatever — with another, meetings. Instead of looking inward at the circular thoughts of addiction, at your own reasons for using, or drinking, or binge eating, you’re told to look outside? To a “program?” I guess it’s a start, a method that you can use to quit drinking. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to have to STAY SOBER, which has nothing to do with 12 steps, saying you’re sorry, and turning to “god.”
In fact, I think it’s the (fake) religion of AA, like all religions, that serves the purpose of making folks believe that they’re actually managing their addictive tendencies when in fact, it’s the program that’s distanced them from these tendencies. It’s infinitely harder, I think, to take responsibility for managing an addictive personality or addictive thoughts on your own — but it’s the only way to stay sober, mentally and emotionally, and to be glad to be sober physically.
Like I said, the closest I’ve come to a “higher power” was that ONE TIME a few months ago when I felt an absence of craving. Remembering that moment takes me back, again and again, to my late teens, a time of immense…flow. Excitement. Anticipation. Creativity. All without booze. It’s possible, it reminds me, that I once felt that way SANS BOOZE, and that I can, therefore, feel that way again.
What made me start drinking? Where was that fork in the road? Was it a gradual process, a response to my social anxiety that turned into a dysfunction? Of course. Did it get out of control even further, years later, when my mind had come to rely on those circuits being turned on so that others would be turned off? Sure. I could go on, but the point is, I don’t think anyone can tell you whether you’re going to be a drunk for the rest of your life. I don’t think anyone can draw a line in the sand — your sand — and do the work for you by substituting a program with an inner healing process. In that regard, AA is as elusive a fix as some of the drugs and booze we were using!