And, all is well. No real cravings. My only romantic thoughts of drinking have been fleeting, lasting only long enough for me to remember my LAST SHITE DRUNK. Y’know, I feel like the further I get from that day, the MORE I remember how horrible it was, how horrible I felt; the more vivid the details of that day become. Healthy fear, indeed.
I’ve cut my AA meetings down a LOT, maybe about once a week. It’s all I can stomach. I just don’t get it, I suppose. I mean, the longer I remain sober, the more I start to see how emotionally invasive I was being with people (as in, there are a lot of things most people don’t have a right to know about me and I gave it away while drunk, even–and especially–when they didn’t want or appreciate it), how unreliable and inaccessible I was. Sure, I was “selfish, egotistical, and self-righteous,” to quote what some angry woman used at last night’s meeting to describe herself, as an alcoholic. I guess the difference between me and her is, I don’t believe I have to continue to believe that I am selfish, egotistical, and self-righteous. I can improve. I can solve my problem. And, I can MOVE ON.
In fact, what I’m coming to see more clearly the longer I’m sober is that it was the drink that was digging me deeper into these negative character traits. Like, let’s say I’m a 3 out of 10 on the selfish scale when I’m my normal, sober self. When I started my drinking career, it put me at a 4. The more I drank–and became addicted to using–the more selfish I became, eventually probably putting me at a 9 or 10. I don’t think my selfishness necessarily led me to drink; however, I KNOW FOR A FACT that my drinking caused me to become more selfish, among other gross flaws.
What I’m trying to say is, I believe in rehabilitation. I really do. I see it happening; I see the nature of my relationship to wine changing. Does that mean I want to drink? No. The opposite. Does that mean I’m going to go out and get drunk at the first sign of feeling down, or angry, or frustrated? Of course, not. I don’t believe anything external to myself has somehow given me my new and improved coping mechanisms; I’ve labored for them! I’ve trained my mind to react differently–by quitting drinking and living through wanting to drink and not drinking, day in and day out–and somehow, my behavioral changes are reinforcing my mind/feelings/gut reactions. It’s been a lot of work, but I feel like I can finally begin to rely on my mind/self to automatically make the right choice, by going down that path and visualizing the repercussions of getting drunk.
Can I take it or leave it? Honestly, no. I KNOW that if I drink one glass of red, I’ll want another. And I’ll have it. Or, at the very least, I’ll WANT a second, and I don’t want to want anymore! I don’t want the buzz anymore either. The same actually goes for caffeine–I find being too “high” irritating, tiring. I mean, I’d MUCH rather feel flat all day, get some good work done, and skip feeling both high and low. I just want smooth road, consistent mood, predictable output. I LIKE “life on life’s terms,” AA people; it’s not that “hard out there.” I get down, everyone does. I think of death day in and day out. Who doesn’t? I trip and hurt and get lost. We all do. I lie;I don’t call people back; I plan and scheme and hope that I can get what I think might make me content. Does that make me a bad person, or simply a person?
Anyway, I like where I’m at. I feel like I’m separating from my obsession, like the skin is being shed. I’m getting my strength back. I’m healing. I’ll go to meetings when it suits me, and I’ll read the Big Book (I identify with what Bill W. and Dr. Bob were trying to say), and I’ll try to reach out to the few friends I’ve made at meetings, but, really, all I HAVE to do is not drink.