04 December 2016

Sometimes Suicide's Not Suicide at All

Sometimes Suicide's Not Suicide at All. It's Addiction Having the Last Word.

Back in my drinking days I just wanted to get as safely crazed as possible. How could that have been? Wanting to get as Safely Crazed as possible? Who was I then? How was I able to maintain? What was I thinking when I truly felt and believed that? Truly, suicide was never my intention.

Maybe you don't know about the bragging rights of getting high like I once did. Bragging "I was so fucked up last night " or "How did I ever get home? Can anyone tell me?" or perhaps more sheepishly sighing, "I don't remember a thing from last night" and all of these a subtle (and not so subtle) form of pride. A pride in how much I could drink and still sustain a career and housing. Boastful, but within certain limits. One did not want to boast too much.

"I was always a little afraid of pills. Taking one Quaalude and waiting an impatient hour for the effects had, in the past, led me to take a second Quaalude, only to regret it later, after the first one grabbed hold.
Administering the proper dosage of alcohol to achieve the desired effect seemed more manageable. Not strong enough? Switch from scotch and water to scotch on the rocks. Not fast enough? Use less ice. I felt more in control with my alcohol (italicized, because alcohol was my little baby: she never let me down)."

When one considers that I was a blackout drinker who continued to drink long after my ability to form memories dissipated, I still clung to the belief that, somehow, I had control over my drinking. I was always able to explain away the negative consequences of my drinking more easily than the other drugs. The other drugs could come and go as they pleased, but my drinking required more protection because it was always necessary.

"Right before my last relapse, after having just gotten out of the hospital for an operation for abdominal hernias, I played Doctor with my prescribed pain medication. I took more than the prescribed dosage because I wanted quick relief. I was in pain. Then I didn't wait long enough for the next prescribed dosage time. Before you know it, I was immobile on the sidewalk, crazed. An ambulance was summoned by a passing stranger (apparently) and back to the hospital I went, having been just released a few short hours earlier."

This outcome was not my intention. My intentions were always good. My intent and my consequences rarely seemed to jive. It might best explain why I never was a social drinker. My drinking and drugging would always continue, no matter the consequences.

"If it takes eight pills to kill you, I used to feel safe taking six, and then two hours later I'd start wondering if it's safe to take another one or two. Never was it a case of wanting to commit suicide. I just wanted to get as safely crazed as possible.
"After the first drink, there is no other."
That's how it was for me. Always another until my memory's obliteration. MORE was my operative word. And the operation was invariably a disaster.

Currently, with 19+ years of continuous sobriety, MODERATION is now the operative word for me. Moderation in all things (with the exception that I abstain from alcohol and other drugs). The middle way is my way of steering clear of the excesses of emotions or actions that might parallel the insane extremes of my 30 years of acute alcoholism.

Sometimes Addiction Does Not Have the Last Word, Recovery Does.
"Loving to drink. Living to drink. Dying to drink. Dying from drinking. This is the progression of alcoholism. Wanting to live. Learning to live. Loving to live. Living with love. This is the progression of recovery."

Sometimes suicide's not suicide at all. And Sometimes Addiction Does Not Have the Last Word, Recovery Does.
The Final Word is... Love.

#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
The passages above in quotes are excerpted from All Drinking Aside:  The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal , an Autobiographical Fiction by Jim Anders, linked here:  https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c 

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