For at least the first decade of my drinking career, calling myself an alcoholic, at least to the people sitting on the barstools next to me, was not a problem. Bragging rights. "I don't know how I got home, I was so messed up." Expressions like these were commonplace. But by the second decade, I started losing coats, keys, apartments, jobs. Marked by peaks and valleys, the progression of alcoholism with all its subtle and in-your-face changes is not a straight downward descent. My third decade of drinking was littered with lapses in employment and housing. That new normal required that I drink at home, alone, when I had a home. By that time, I was not worried by alcoholism, I was worried about how I would get the next drink. Drinking accelerated, a time-bomb with one inevitable end. Blackouts would occur around the end of the sixth drink (sometimes not until, what, the 16th?) and I would continue to drink until I passed out, usually two or three hours later as the evidence showed upon coming to.
"The further alcohol took me away from myself, the less I understood that I was losing my foothold. From the outside, I am sure it looked like I was becoming more and more selfish, but increasingly, I was not feeding myself, I was feeding my disease. The more selfish I may have appeared, the more my disease had dissolved my self away."
Not worrying in my addiction was really a form of defeatism, giving up, giving in, passing out. In recovery, not worrying is a positive thing, actions backed by responsibility, consideration of consequences. Addiction is a state of perpetual victimhood. I only appeared to volunteer. "Alcoholic? No problem!" I would proclaim up to death's door.
Alcohol, comforting as it kills.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
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