MY TRIGGERS are EVERYWHERE: on television, in magazine ads, unavoidable on billboards and on the many menus of restaurants that serve liquor, to name a few. So, what's the big deal?
I've seen the icy stares of social drinkers and confronted my own fragility.
"Go ahead. Have a drink. One won't kill you" they used to say or words to that effect when I first got sober. I have faced the fact that addiction is addiction is addiction, whatever the substance, its social acceptance or its legality. "One is one too many" is my thought, but a simple "No thanks. Not today," usually suffices.
My perspective has moved outwards since then. Social drinkers, some of them anyway, may never understand the power alcohol once had over me and how my risk-assessment laughs in the face of the mere suggestion of a drink.
A little over-the-top, perhaps, but here's how I once expressed my addiction to alcohol being like heroin to a heroin addict:
"Slow the injection of truth. Insert the needle of truth into my vein, into my brain, slowly. First, hold the needle upright. Squeeze out any air. Leave only the clear, the liquid, the truth. Inject me slowly. I want to watch that crystal clarity enter my vein. The truth, too fast, could only scare me. Inject me slowly, or quickly watch me die."
Well, there you have it. Right or wrong, that fairly captures how I once felt. I had to confront the absolute fact that I am an alcoholic and that abstention, for me, is "the easier, softer way."
Confront. Confront. Confront.
My addiction to alcohol was a brutal truth, separate from the glamorization of alcohol in our culture. I was an addict, addicted to alcohol. Stopping drinking, staying stopped, learning to deal with it, was truly an internal confrontation. Complete acceptance accrued over time.
Calling myself an alcoholic felt like a deadly admission that rattled me to the core for a long time. "Poor me." Self-pity, doubt, fear, a volatile mix of emotions.
Today, after more than 18 years of continuous sobriety, it is still necessary to reflect upon feelings even after they have evolved and are long passed. Odd perhaps, but memories sometimes help me stay grounded and focused on the future.
Dead or alive, people of all ages (like Marilyn Monroe and the Queen of England) are garnering another day sober somewhere, in AA, NA, Group & Individual Therapy, Smart Recovery and more. My hat is off to anyone anywhere who finds another day clean and sober. We, the men and women in recovery, strive daily to right our rudders on our clean and sober ships.
I hope everyone reading this is TRIGGERED to remain on the path of recovery and not revert to their old behaviors.
Chill. Strive on.
Socially distanced, close, close to acceptance of whatever comes my way.
Passages in quotes are excerpted from my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal
Find it on Amazon. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
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