The Beast and Alcohol

I was chatting recently with a friend who realizes they have a problem with alcohol, and has decided to stop drinking. In my chat and later I came up with a few points that I want to share about how I personally look at alcoholism.

For me, I see that when I drink, I truly become a different man. It is a different person, and all it takes is a single first sip. After 5 years without alcohol (Thank God) I have come to tell myself the following fundamentals about my drinking persona:

  • He is not you
  • You do not know him
  • You cannot control him

The man I become when I drink is someone completely different from my non-drinking self. So different that I dont even see it as “me when I’m drinking.” No, it is not me anymore. What that person is capable of doing is very different than what I would allow myself to do. I dont know what he will think, say, or do, at any given moment. And no one has control over him, especially not he himself.

He is someone completely different, yet he is in my body, with direct access to my family, friends, and my entire life situation.

But I do not judge him, because he is a beast, and it is his nature. It is like judging a wolf for devouring the young of another animal. It is its nature. I introduce alcohol into the brain and bloodstream, and therefore have become a beast. Literally, and with no exaggeration. Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde. No exaggeration. Truly it is the same thing. I sip alcohol, and it is an elixir which transforms me into an unpredictable beast, until the elixir has left my body.

Therefore, I must exert discipline to never, ever, become that beast, ever again. I can never ever take the first sip, ever again.

For me, alcohol is more dangerous than any good that can come from it.

I cannot let myself reminisce about “the good times.”

I am a different man when I drink. I do not trust that man.

But I am glad I have saved my life. And I have saved the life of others as well by me not drinking. Therefore I am a hero everyday I dont drink.

Further note to myself:

Don’t judge the drinking man, it is a beast, that is his nature. Just make sure you do not become him. All it takes, is one sip.

The sober man exerts discipline, and knows that he will transform when he takes the first sip. NEVER take the first sip. Ever. Never, ever, again.

Had a tough time today with alcohol. So very glad I didn’t drink. Was at lunch with two coworker friends , even the bartender was drinking hard liquor at lunchtime. It was cozy in there, I felt like I was missing out by not drinking with them.

Then at the end of the work day most of the office had a game of poker and just about everybody was drinking. I don’t know why, but after a while I had the thought that I really wanted to drink, and that maybe I could be ok with one drink or so. Thankfully I am  blessed that I didn’t drink. The strongest urge lasted only a moment or two, but it is scary to think that I considered it for a moment.

I have two and a half years without drinking. And I am still having frightening times of desire. I am scared to want to drink. I am scared to be fooled into thinking that I can have only a little and things will be perfectly fine.

The reality is the next time I choose to drink, I feel that myself or someone else could die. That is how serious alcohol affects me. How innocent and controllable one voluntary swig seems, but that one swig is a switch to open the floodgates of destruction.

With alcohol I don’t ever know how much destruction I will cause, or to whom.

I cant let that happen.

Please help me to stay clean. Please help me to stay clear and clean from alcohol. Please.

Thank you.

1 Year Without Drinking Alcohol

I’ve just completed my first year completely free from any alcohol ingestion.

I somehow do not feel as proud to say this as I thought I would. It’s actually humbling, bringer of humility. It’s not that I don’t want to drink, it’s that I feel I cant. I am scared for my Life, literally.

I am so grateful to have this year. I hadbirthday_dog doubted myself many times on my ability to remain alcohol free. And then I had this dream last year. And it was frightening enough, real enough, possible enough to convince me my next drink could and would be catastrophic for the personal safety of myself and others.

And so I’m here, 1 year later, somehow not having drank. Amazed and thankful at the grace that has brought me to today in this way.

I thought I would be full of gusto and pride at this 1year mark. Instead, I am humbled…there is no vanquished foe. I am choosing not to battle. I am choosing not to gamble.

I have fought with the entity before, a larger-than monster that I introduce to the Sword of Imbibing. Sometimes I would walk or run or stumble away feeling victorious. I faced it and showed my ability and had a good time and still had Life and limbs. Sometimes I would come out of the battle with an injured dignity, or injured relationships; the entity knows how to inflict injury. So far everything has been salvageable.

Now, it is not me galloping into the arena, jumping off the horse with sword aimed at the entity. No. I do not want to gamble here anymore with Life and death.

I lay the sword down, and walk around the entity, leaving it to look at me as I walk. I don’t know how long it looks, or what it does after, because as I walk around it…

I look away.

Help me, to remain sober and free of alcohol.

Thank you

The day could begin so classy, or innocently. Olives and crackers and feta cheese, a high-line party thrown by some big-wig production company.

10 hours later I could end up waking on a subway train seat, articles of mine missing. No recollection of what I’ve done, where I’ve been the last 5 hours. No idea what I have done to whom, and vice versa.

Once the first drop hits the brain, the signal all-of-a-sudden becomes “I can handle this, it’s not that bad. I am in control. I can have another”

Ten drinks later, sloppily stumbling into people and embarrassing myself on the street, incoherently speaking, looking for another place to drink, much more prone to violence…still saying the same thing, “I can handle this, it’s not that bad. I am in control. I can have another”

A Knock At The Door

“We must be watchful, especially in the beginning of temptation;

Because the enemy is easier overcome if he is not suffered to come in at all at the door of the mind, but is kept out at his first knock.

A certain man once said: “withstand the beginning, (because) after the ‘sickness’ has taken vigor from long delay, the remedies come too late”

For first a simple thought comes to mind, then a strong imagination, afterwards delight, and evil motion and consent;

And thus, little by little, the ‘wicked’ enemy gains full entrance when he is not resisted in the beginning;

And the longer a man is negligent in resisting, so much weaker does he daily become in himself and the enemy becomes stronger against him.”

-Thomas A’Kempis (14th century monk)