Will I Ever Be Able To Drink Again?

 Coming To Terms With Life-Long Abstinence

Whoa, that heading sounds serious, huh? I mean, probably because it is. Aside from accepting I'm an alcoholic, coming to terms with the fact that I should not drink again, for the rest of my life, was daunting. To say the least. And I know: live for today, don't future trip, stay in the moment. But, um, I can't stop my mind from having thoughts. I can only stop myself from acting foolishly when these thoughts are harmful. So, rather than ignore them, like I used to do, I choose to embrace them. I allow them their proper respect.

Because it's an insane thought for an alcoholic. Like, hold up, wait. You're telling me I can never again drink the booze? I can no longer relax and dance with my friends while wasted? I can't take some shots and giggle while posing for ridiculous selfies? I can't hang by the lake and sip wine as the sun sets?

But let's be real, I never did any of that shiz in the first place. I downed a fifth of vodka, got black out, and smoked all the cigarettes while eating all the pickles. As glamorous as I'd like to make my drinking seem, I'm not missing out on much, when I honestly stop and think about my past endeavors. I'm clinging to an idea of a person that I never was, and it's not helpful for my recovery.

So, I shift my perspective. Why is it that I'd even want to drink again? Most likely, I'm feeling a certain way about a situation, and rather than process through it, my knee-jerk reaction is to drink it away. But I've changed, my life has changed, and I no longer wish to drink my problems away. I mean, they never really leave when you're drunk, huh? They're just waiting in the background, ready to attack when you sober up. Little fockers.

I ask myself some fairly simple questions:
  • Am I bored?
  • Am I angry, or resentful?
  • Am I tired or hungry?
  • Am I hyper-focusing on the negative?
  • Am I bored, Charlie?! (For most times, I'm simply bored.)
Usually, answers to these questions arrive pretty quick, as most of the time I'm merely bored or focusing on the negative. A gratitude list and healthy activity typically lift me from this slump. But I realize it's not always that easy. At times, I can grow so overwhelmed with my life, seeking refuge in a vodka bottle really does sound like a smart option. This is because I have an inherent aversion to facing my life challenges head-on; this "tick" is why the idea of never drinking again is so daunting. I've conditioned myself, over the years, to deal in absolutes. I'm either all good or all bad, staying off the sauce or drowning in a bottle.

Pulling myself from these depths is necessary for my longevity, though. If I truly am to walk the path of light, and be useful to my fellow sisters and brothers, then I must be willing and open to bettering myself as man. Which means never drinking again. It all circles back around, you see? And I had the sense to recognize I could eliminate a majority of my obstacles by removing vodka from the equation. Was it dire, drastic, and dramatic? Well, yeah. But that's how I operate. I suspect it's how most of us operate, when we're not frantically projecting the image of having it all together. Just saying. That frenzy grows exhausting.

I should never drink again. I can, but I shouldn't. I shouldn't punish myself. I shouldn't demean myself. I shouldn't give up on myself. I shouldn't stop fighting. I shouldn't turn my back on this beautiful adventure called life. I can, but it'd all be for naught. Vodka cannot give me what I need. So, I shan't, then. I can think about it, I can remember it. But I can only entertain these thoughts truthfully and accurately. I cannot romanticize my relationship with the bottle; it's insanity, and I shy away from such behavior nowadays. I will allow my thoughts their power, however I still control them. It is difficult. It will be difficult. But I'm excited to rise to the challenge. I'm excited to see my strength. I'm excited to protect myself, after so many years of self-inflicted abuse and sabotage.

Nay, it shall not be easy. But we're strong, y'all. We're resilient. And we matter so much. Give yourself a hug today, and know that we have the opportunity, for the rest of our lives, to seize the day.*

*That was kinda cheesy, but it feels very true. Just go with me. And have fun until next time!


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