Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Elevator Will Go All The Way To The Bottom...

But I don't think you want to be on that elevator when it finally gets there. That's more or less what my therapist said to me yesterday morning, and I totally agreed with him...


You know the button on a cassette player that you press to reset the counter to zero? Well, I found out last year that when it comes to alcohol, there is no resetting to zero. When you resume drinking after a good sober stretch, you pick up at a point behind where you left off, but you start to accelerate pretty damn quickly, and the next thing you know, you've zoomed past where you left off, and you're hooked all over again.

That's easily the most sinister quality about alcohol, and that's why most alcoholics who keep trying to quit keep failing, with or without support from others. Some experience worse withdrawal symptoms than others. But I think for nearly everybody, the first week is the worst. I know my own nerves were good and raw for a while, especially at night -- I had to turn off the fan in the wee hours of one humid, sticky, and sleepless night because the air from it made the hair on my arms and legs feel like insects crawling all over me. Boy, am I glad that shit is over with.

I did tell my therapist that I still have beer in the fridge. The wisest thing to do would probably be to pour it all down the sink and be done with it. But for now, I keep it there to remind me of where I left off when I stopped drinking two weeks ago, how nervous, depressed, ashamed, and hurting I was that afternoon when I woke up from the previous night of drinking. I think of that every time I open the fridge.

The difference is, I'll grab something to drink besides the beer. That's an improvement...

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