Beyond the important things, Good Orderly Direction and “working steps”, I’ve used a trick that was passed down to me by an old timer to remember why I quit drinking in the first place.
Over time, especially decades, the vividness of the mayhem, destruction and the heat that a drunk creates can fade. The fear that once held the drunk in check in the beginning can dull… This is a main fear of all long-timers, for a drink [drunk] is usually not far behind.
The trick I use is to remember the last time I got drunk. The details aren’t so important. The location doesn’t matter so much (Cardona’s – downtown Brighton), what you drank doesn’t matter either (16 bottles of Bud – ran out of cash). Hell, some people even go so far as to remember what they wore (jeans, t-shirt, leather jacket-black…I remember it being unseasonably warm though I could be mistaken, gimme a break it was almost 20 years ago). None of that really matters though. What counts is how I drank, how I felt during and after, and most importantly, why I got drunk. I drank to escape and to fit in. I obviously missed the irony – the more I drank, the fewer people I actually fit in with. In addition, I was what is called a “two fisted” drinker. A case between the legs and one in each hand was when I was happiest. No matter what, every time I’ve ever thought about a drink over the last two decades, I always think about the how and the what…and the end.
Look at it this way, which would be easier to say “no” to:
1. Man, it’s hot out, I just got the grass cut, and I’m a little thirsty, a beer sure would taste good right about now…
2. Man, it’s hot out, I just got the grass cut and I’m thirsty enough to drink the snake river – a case of Buds to chase down a fifth of Jack, so I can get absolutely shitfaced and hopefully wake up in jail spooning a guy named Bubba sure would be awesome right now…
See what I mean? That’s a no brainer, baby. I can say no to the second option every single time – and sadly, with the exception of spooning Bubba, the second one is a lot closer to reality. “A beer” is not even an appetizer. Drinking one beer is like lining up one Reese’s peanut butter cup (mini), one potato chip and one pistachio and eating just one little nibble off of each… Good luck with that.