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Why Not Test the Waters to See if I’m Really an Alcoholic

December 2014
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I quit drinking 22 years ago at just twenty-two years-old. Heck, I was only legal for a year before I quit.  Non-recovering people often wonder why, after all this time, I wouldn’t try going back to drinking again.  After all, shouldn’t there have been a cognitive shift that would allow me, after all this time, to drink like a normal person would?

There is a lot of misunderstanding that goes with recovery when it comes to normal people.  They often find it hard to comprehend what would possess or even require a person like me to stay away from alcohol.

One of the keys to recovery is the following:  To Thine Own Self Be True. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a useless metaphor where “true”, means “whatever I can convince you (or worse, me) sounds good”, we’re talking about true.  Strip away all of the bullshit and just be straight with what’s left.

The truth is, to this day I know I’m still a two-fisted drinker.  If I were to start back up tomorrow, I’d be drunk the first time out.  Even if, by some miracle, I managed to keep it under control for a short period of time, I would be right back to my old ways before long.  The key is simple:  I still long for the escape.  Drinking, for me, was always about changing how I felt and escaping responsibility…  It was about feeling good, no matter how bad the results ended up being.  If I am true to myself, I know that further experimentation is not necessary.  After all I’ve learned, all I’ve gained and all I’ve done over the last two decades, all I need to do to wreck everything is add alcohol.

See, depending on how you view the science (disease vs. learned behavior), the one thing that can’t be argued is that drunks simply process alcohol differently than most people.  A simple example would be the fact that normal people, when they feel tipsy, can stop drinking.  For a person like me, that’s just about the time I start feeling good.  The only problem is that good is hardly ever good enough.  If four beers is good, fourteen is great.  For most, that would seem silly but there is what we call an “allergy” that goes along with this.  Once I introduce that first taste to my system, I cannot stop.  I can’t be sure I’ll step away before I’m obliterated.

I stay away from alcohol because I have a fairly broad base of knowledge to draw from, for both drinking and abstaining.  Adding alcohol to my system will, as I have proven time and again, lead only to misery and failure while abstinence and working a spiritually based program of accountability leads to prosperity and happiness.  These are simple, irrefutable, unassailable truths.  The question, therefore, isn’t why I don’t go back to drinking.  The question is, who in their right mind would go back, knowing what I do?

One thing is for certain with recovery:  Misery is refundable, just add alcohol.


11 Comments

  1. Paige says:

    You are a true inspiration. I have never had to battle addiction (thank God). But we all battle our own demons and weaknesses.

  2. I didn’t even start drinking until I was 22, lol. It’s pretty amazing to me that you stopped at that age and never went back.

  3. xbox155 says:

    Another good read, for me I’ve got my head around alcohol being this wonderful liquid that makes you fitter and stronger. Where as its really just dulling my senses and making me a lot less fitter. 19 weeks since I decided to stop/ cut down having one beer tastes horrid and gives me a headache it really has zero benefits other than wasting cash and quality of life !!

  4. Fantastic way of putting it. I was just thinking the same the other day – if I ever did go back (hell no), I KNOW that I MAY keep it together for the first couple of days (if that long) and I would be back in full, full force before I knew it. I just know it in the deepest part of me. There is no turning back for this dude. Do I mourn it? Meh, I think those days are gone. It’s just a new and better way of living. I like my life, my family, my job, my health, my reputation, etc. Drinking would wipe that stuff out before I knew what hit me.

    Thank you for this. Wonderful post.

    Paul

  5. I really love your posts! Youbalways get to the root of the preconcieved notions. Ive never been in recovery myself – but at times thought i should. One thing i always repeat to keep me safe when alcohol ia present – is – not a single good decision in my life was ever made while i was intoxicated. What you say about making a mess of your life means juat adding alcohol. That i can totally relate to! Thanks for sharing as always!

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