Why You Finally Quit the Drinking (day 115)

Even more crucial than identifying your “problem” is identifying yourself. Getting sober is not about deciding “how bad things are” or “if they could be worse.”

Hi: they could always be worse.

Instead, sobriety is about defining who you are in this life. What are the values you will honor in yourself. For what truths will you stand up and be unwavering.

At my side as I journal and write this morning, along with my beloved black coffee and against all discernible odds, is the Big Book. I bought it because even just the title “Alcoholics Anonymous” embossed on the cover in all caps frightened me.

Not that. Please. Anything but that.

But alas here we are. It is that. My addiction is mine. My thing. My beast. My blessing. My angel my demon and everything in between.

I bought the AA Book because I spent a decade terrified to admit that I struggled to control my drinking. I thought my addiction would kill me either way – if I kept going or if I tried to stop. Either way, shame kept me paralyzed and numb.

I know AA is controversial and for good reason. I know it has helped millions to heal their own lives also for good reason. I believe everyone will find their own way, including me. The important thing is I’m open to finding my own way.

Maybe I will read the Big Book word for word. Maybe I will not. Maybe I will take what resonates with my soul, mind, and heart, and leave the rest. Maybe it will help, maybe it will hurt. I know that I will know.

For me right now it’s a triumph I never thought possible just to have this book in my hands.

To trust I will know my path forward whatever it may be. To know it does not include alcohol ever again. To know I’m already 115 days on the other side of a murderous kind of denial.

Because the thing is, it doesn’t matter how much you drink or how often or if you fit a label or a profile or pop positive based on some random online quiz. If you are hiding from yourself you have to explore that in order to find yourself and get free. Without judgement. Without blame or shame or self-cruelty.

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Author’s note: If you believe this post can help others and/or yourself please share it. By “help” I mean simply to start a respectful conversation that otherwise may remain in the shadows of frightened minds. We need to be talking about this in new ways. It’s time.

Is That What You’re Afraid Of? (audio)

You aren’t alone. If that’s what you’re afraid of you can lay that to rest. It is our pain which connects us and also what keeps us apart. Weird little math but I was never much good at math to begin with, you know what I mean.

Here’s some more math, though, while we are at it and this kind is the kind I understand so well it was unfastening my grip on what mattered to me most: one is too many and a thousand is never enough. That adds up perfectly to me. I get that in a way that is my sharpest threat and my deepest secret.

The thing about secrets is telling them can unlock doors you were not able to see were there before. There all along, isn’t that something? There was this talk about ‘moderation’ have you heard this? Drinking in moderation. Like you choose the time and the place and how many and make little rules and have a bunch of charts I guess or whatever, you make up your own math that only you understand and nobody else and you don’t explain it ever, ever, ever. And this, to me, is absolutely hilarious.

Take your poison carefully, destroy yourself but try to do it perfectly slow. Like make it sensual and sophisticated or whatever. Make it look good. Make it subtle, make it like a lovely little dragged-out, drugged-up poem.

Deliberate but not, you see what I am saying. It is so much fun isn’t it. Little trap doors all over town glistening in plain iridescent view. But only you can see them, is that right? Can’t anybody else see them like I do? The empty long-stemmed wine glasses turned upside down on that linen dove-wing table cloth, shining and prismatic in the tangerine evening sun. You are not alone. Drink me. The addict’s tiny inverted wonderland.

Freedom is a freaky thing. We say that’s what we want more than anything. The freedom, the freedom, freedom. . . to choose. For ourselves. What we want, what we need, what we say goes. But the freedom is only as good as the math. You can make your messy meandering life grades add up any way you want but there’s no guarantee you’ll pass.

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My book Luminae can be purchased on Amazon

You can find me on Instagram @allisonmarieconway

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