I like to be perceived as having my shit together, however this can be problematic being an alcoholic. The veneer of normality creates a buffer zone, a no man’s land of threat, wonder and hope. In sobriety I have acquired the successes or trappings of life depending on how you see it, and yet I still experience episodes of terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair when The Four Horsemen come galloping through.
Crippling self doubt causing hyper vigilance disturbs my sleep. I awaken to dread and confusion as to why this could be? I’m not accepting things as they are and how they’re meant to be. I am trying to be the director, controlling and forseeing, envisaging and regretting, reminiscing and contemplating the events unraveled and unraveling in fanciful fantasy until PANG.
I gulp the breakfast down. Three rounded rectangular wheat biscuits deconstructed in a corrosive dairy sea, blueberries bobbing buoyantly, accompanied by slick banana slices. I eat breakfast to stave off the inevitable hunger that would imminently strike mid-morning. I know that feeding the spirit is similarly important; alcoholics require spiritual as well as physical nourishment.
If in doubt, do nothing. Intrusive thoughts of relapse, resentment, revenge re-establish themselves in my mind. I do nothing. Think, think, think. Let go, let God. This to shall pass. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. A belly full of ale and a head full of AA doesn’t mix. I’m am alcoholic, my life becomes unmanageable when I drink.
The catalyst to relapse begins with the ‘good idea’ to drink, followed by the obsession. Strategising, philosophising, catasrophising until one drink becomes two, add infinitum. The wisdom is in recognising the pangs of anxiety, the emotional disturbances arising from the past and manifesting inextricably in the present. At this point I have options; attend a meeting, phone another alcoholic, read some positive literature, recite the Serenity Prayer.
I am not alone, isolated or tortured anymore. One day at a time I receive a reprieve from the dis-ease of alcoholism and when all is said and done I am kind to myself. Today I haven’t drank alcohol and that is enough, I am enough.