Several weeks (or is it months) ago, I was doing pretty well at maintaining some sobriety and I was approaching 90 days without a drink – probably the most I had accomplished over the past 10-15 years. And then it all came unglued. I went through the normal self-assuring, delusional self-talk of trying to convince myself that I am not an alcoholic, that it’s all okay because I only drink beer, that I am fine, because I never get drunk, etc., etc.
Suffice it to say, I have not done this thing very well at all.
I have a tough time admitting – or maybe even seeing – if I am an alcoholic. Having gone to so many AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings over the past 3 years, I am well aware of all of the “yets” I have. But I struggle with a lot of different things (Is that the effing understatement of the year or what?) and going out and drinking a few craft beers gives me a little peace. And it’s that little dependence that has me question it all over again. Of course, even right now, as I write this it’s like I’m trying to talk myself out of it. I can feel the fear and anxiety involved in admitting this aspect of myself.
I’ve called myself an alcoholic before, without repercussion. But for some reason, doing it now somehow feels like I’ve lost. It feels like I have to start over and I don’t want to start over. I simply want to enjoy a beer without the attachment of guilt, without the attachment of some self-induced sense of shame. And, I know I can’t. Is this the belly full of booze and a head full of AA that I’ve heard discussed in meetings before? I believe it probably is.
Truthfully, I’m not desperate. I know that. And in a lot of AA meetings, you hear people often say they were thankful for the gift of desperation. I suppose, I have not given up on things, although, I have felt like it before. I feel like, on some level I can still make it, I can still make the decision to choose to not drink. I chose not to yesterday. Today, I feel like I’m choosing to not do it. But is this desperation? I don’t know that it is.
I don’t want to go back to another AA meeting. I don’t want to work with a sponsor. I don’t want to do anything like that, because it feels like it is a detraction from my life. I feel like I need to focus on work. I am starting to work out again too, and I feel like I want to focus on that, as well. So, AA feels, like a distraction, a chore, a hindrance. And honestly, I don’t like the self-aggrandizing I see happening in a lot of AA meetings; to me, it is no different than the things I see among “normal” people anyways.
But, I also feel like I have only been able to escape drinking when I get involved in AA meetings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take me long before I begin to think it is nothing more than another religion – simply with different words. I have come to despise most any organizations that promote themselves – political parties, religions, non-profits, the local bakery club, whatever…they all begin to irritate me and grate on my nerves after a while.
However, I really do think I have a problem with drinking (Notice the effing minimization, I’m doing there?) problem…