Where I Stand On My Sobriety

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…

Day 2

 

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19 thoughts on “Where I Stand On My Sobriety

  1. I don’t know, man. I don’t want to minimalize anything here, but having a couple of craft beers doesn’t seem like full-blown alcoholism. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. Is having those beers causing you to neglect things, at work or at home? Are you getting into trouble because of it? Getting DUI’s, losing a job, forgetting large chunks of your day, having alcohol throughout the day, sneaking drinks just st to cope? It doesn’t necessarily sound like that’s the case. Again, I don’t want it seem like I’m making light of alcoholism, especially to those who’ve dealt with a raging alcoholic themselves, be it a spouse or family member. But, it doesn’t seem to me that you’re what I’d call an alcoholic. And I’ve seen one in action first hand. And one of my best friends is dealing with it as we speak. His life is a fucked up mess because of it. My 2 other best friends even made a special trip to Chicago a couple months ago to have an ambush-style intervention with him. You don’t seem to be on that kind of level.

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  2. So maybe a really good therapist would help you figure out what your situation is, and how to address it. I know that if I had added things like drinking or drugs or excess sugar to my life, it really would have made things worse for me and increased depression. When I did eat too much sugar, which was my tendency due to family alcoholism, it messed up my energy and attitude and depression and everything. I hope you can get the support you need all around. I personally just tried this little free energy recording that takes about five minutes, and it somehow gave me better energy. Maybe it’d be good for you–it’s lower down on the page of this link: http://www.ashworkerstraininghub.com/the-ash-recording.html I know the guy who does these recordings, and they seem to help me. maybe this’ll help you or someone. Best wishes with it all.

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  3. I think its less about the label and more about how it makes.you feel…don’t get hung up on the “worse than” mentality and just focus on you… No dui, lost jobs, divorced etc here….just tired of feeling obsessed with it….obviously if could moderate I wouldn’t be here and I could and did moderate for years until one day I couldn’t… Good luck with your journey, whatever you decide.

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  4. I’ll have to agree with sonofabeach96 in that what you describe doesn’t really correspond with what I would call an alcoholic. I’m sure there’s a million different definitions, my own personal one is being unable to stop when you start (which is my issue). Clearly there are things that bother you, that bring you down and make you question things and I think you’re doing the right thing going to see a therapist – hopefully they can help you untangle what it is that makes you feel the way you do. All the best, Anna

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  5. I just quit again after 14 years of questioning whether I’m an alcoholic. I was sober for a year in there somewhere and went to AA. At the end of that year I had many of the same feelings you are having. That was 6 years ago and I have been trying to moderate since then with little burst of unsuccessful sobriety time peppered in there. I have no outward consequences either so it’s hard to acknowledge that I have a problem but yet again here I am in a deep depression – inwardly I’m a mess and I know if I quit 80% of the shameful, negative self talk goes away. I agree with sobernevertheless – I’m doing this now because I’m tired of thinking about it. Constantly changing my mind and going back and forth. It’s exhausting. But I feel you – I’ve been there and probably will be again soon.

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  6. If you’re an alcoholic and still drinking, things will get worse, never better. We flip the pencil and instead of writing our life, we start erasing it. Some of us just lose our jobs, health, home and relationships. Others their freedom. And others their life – like my cousin who died of alcoholism at 55 last week. We both got sober 11 years ago on the same month. I stayed sober, he didn’t. He always had all the answers, but never the a solution!

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  7. Drinking started causing me so many problems that only seemed to escalate year over year and I found myself stagnated by it. I was hesitant to say that I was alcoholic right away. I often talked myself out of having a problem, tried to minimize and rationalize it as ordinary drinking. I quit for 30 days (mostly to prove to myself I didn’t have a problem) then I started drinking again. For 15 months I drank heavier and harder than before. Anyway, I still don’t know if I fit the typical alcoholic stereotype, but for right now I don’t and hope I won’t drink again.

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