In AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, you sit on a cold metal chair in a church basement, weak coffee in a styrofoam cup in your hand, and you tell your story; what it was like when you were drinking and what it is like now that you are not. You wont remember what you’ve said when you are done because you were so nervous you blew through it like fire through a log cabin. You recall explosions and how its better now that the fires out. Any rational person knows that drinking and puking and a life of chaos does not equal peace, a rational, non alcoholic person that is, but to the room full of drunks listening, they need to be reminded. That’s what keeps us sober, stories. The more years away from our last drink does not make us any less alcoholic, it just gives us time to learn the coping skills needed to get through emotional situations. Give us a bad day and we can, and often do, go back as if we never stopped. That’s why they call alcoholism a disease. It is one of the mind in which once an addict gene is triggered, we become insane.
“If a little is good, more is better,“ said every addict that ever lived.
Alcohol trickles down my throat and all care for health and well being disappear. With my misshapen alcoholic gene I don’t want to eat or sleep or be sober ever again. The gene wants to drink until I drown. And, like the psychopathic gene it is, it disguises it’s devious intentions of doom and romances me. I have a poetic fondness for amber lighting and the dark wood of the classic pub. Its an embryonic cushion. Nearly all my boyfriends I met at the bar, poets, musician. Love equalled amber bottles and intoxication.
What got me to stop drinking was my last hangover. I drank a bottle of vodka and woke up shaking and needed help but there was no one in my life to call. I knew I would die if I continued to live that way but I told you, addicts have to be reminded. When life gets uncomfortable I still think about going to the bar and its promise of oblivion. Filling the ache in my chest with whiskey is something I’ve done since I was 15. I need to hear a girl with only a few days sober tell her story that with this relapse her depression took over and her emptiness and loneliness made her feel like she couldn’t go on. “Why bother,” whispers the mutant gene, and she tried to kill herself, again. She has bandages on her wrist. Alcohol not only dulls your ability to make sensible decisions, it increases sadness. What starts out as a way to numb your pain, (the first drink),turns into a hell you can’t get out of until you are sober. Ive been in meetings where people have lost limbs due to drinking. One woman stood in front of a Mac truck, and there was a guy who lost his arm. It is these stories that saves me from going to the bar when my father dies because believe me, I want oblivion.
First, it helps you to tell your story, it lightens your load, but it helps others as well. Not everyone will identify with you but someone will, and all it takes is one person to save a life. WE are that important. We can give hope to the hopeless and create light where there is only darkness. “Hey, look, I’m making it through. You can too.”
Because even though the ache is bottomless, joy is too. You can experience great happiness even in the midst of great pain. It is worth it to keep going and see your life through.
So that is what I am saying. You tell me your stories, and Ill tell mine to you.