Thursday, July 6, 2017

7/6/17 (Thurs) Drinking a Love Story

I was reading "Drinking a Love Story" last night. I can confidently say I was not as bad as the author (Caroline Knapp) - I didn't wake up in strange beds, drink every single day , black out entire nights or drink multiple bottles of wine in a sitting....but......what scared me was that the way she thought about alcohol was frightening similar to the way I thought about it.  I have no doubt I would have, eventually, ended up there.  The last 2 months before I quit (15 day ago!!)  were increasingly getting worse. Who knows, maybe this would have been the month when I stepped into the point of no return - where I really did need alcohol just to live - where I was at risk of losing everything. It really did scare me when I read things about drinkers who just all of a sudden, without warning, have a flip switched and everything changed for the worse - full on physical addiction (shakes, seizures, etc).

Here are a couple of passages that resonated with me from the book that I want to remember.

"The worried morning after: every alcoholic  I knew had them. We'd wake up after a party and spend the morning worrying about what we'd said or done the night before, and finally we'd cal the person who threw the party and hint for clues to out behavior by gauging the response. "I had way too much to drink last night," we'd say, as though this were a rarity, a fluke.. "I hope I didn't do anything too stupid."  Pause. "Oh, you were fine." Those were the words I always looked for. "I didn't even notice." If no one else worried, I didn't need to either."

I have done this so many times, including a few weeks ago when I started bawling in front of my friends.  I individually checked with all four of them and did the same thing. And they said the same thing. I am sure they were lying bc I have been on the other side of the conversation before. I said, "You were fine" bc I didn't want them to be embarrassed but I was thinking "You were wasted and a mess and you might want to get some help with your drinking problem."

"The worst was wondering what I'd said, what confidences I might have broken, what evil tidbit I might have passed along to someone about a mutual friend, what self aggrandize comment I might have tossed off. Sometimes when I got drunk I could feel my own sober rules of social conduct just melt away, hear that little voice in my head say, "No: don't start talking about that," and then go ahead and talk about it anyway. Then you wake up in the morning and cringe. That kind of behavior is driven be an information-as-power equation, a wish to see yourself as an insider, a person equipped with certain facts. Ultimately, of course, all you really do is reinforce your sense of yourself as an untrustworthy person. You wake up in the morning and remember bits and pieces; you remember leaning across the table and saying," Don't repeat any of this to anyone, but...." You remember knowing you'd regret it in the morning, regret chipping away sliver of your own integrity. And you remember you went ahead and did it anyway."

OMG! I have thought to myself so many times, "Don't talk about that" and then do it anyway.  I do hear that little voice in my head but ignore it.  I really think I am the shit when drinking. And if I don't feel like I am getting enough attention or if I start getting bored, I bring up these conversations or pieces of information and always regret it in the morning.  I am so extremely selfish when drinking.  She hit the nail on the head.  It's weird how other drinkers think the EXACT same way I do.

"Late that night, unable to sleep, I thought about my shyness, and I remember wondering, fleetingly, if the drinking created a kind of personality trap; perhaps the shyness. so acute for so many years, persisted because I hid my real self behind the liquor, because I never let anyone get to know me unless I'd flooded my system with a few gallons of  Champagne."

I really do not like the person I am when drinking except when I am drinking. I should trust my sober assessment of myself and know that when I am drinking, I am putting out an image of myself that is arrogant, selfish, dominating, gossipy, loud and annoying.  I have been also noticing that that persona is also leaking into my sober personality. Not because I think I am so cool (like I do when drinking) but as a wall, a defense mechanism to keep people from getting too close to me and seeing who I really am - insecure, overly sensitive, addicted, anxious and depressed.


  1. Such a powerful post! Keep them coming! I am getting so much support and encouragement from your blog. I read that book too. I can really relate to your feelings and experiences. Congrats to you for getting past the first two weeks! #DAY133! and counting...

    1. I also read Easy Way to Stop Drinking and This Naked Mind which were really good.