Recently a couple of people I know decided to dip their foot into the drinking world again.
On my own journey the very word moderation means hell on earth. It’s that stage where you sort of know you have a problem and alcohol becomes a boa constrictor around your body. It has you in its grip and the more you try to wriggle away (put rules in place) the tighter the snake’s grip gets around you.
If people can moderate their intake of alcohol the more power to them, I just need to clarify that I don’t have an issue with drinkers. I am talking about people that have identified that they may have a problem.
I am a total believer in abstinence based recovery. I tried to moderate for years. I went to a hypnotherapist, I bought moderation management books, I kept drinking diaries, I meditated, I started running, I did therapy…I would manage to moderate for a while but eventually the snake tightened its grip even more. The words soul-destroying come to mind. The more I failed the more the snake was squeezing the very life out of me.
So it makes sense that I would want to spare anyone the same pain and just say, skip all that shit. Just abstain, alcohol is a liar and get to the good sober stuff. But it doesn’t work that way. I listened to the bubble hour today and Jean was talking about moderation as a diagnostic tool. I’ve never thought of it that way. Now I understand now why most people have to go through the hell of trying to moderate and failing, to really see and know for themselves on a visceral level that they are in fact addicted. Sometimes this process can take years. In my case it took many years. I really needed to make sure, just needed to double check that a long break from alcohol doesnt re-set the clock as it were.
The point is to find a place of peace around alcohol. My place of peace is abstaining completely. One drink has never and will never be enough for me.
It reminds me of that part in the Shining where Jack Nicholson sits at the empty bar and says…I’ll sell my soul for a beer. Lloyd appears (the ghostly bartender) Jack immediately orders a bottle of bourbon, a glass and some ice. One beer doesn’t exist for an addict… it never will.