Die with it, or from it!
All alcoholics quit, eventually.
Sounds hopeful, right? Maybe not so much when you realize we only quit one of two ways. Vertically or horizontally. The hard facts for me are, I will either die a sober alcoholic or a drunk one. This will never disappear and if I start believing that it will, I’m in trouble. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen men and women convince themselves they were cured of their drinking problem only to end up drinking again. And tragically, often they don’t make it back.
Alcoholism is sneaky. It continually tries to convince me I don’t have it. Denial is a powerful defense mechanism, but alcoholism is worse. I have an extreme desire, a deep need to be able to drink like normal people, is a red flag that I cannot. But my head tries its best to convince me otherwise. That and societal pressures. These pressures are not at fault, but they sure don’t help.
I got sober with a heroin addict who told me “I’m sure glad alcohol is not my issue, you guys have it rough.” I asked what he meant and he clarified, “There aren’t heroin stores on every corner, heroin ads on tv, social gatherings revolving around heroin, heroin tasting. Just the availability would make it hard, the societal pressures would seem nearly insurmountable!”
Can you imagine if they were seen as equal? Don’t show up to a dinner party without some heroin to share…
But really, what’s the difference? One is legal, one is not. More people die from alcohol than heroin for sure. Alcohol is involved in more auto accidents, more domestic abuse, more violent crimes… obviously to a large extent because drinking is encouraged and heroin is not. But still, to feel different is the point, right? That’s how I see it anyways.
There’s my problem. I think I need to feel different. What I’ve learned through my recovery is that I am fine. If I stay grounded in sobriety, poisoning myself with a mood altering substance sounds terrible. God gave me this brain, why would I want to mess it up? I am an alcoholic who no longer drinks. My intention is to keep doing what has worked for me so far because I know I will die an alcoholic.
It’s up to me if I die with alcoholism or from it.