I Drank To Be Normal
As I understand it, an average person stops drinking when they feel like they’re losing control. Two or three drinks and I’ve heard them say, “Whew, I’m starting to feel it. I had better stop.“ I never said that. Worse, I felt out of control when I wasn’t drinking. That two or three-drink feeling was when I started to feel normal. The opposite of a typical drinker. And two or three was just the start. It was, ‘I’ve got to get these Pineapples to Hawaii’ time! It didn’t have to make sense. It just had to happen. There was no stopping, just the next drink. Drinking ‘til I was drunk felt right. Problem solved.
People in recovery are tremendously fortunate. I am tremendously fortunate, but the everyday world doesn’t have much of a solution for the struggles of day-to-day existence.
Like a perfect Goldilocks, “this one’s just right” type solution. But those of us in recovery have had two!
My first solution was booze. Booze worked almost perfectly for a long time until it didn’t. There was no situation I could find myself in that a drink didn’t seem to make better until it didn’t. Happy, sad, nervous, excited, first date, easter at church with the parents, job interview, drinking worked for all of them. Yeesh.
My second solution is recovery. Recovery works even better. It works so well that I have difficulty believing I ever counted on the first one. I have a fuller and more vibrant life than I ever could have attained while drinking. I feel right, and free to be me almost 100% of othe time. I wish the whole world could have what I’ve gotten, but I don’t think many would be willing to go through what I went through to get here. The price was pretty high. Like complete moral and spiritual bankruptcy high. Suicide as a viable Plan B high. But that degree of despair was a gift.
It seems counterintuitive, but I had to thoroughly destroy my former self to be set free. However, looking at my ruined life gave me the willingness to try something different that would have otherwise been impossible. If I had any more good ideas, I would have tried them. But I didn’t. I feel fortunate that by my bad behavior, my hand was forced. The last house on the block is the finest place I have ever lived. I’ve never had it so good. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.