Just One Drink?

My really good friend and I hadn’t been able to meet in quite a while because it was difficult to align our life schedules. At some point, we both decided it had been too long, so we made the time to meet. We sat at the table and the first thing he wanted to know was what I had been up to. I sat there and debated on whether or not I should tell him, but as close as we were, I thought he should know. I told him that it was recommended that I go to an inpatient treatment facility for alcohol, and I had just got out a few weeks ago. Needless to say, he was surprised.

He next wanted to know why. I did my best to explain to him what had been going on with me, but he didn’t understand. I talked about my dependency of alcohol and the constant thoughts of suicide. At the end of my story he looked at me and said, “I don’t get it.” The fact that he didn’t understand, didn’t affect me. We changed the conversation and ordered our food. We sat there for a while reminiscing about the things we missed, and towards the end of our dinner, the waitress came over and asked him if he wanted another beer. My friend politely declined. I stared at my friend in disbelief, so much so that he wanted to know why.

I looked at my friend and said the following, “You don’t understand me, and the way I drink, the same as I don’t understand you, and the way you drink. I don’t understand how you are able to sit at the table, eat a meal, and drink ONE beer. I don’t understand how you were able to tell our waitress that you were good after only ONE beer. I don’t understand how that girl over there only drank half her glass of wine and walked away. I don’t understand how that guy over there left a drink of beer in the bottom of his glass. I don’t understand how you’re not begging for more.” It was at that moment when my friend looked at me, chuckled, and said, “I think I understand why you went to rehab.” 

You see, I’m an alcoholic and if I were him, I would have ordered another beer, then another, then another. I wouldn’t have stopped until they stopped serving me, or they turned off the lights and locked the doors. Even then, I would have tried to find a way to keep drinking. I would have made my way to a liquor store and bought the cheapest bottle of vodka I could find, and grabbed a second for the morning. If the liquor store happened to be closed, I would have fantasized about the next drink all through the night and into the morning, until the liquor store finally opened. 

When I drink, alcohol becomes the most important thing in my life. I will do anything to get more. When I would get to this point, the only thing that would stop me from salivating over alcohol was either by pouring more down my throat, or me passing out. Alcohol was my master, and I was its puppet. I’m so glad I don’t have to live like that anymore. For me, it has never been about just one drink, and as long as I keep that at the forefront of my thoughts, I have a fighting chance at continuing on my sober journey.    

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