In my head, I see this photo like this: I am sitting comfortably on the sofa, you kids in bed, and I am relaxing with a cocktail. I am reading, awash in a soft, ambient light. It is a mild summer evening; crickets chirping, a dog barking from a far off distance. The liquor cabinet is stocked and only periodically has to be replenished because I am one of those kind of people that has a drink, maybe two and goes to bed feeling relaxed and warm. I’m an “earth person”, “a normie” as they say in the lexicon of the 12 stepper.
Here is the picture you see: I am sitting on the couch, a 32 ounce plastic tumbler of beer sweating on the table-full, but emptying quickly. On the table next to the super-sized drink, lay a stack of books on the nature of addiction and alcoholism. The me in this picture had recently come to the horrifying realization that I might be a problem drinker. The goal of my research was to prove to myself that I was being silly and paranoid (best-case scenario), but in the case that all signs pointed to PROBLEM DRINKER, I merely had to choose one of the various proven methods of learning how to drink in moderation. Apparently, moderation is a skill, a discipline that can be taught and had worked on scores of drunks-including a skid row bum and a biker gang who bled straight Johnnie Walker before finding their redemption in moderation.
In this picture, I breathe a sigh of relief-my booze was safe. With that peace of mind, I happily polished off that beer, and a dozen more. I lifted my glass in celebration to my new life of moderated drinking–all the fun and none of the consequences!
Here’s another picture. A year has gone by-I really meant to read that book, but who had the time? Now, the book was nowhere to be seen and neither was the moderation it prescribed. I was now a convicted drunk driver, a daily drinker and more often than not, my breakfast consisted of two or three beers and not the fruity craft beers either. Beers like that were really only practical for moderate drinkers. I would be one of those one day.
Here I am a year later honey, waiting nervously at the pharmacy for my “medicine”. And look! Here I am a half hour later being handcuffed and led away by the Sherriffs Office. I had given up on the moderation thing, but, ever the problem solver, I had another solution. I found a new love. This one required a doctor appt and prescription and soon, I needed more medicine than he wrote on that little form so I helped him out by adding it myself.
Here I am on your thirteenth birthday, in jail again, but we had a nice visit, right?
I’m gonna find a book here on how to use drugs in moderation and I will make it all up to you honey.