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[ Personal Narratives ]

When Taking A Drink Doesn’t Scratch The Itch Anymore

I watch someone scratch and I start to scratch.

Yesterday I watched people go into a bar and I went into a bar.

I knew my that my itch was just an illusion, it was just a mental itch. I know too watching folks drink and wanting to drink is mental. I knew there was a way to stop scratching my urge to drink, there was a cure.

A phone call.

Just make a damn phone call. It’s worked every time before.

Don’t scratch, don’t drink, don’t think about it… just make the call. But I didn’t call. I wanted to drink. I was angry. I was depressed. I deserved it. I really did itch. It wasn’t mental, I had to scratch. That’s what I told myself.

Today I can look back on my yesterday and see that I was telling myself a story of woe, that I deserved relief. I resisted making a phone call because I didn’t want help. I wanted instant gratification, instant relief.

The cheap salve really didn’t work well. As hard as I scratched I only made a wound.

The wound seeps into today and I don’t feel well. I feel worse. I feel shame and guilt, small and weak. Hungover.

As I sat at the bar I didn’t enjoy a second of my time or my drink. I kept thinking of making that damn call. I wouldn’t do it though. Ordering drink after drink I kept thinking: “just call someone”. But I scratched my phantom itch. When they say AA ruins the pleasure of drinking, well it’s true. The program destroys it. It’s frustrating. The pleasure is dead. “Make the call”… damn it.

I still resist AA. I just don’t like the idea of having it as a life style. I respect the tools of the program however. When I say this I am not saying I am right or wrong in how I feel, it’s simply how I feel. I am being honest. When I say a phone call is all I needed to have stopped me from drinking, I am sure of it. It has without fail worked in the past.

Real or imagined an itch is nearly irresistible. But it can be resisted. Just pause and think it through. I believe a drink too can always be resisted if the tools are used. If I choose to use the tools.

The opportunity, the temptation to drink surrounds us all obviously. My itches cover my body at times but neither of those urges have to be acted upon.

My difficult, pesty, horrible disease is treatable.

I do not have to scratch.


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