December 29 2006
Today is my 11th AA Birthday. 11 years without a drink, hit of weed, or street drug of any kind. Not even a decent addiction to a prescription drug.
Pretty boring eh? No wonder I’m such a whack-job.
Okay I’m not all that good and perfect. Difficult to believe yes? One sin is continuing to tell people that I stopped smoking 8 years ago. This then leads to the amusing admission that I am still addicted to Nicorette, well Commit actually but you say tomato I say, uh, Commit.
I quit smoking a year after I quit drinking. Using my Big Brain for good, instead of evil as is it’s normal function, I calculate that the last cigarette was 10 years ago not 8.
This would indicate a serious nicotine addiction, logically leading to the conclusion that I am not clean and sober.
Except that I am. Unless you’re an AA Nazi. Lemme ‘splain…
In the program (that’s AA for you normies out there) there are some folks who eschew ALL artificial stimulants. So, if a member were to smoke they are not ‘practicing the program’. Ha. Tell that to the 2 guys who founded AA.
Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob both delighted in their ciggies, and Dr. Bob later experimented with LSD as well. The latter was a rather controlled experiment, not illegal at the time and an attempt to find relief from chronic clinical depression. It was done in the spirit of research. I find it pretty fucking cool.
Sorry. Digression is my middle name, not Christine.
There exist AA zealot freaks (the AA Nazis) that look down upon mere mortals -including yours truly by the way- who have the audacity to use Listerine, coffee, nicotine, or any food made with wine or spirits as an ingredient. Forget that cooking alcohol removes it’s fun qualities. Hell, aspirin contains caffeine so that’s out too.
Goddess forbid you mention you’d had an alcohol-free Guinness the previous night at the bar with your friends. You’ve just signed your warrant. You are officially Not To Be Trusted. Surely you’ll ‘go out’ and don’t call me Surely. Which brings me to the age-old question;
Why the hell is non-alcoholic beer for alcoholics?
You’ve read my blog before. I go out to bars with friends, hang at clubs on the weekends to see bands and my musician friends. My friend TK imbibes on a regular basis and we spend hours together. Did I mention that he drinks?
So class what have we learned? Besides that this author is neurotic as hell which is a given. We know that Miss R still loves her fine coffee, a daily intake of nicotine-rich yummy Commit, chocolate which is a nutritional supplement ‘ya know, and swallows a handful of vitamins and assorted prescribed meds each morning as well. Hey I know! I’ll give up my high blood pressure pills. Great idea!
When I met psychotic ex-husband number two he gave me a ration of crap for seeing a shrink and being on anti-depressants. Of course he knew better, being sober all of 2 months longer than myself, and this being his umpteenth attempt at sobriety.
One day I’d had enough of self-righteous AA Nazi crap (hey this is where we started back in paragraph one fancy that) and schooled his cute ass on a few salient points.
One, I had decided to quit drinking and was, I hoped, done with it. Two, if he was so fucking smart why was he working as a painting contractor without a license and trying to move in with me. Three, I didn’t know that he was a doctor. Four, I did know I was a hell of a lot happier than he was.
You know what? That poor bastard was still the angriest and most unhappy sober person I knew as of two years ago. I doubt much has changed. He’s what you call a Dry Drunk. The day I suggested that he just ‘fucking drink again for the love of god’ was not a high point of our marriage.
Well, I’m not exceptionally happy (define happy I dare you) but I am still optimistic. At times.
Being sober and happy in my skin is what counts. Being around friends who drink doesn’t bother me a whit, nor should it.
For those of you contemplating the cliche New Year’s resolution of “I’m going to stop drinking” I’ll let you in on a secret:
You gotta want it. If you’re ready you’re ready. If you have any misgivings don’t even try. You’ll fail. Sorry but it’s true.
I was ready to give up my delicious red wines, delightful micro-brewed beers and my Absolute Pepper.
I’m crazy as hell, addicted to nicotine and coffee, but at least I remember how I get home.
Not too bad of a trade really. I’m lucky and grateful. Many recovering alcoholics will never be comfortable around booze, and they SHOULD stay away from bars, clubs and people who use. If you’re a diabetic you may or may not be comfortable running a candy store. Both illnesses have life or death consequences depending on their treatment.
If you really want to stop imbibing give me a call. I’ll take you to a meeting and you can join me as a pledge in the Annual Holiday Membership Drive. That was a joke son. If you don’t want to stop drinking give me a call. I’ll enjoy my club soda and lime, you can indulge in your drink of choice, and we can discuss what’s really wrong with this world. Or at least the overthrow of Nazis in and out of AA.
|Currently listening :Figure Eight
By Elliott Smith
Release date: By 18 April, 2000
This post is dedicated to my good friend TK