A few days ago I went to an AA meeting and picked up a newcomer’s chip.
Ha! April Fools! That’s a good one!
Um, it’s not April. It’s a crisp, cloudy fall day and I’m totally serious.
I’ve spent my entire life telling myself and other people so many lies that sometimes the truth just blindsides me, whacks me upside the head and leaves me on the concrete, bleeding and stunned. I can’t say whether or not I’m an alcoholic, though at some point that may become more clear. But upon close inspection of the last two years, I think I’m on that road. It starts out smooth and paved, starts to get gravelly, turns into a pothole-filled path and eventually leads you off a cliff. Nothing so dramatic for me; I’m still back at the gravelly part. I don’t have a lifetime of wreckage and carnage behind me. Just a hand-written list of truths, I think, that I spewed onto paper one morning, laid up in bed after a night of particularly hard drinking. Here’s the list.
1. Up until about two years ago, I drank very rarely, and then never more than could make me a little tipsy. Discounting college, of course.
2. During the last year I’ve gotten drunk more times than during the entire span of my life. Discounting college, of course. It’s happening with more frequency.
3. I used to drink because I liked the taste of something, or wanted to relax a little before bed. Now I drink for one purpose: to get drunk. To find release. To have fun. To escape.
4. I never liked being drunk before. Now I do. I LOVE to drink. I don’t want to quit.
5. I’ve tried to quit before and couldn’t stick with it.
6. I have done a handful of stupid-to-dangerous things while drunk, like giving booze to minors and driving drunk.
7. If I keep drinking I will do more stupid and dangerous things.
8. I never know when I’m going to stop at just one, or when I’m not going to stop.
9. I’m getting very good at drinking. I go right for the hard stuff. I get drunk quickly, and drink more to stay drunk.
10. I never enjoyed getting drunk before, but I’ve started feeling like I need it. For the release. I realize I already said that – I guess it must be important.
11. I won’t be able to quit on my own. I’ll stop for a few months, then give up on the idea and start up where I left off.
12. I don’t know if I can trust anything I’m telling myself.
So I’m going to go to a few more meetings and see where it takes me. I figure, if I’m not an alkie, it can’t hurt to go. If I am an alkie, it will hurt not to go. I come from a family rife with alcoholism and drug addiction. It’s on my mother’s side and my father’s. I’ve always been a little surprised that it seemed to pass me over. So there you go.
Should I publish it? Sure, why the hell not. I seem to be coming out a lot lately. Pagan Christian Queer Lesbian Massage Therapist Alcoholic Liar. Please throw flowers, rocks, questions and comments. I’m very curious to see where I’m going next, and I invite you to be a stop for me along the way. Your role: information booth. Scenic lookout. Repair shop. Grandma’s for cookies and cocoa. Just not a bar, ok?