I have a confession to make, and it is not revealing the results of my recent UCLA Health Saint John’s sexually transmitted disease screen. Should you go on (reading), you might (depending) encounter adult themes and horrific tragedy. Not to say I would curse you, but to say, as my readers I hope to rub off on you (I care).
The admission is one of terrible loneliness and reckless rage. My story is one of danger, injury, and consequence. This admission also features some interesting individuals, some of whom I know to this day, and some of whom I have not heard from in ages, and accordingly I do not know if they are still alive.
Dramatics and warning aside, my story is a far too common one – one maybe some of you have experienced first, second, or third hand, and for the rest of you – really, I think you will know what I mean when I say you are well on your way to understanding what happened to me.
If you like refreshments, if you like to sauce it up, if you like to put the lime in the coconut, you are 21 years old, and probably still able to stand (if you are reading this on a tablet passing out on the floor any second – no fair). I have alcoholism. Yes, self-diagnosis is partay and self-important and a neat social defense mechanism, but when the music turns into that creepy interdimensional antique time travel horror moment type (or whenever it becomes loud and foriegn) you have got a secret. That secret you won’t reveal, and won’t want to because it will stop a drink from finding your mouth. Who are you when a drink finds your mouth? You might know, and this a private bloggy moment to recount your sexiness’ bravado and unusual behavoir.
I am a functional alcoholic, and a rehabilitated drug user. Not telling you which drug found my mouth. Only fair. Functional means that Alcoholic Anonymous meetings find my rear. And as a former drug addict, I find these twelve step meetings with my soul, my heart, and an ability to return health and happiness into my life and those in my life. So there you go – you have my secret, and if you don’t want to drink with me, okay. If you do want to drink with me, great! I understand – only I am trying to stay sober. Do you care? Maybe you’re interested, but don’t actually care (for whatever reason). Maybe you do care, and I want you to read what I have to write. Maybe you are a fellow twelve stepper – but greater still you can drink, you do drink, and you like to drink. Have a seat.
A journey through my time at A.A. twelve step meetings would actually be very trite and very immature and very embarassing. Maybe you all ready know this, or have a second nature of insight (or are an arcane truth-sayer). I do not want to drag this name into public controversy – so let any organization fade and begin to understand my disease, as classified medically in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals of Mental Disorder as “alcohol dependence” or “alcohol abuse.”
You drink socially, casually, successfully, I will both assume and imagine. Socially, as in with and amongst friends and family, both at home or at eating or drinking establishments. Casually, as in after work, with a meal, during brunch, or when relaxing. Sucessfully, as in you make it home if you come from a bar, or you mean it when you lie down to sleep, or you enjoy responsibly and avoid yakking up the last two days’ worth of eats. I drink to nuclear annihilate the enemy. Or, like that, as in style. The enemy is a list of demons that psychologically suffer my life, and only find relief when I soak my soul in something alcoholic. Inebraited. Possessed. The difference may only lie on the other side of the bottle.
Speaking of which, that which resides in the bottle, if not demonic, is of a nature which is cruel and damned. I guess I had luggage when the first drink found my mouth, so if it took a while to unpack my things, it also took some time.
I actually feel better when I am sober than when I am drunk. But this dictates the definition of two separate entities – John the man and John the alcoholism. I learned to feel confident and optimistic from accomplishment and capability. I also learned oblivion and forgetting from Budweiser and Jack Daniel. They don’t mix, they fight. Hold up! Here we are in the same John. I love being accomplished and capable, two traits that are infinitely desireable and rewarding. I also love being oblivious and forgetful, which are two traits that are unfortunately, finitely painful and disasterous. So, there is a problem here, within me, and that we call alcoholism.
I drink alone, and I drink a lot. I drink beer, liqour, and turn my nose up at wine. At my best, I seem to drink beer and liqour together – in the same glass at the same time. Every bar has secrets, and some of those are the patrons (alcoholics that drive them to madness or either provide or dictate mixtures of incredible strength). I also can be found in a pile of empty beer cans completely knocked out cold, as if I wanted nothing to do with you, and did not care if you existed at all! Oh no! My judgement – I need help. I can find it, I am offered it, and I take it. Only I can find, offer, and take a drink – I’m trying to say to an alocholic, a drink is help. Unfortunately.
Does this drink pictured above look potent? Well, it is actually non alcoholic. It is a picture of some crystal elixir I made at home. And drank. Wiccans and witches know of such libations. Now, could you say how alcoholic can you get? Hmmm. Could you say, John, is the sickness so bad that you are fighting demons and maybe possession? Well. By the magic of crystal elixir – and the potency of alcohol – I have to admit some curiousity and also some madness when it comes to drinking.
Do what you want. You are legal. We all do, pretty much (as in our life goal). But I understand help for alcoholism (even attitude adjustment or better education). When you’re still doing what you want, and that is good for you and even great for others, battling this terrible disease can be something that you might want to do for those you love.
P.S. For those of you who like, or are in, happy hour, here is a scene stolen from deep in my mind. It’s just my imagination, matey.