Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Bottle of Venom

George and me sat outside the state liquor store waiting for it to open this morning. I was keeping a keen eye on my watch.

"You really going to do this?" George asked.

"I'm tired of being sober," I replied. "I just want to get drunk."

Soon, the doors opened and George and me walked inside. Thousands of bottles of liquor greeted me as I made my way to the back corner where the Southern Comfort is kept. I grabbed the largest bottle and paid. George bought a bottle of the cheapest vodka he could find. We made our way back out to my car and headed home.

I was really quiet on the drive home. I felt as if I had committed the biggest carnal sin. I took George home and made my way to my house. I sat for the longest time in my lazy boy lounger with that bottle of liquor on the table next to me. Disgusted, I got up in a rush and poured $30 dollars of liquor down the drain. I then got on the phone and called Wanda.

"I came so close to just drinking," I told her. "I had a bottle of liquor on the table beside me."

"Meet me for lunch," Wanda said, "and we will talk."

I met Wanda at a local barbeque joint and we talked over chips and barbeque sandwiches. I was so relieved that I got up the courage to make that phone call. I needed someone who understood.

"You know I was sober for ten years and then started back drinking last year," Wanda told me. "I had to start over again and I wasn't working the steps."

This surprised me as Wanda always seemed so assured and steadfast with her sobriety.

"It was almost an obsession this morning," I replied. "The only thing I could think of was getting a drink."

"That's why they say in A.A. that alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful," Wanda said. "You have to be ever vigilant."

I didn't tell Wanda this, but I have grown battle weary lately. I am tired of being vigilant and having to fight that urge constantly. I go to meetings. I practice the guidelines preached in A.A. I am doing everything they say to do and yet I still struggle all the time. It gets so tiresome. I just want to go to sleep and sleep away the rest of my life. I guess I am just depressed.


Pen and the Sword said...

I can't say that I will ever understand it... the need to drink. I guess I am one of those lucky people who just can't stand feeling sickly drunk.

For me, it was pot. I was so addicted to getting stoned. It took a long time to get over that addiction. But I have an addictive personality so I still smoke too much and drink too much caffeine to make up for that want to get just blitzed off a jay.

I am glad that you poured the bottle down the drain. You are a much stronger person than you give yourself credit.

Tiffanie said...

Also they say in AA to change playmates and playgrounds. Hanging around people who still drink is like playing with fire. What about hanging around some of the people in AA "outside" of the halls?

That is where I found my own recovery. When I changed my playmates.

VA Friend said...

Think about what Tiffanie said. George was supportive of your decision because he wants a drinking buddy.

You may want to think about changing playmates. You are a very strong person and I am glad that you didn't waste all that time being sober to have a drink. You are a great guy. don't forget you have friends out here who count on you everyday. We are here for you too. Don't forget that.

~Vital~ said...

Congrats on pouring the liquor down the drain! My daughter has just started going to AA again, but this time cause she wanted to and not because I dragged her there. I am so proud of her. I always have been.
You are a talented writer. I just found your blog and have found it very appealing and well written. You have alot to offer.
Stay strong hun.

Summer said...

Being vigilant is hard, no matter what the enemy is. I'm proud of you. I really am.


I'm sorry that you feel that way.
Maybe perhaps some of your own writings would help prove theraputic? perhaps you could go back through your archives and read the posts that have to do with how much you hated liquor.
Life isn't easy, and I'm sure you're tired of hearing that especially right, here's another idea, if you don't mind: if you think of your present state as a storm that's looming in the background, a deep dark sky that you just "know" is going to be a good storm..Finally it approaches,the clouds rolling up darker than night ready to embrace you and within 5minutes the storm, nothing more than a few rumbles and flashes have past...think of your present state as just that..a storm in the horizon that appears frightening, but when it's actually over you, it's nothing more than a 5minute watch.
Hang in there!
Think of your present state of mind as a

Cheryl said...

Bravo to you for having the fortitude to pour that liquor down the drain. I'm sure you do get very weary of your daily struggles. Who wouldn't? I think you should talk to Wanda about this aspect of the battle. I'm very proud of you, you know?

Tim H. said...

As much as I hate to say it, I think Tiffanie is right. I think at some point, George is going to drag you down with him. A true friend, I think, would have come up with some, ANY reason to get you away from that liquor store.

Take comfort that you had the strength to get rid of the liquor, and use that strength to rid yourself of the things that make you want to drink, including people.

Eric said...

I have to say that you are far stronger than you give yourself credit for. While I have never had a substance abuse problem, I have been faced with stopping a bad habit and I must confess that the few times I got to the point you described, I fail, I give in. I will be taking strength from your experience. Thank you so very much for sharing.

Pamela said...

Congratulations for pouring the drink down the drain. That couldn't have been easy. You're stronger than you think.

Julien P said...

You could have a couple beers instead. That wouldn't be as drastic a solution as huge amounts of liquor.

3 or 4 beers wouldn't necessarily mean falling into depraved drunkenness. It might even do some good, taking some of the pressure off...

reno said...


I have visited your blog and i wanted to leave a small message...just to say "hello from belgium".

Nice blog !

Best regards.


justLacey said...

I agree with changing playmates and playgrounds. To constantly put yourself in the way of temptation when you are not yet strong enough is not a good thing. I'm proud that you did the right thing though, I know that seemed hard, but life would have been much harder had you not pourd that bottle down the drain. Calling Wanda was also a good idea, that's what sponsors are for. I once had a very hard time in my life and was very depressed until I came to find out that a lot of times our actions are what make our lives hard and depressing. When I cleaned up my act and started to think better of myself things began to change. My life is by no means perfect, but it became much better. It will be hard for you because some of your depression is due to your brain chemistry. Have you ever thought of volunteering somewhere? Perhaps in a place where there aren't too many people to keep your social anxieties stirred up? May be a good thing.

KYRIE said...

Hey Andrew. I am sorry to hear wht happened. Sometimes we just get in a fuck of a mood and nothing seems to be going our way.
Has sth happened recently tht had upset u?
Well I am glad Wanda was there. Sometimes one needs a good support system of friends. And ur friends are lovely people.
Maybe u can go one of those lovely hikes tht u love or a camping trip this weekend to clear ur head. I am so jealous of tht lovely countryside u live in!
Well I hope today is a better day.

~Vital~ said...

I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't "start" something here especially since I am a new comer, but (here I go) Julien P, are you out of your freaking tree? Your almost as bad as George. Having a daughter who is an alcoholic and knowing how she struggles and what she has been through, I know you can not drink ANYTHING at all with alcohol contents. That includes cough syrups, etc. I'm sorry truely I am, but it frustrates me to no end. I have struggled with my daughters "friends" about offering or encouraging her to drink. Like I said, I am sorry about going off, but it hit a soft spot seeing what Julien said. Alcohol is alcohol no matter what the proof or form it is in. I do apologize to everyone here.

Julien P said...

Thank you for you comment, ~Vital~. You don't need to apologize for what you said, I tought your opinion made perfect sense.

We are not talking about some hard drug, whereas a single dose will almost certainly but you back into addiction hell.

Drinking in a safe way is all about moderation. If an alcoholic who used to lose all control when drinking is able at some point (and after much work) to control himself and stop after a few drinks, wouldn't it be better than the same guy not drinking anymore but frequently feeling the painful urge to drink and being depressed about it?

justLacey said...

I have to disagree with that, why take a chance? Sure you might have a "couple of beers" and that be it, but it's unlikely as much as he is struggling right now. He isn't depressed because he can't drink, he wants to drink to make him forget he is depressed. Feeling as if he failed by drinking would only make him more depressed. I'm not sure that drinking is a solution for anything, but then again I don't drink.

2 LMZ FARMS said...

I'm proud of you Andrew. I'm glad you had Wanda to call and talk to . It helps when you have someone that has been there and done that. They can relate more to what you are going through and help you suceed. Hope you have a good weekend and are able to live through this desire to have a drink.

~Vital~ said...

Julien, thinking that an alcoholic can drink in moderation is a deluision. It's you conning yourself into thinking you can handle it and stop at any point. You can't.

Tink said...

Although I can't understand the pain of your addiction I can uderstand growing battle weary! We all have our demons and we all wear down.

Your words are beautiful and powerful. You are a very good writer and I plan to visit your blog again.


Vital is absolutely correct.
Plus, Julien P, why enable the demon in Mr. 4th? It's just like tabacco-when I stopped smoking while pregnant I was baby was born, I was fine. I nursed,..I was still fine. After I stopped nursing, I figured "one's not going to hurt,.after all, it's not in my home, it's not in my car, so there's nothing to relate or create a habit by smoking this one..."
3months later,..
I smoke almost a pack a day.

Vital is 100% correct. Welcome Vital...I know I look forward to reading more on what she has to say!!

Trina said...

Thank-you For welcoming me crusty. Like my daughter said," Mom, some people just don't understand Alcoholism." So, I'm chalking it up to that, but I'm the type of person who wants to "enlighten" someone, when they are pointing someone else toward a cliff. I get very emotional over this subject, being so close to it.

P.S. Does Andrew ever answer anyone here who posts? I'll keep coming back wither he does or not, just courious.

traci726 said...

I am a recovering alcoholic as well. I too - know what it is like to be depressed your whole life. I really thought that getting sober would help things, and it has, however the underlying issues still remain. I've heard that being alcoholic is but a symptom... I suppose of an even greater issue.

Bill-DC said...

I still struggle and I am sober 18 and a half years. I still have good days and bad. In my wallet I keep a picture of my two year old son and a ticket stub from a basketball game on the last day I drank. I look at both and that wakes me up.