stopped working

The other day I heard someone say: “I didn’t come to AA because of the consequences.  I came because the party was over.”

Last night, at a meeting, the speaker said that her rock bottom wasn’t blacking out every night. The bottom was blacking out without even feeling drunk first – when alcohol stopped doing what it once did. Stopped protecting and empowering her.

When I took my first drink, I was 19. I was in college. I had 3 shots of Bacardi Vanila and they went down smooth and tasted better than I could have guessed. My roommates were proud of me. Until that moment, I had been crazy. I cleaned every speck of my room many times a day. I was committed to keeping my life perfect and clean. I got nosebleeds from stress. I looked in the mirror and told myself to never do anything wrong again. I prayed to God to change me. I hated myself. Out there, though, in the kitchen, after the shots of rum, I was free. I liked myself. I took off my clothes and danced around. The first drink and there was this: I belonged.

The man for whom the party was over also said that he was a consequences-handling machine. I see that I was, too. I could minimize and rationalize and forget anything. I could lower the bar.

I’ve been talking a lot about the consequences. About dark nights. About hitting the center divider on the freeway. About making lists of what I could do to be ok: donate my car, drink only beer, don’t go to work parties. I see now that there’s something else to remember: it stopped working. I stopped feeling warm and excited and like I belonged. I felt desperate and resentful and confused. I felt hollow. Drinking now would not only bring me to the consequences, but it would do nothing else.

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One Response to stopped working

  1. Riversurfer says:

    I can only agree and you put it so perfectly well “Drinking now would not only bring me to the consequences, but it would do nothing else.”

    Thanks you for sharing and for this very good reminder!

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