The Little Devil

Today is a tricky day because it would previously have been the sort of day when I could drink with abandon without it bothering anyone. Hubby is away. Today, tomorrow and Thursday form a spine chillingly menacing trifecta. Don’t get me wrong, if anything I feel even more determined – it seems each morning when I wake up feeling so well because I didn’t drink the night before is money in the bank. Another anchor to keep me where I need to be. The last thing I want to do is drink this evening. This is actually really unusual because normally at this point I’d already in my mind have the road mapped out: finish work, drive home via the shop at the bottom of the high street where I’d get a box of wine and some soda water, drive home and GUZZLE. Anything else would normally be at worst an inconvenience and at best a distraction, and this “anything else” is actually LIFE. Life around me got in the way of drinking. But not today! Today, amazingly, it still very much feels the way I know it should – drinking would get in the way of living and I really, hand on heart, cross my heart and hope to die, truly, deeply don’t feel like it! Don’t know about you, perhaps you’re one of those magical creatures who can drink without losing control (congratulations!) and therefore your drinking never stops you from truly living, but for me this is… it’s…. it’s…… You know what – I don’t even have the freaking words, it’s that HUGE to me.

With that said, that little devil that sometimes sits on my shoulder and whispers into my ear is a very close acquaintance of mine, I’ve hung out with that little beast enough to know its ways and today is precisely the kind of day when it’s more likely to not only grab but hold my attention. It’s very cunning but I’m on to it. So I dutifully knelt by the bed this morning and prayed a little longer (nope, still don’t know what or who to, but it sort of helps keep me accountable), read the little ‘Only For Today’ card, told hubby that it’s trickier when he’s away so he knows too and texted a couple of the AA ladies. Just to say hi, really. Going to the usual Tuesday meeting and so is Ivy. I’m not exactly scared in the way that I might have been in the past but I’m trying to just be a little vigilant here and make plans for today that’ll make it that little bit harder for the devil to jump up on my shoulder and whisper shit to me. Just sayin’. I’m not stupid enough to assume I’ve cracked this sobriety stuff after four weeks when I spent over a decade drinking my head to pieces. Nice and easy now, but for once I feel I’ve stacked the odds in my favour.

Meeting up with Sparks (my sponsor) tomorrow to catch up. I don’t have the foggiest as to how or when it’ll be time for me to do the steps but I’m not too fussed. On the one hand I’m keen to get going but this is just going to have to take the time it takes. Still quite a lot about AA I’m not all that comfortable with – some of it smacks of sect like doctrine to me – but I also look at Sparks who’s over five years sober and know it’s time to listen more and try to control everything less. I do like rules but ONLY if I agree with and understand them. So being asked to hand myself over without question isn’t something I do lightly, but I will keep on this track so long as the majority of it is stuff I can apply to myself. If I get to a point where it doesn’t make sense or strongly conflicts my own beliefs and values, I’m offski.

But there is one indisputable fact, whether you put a label on it and say I’m an alcoholic or just call it a drinking problem (I’m perfectly comfortable with ‘alcoholic’ by the way), and it’s this: when I take a drink something in me ignites, comes to life and takes over. I have absolutely zip, zero, zilch control over it. If it’s a disease, a disposition, something genetic or hereditary or some defective receptor in my brain doesn’t really matter, I just know that when I have that first drink my reaction to it is different to that of a non-alcoholic. For that reason, I cannot drink alcohol – I can’t stop when I do. It’s no more complicated than that.

And so… *drum roll* …today I’m not going to drink.

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