By: Christine R.
Our book describes the alcoholic personality as being akin to Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde. Two personalities in one body. Boy did I relate.
More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character, the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation but knows in his heart he does not deserve it. BB p. 73
My Mister Hyde I call the Thirsty Girl. An inner saboteur who’s always thirsty for booze, in one form or another. Anything to relieve that inner compulsion or craving. One woman calls her dark side, “that Vile Bitch Upstairs.” Whatever you call it, the voice was alive and well yesterday.
While at the store, passing a seductive pyramid of Mumm’s Pink Champagne, the Thirsty Girl declared, “Girlfriend – That sure looks good!” Within a twinkling, after years of sobriety, I could taste the bubbly-pinky-sweet stuff. Hadn’t tasted pink champagne in years. Yet, there it was, “How ‘bout a drink?” Along with the voice came the visual measuring up of the size of the bottle to guestimate how much I could drink in a day. “One bottle?” “Two?”
I was scared. I think I still am. It takes a habit to break a habit. Kudos to sponsors who train sponsees to call them, to recalibrate the hand to mouth coordination from raising a glass to the mouth to raising the phone instead.
Picked up the phone and within seconds discovered a women’s meeting right around the corner, starting up soon. Upon arrival, I took a front seat and began to settle down.
How often have we heard someone say, “The reading today was exactly what I needed to hear.” So of course, the reading came from Living Sober. Living Sober, a title that says what it does. How to live sober, one day at a time, without a bottle. Real simple but not always easy.
And what were we reading? Staying Away From The First Drink. Another title to say it all. Stay away from that first drink.
If you don’t take that first drink, you can’t get drunk. One is too many and twenty are not enough.
The chapter goes on to reveal:
Instead of trying to figure out how many we could handle, we remember,“Just don’t pick up that first drink.” It is so much simpler. The habit of thinking this way has helped hundreds of thousands stay sober for years.
Certainly helped me stay sober yesterday. The meeting threw a lifeline and a keen reminder to help keep a body sober. Not with the view of staying away forever. Forever is too vast. Keep it simple. Avoid the first drink.
Keeping an addictive compulsion down is like keeping a beach ball down under water. No matter how we strive, the ball keeps popping up. Our alcoholism requires a tremendous amount of time, energy, and determination to keep the ball down, to keep our addiction under control and in check. Really freeing to surrender and allow the ball to burble up so we can move on.
Time is not a tool. All the years away from a drink and still the balloon shows up and coos,“Think me! I’m real.” “No one will know.” “I can do this.” That’s from the Thirsty Girl.
If you’re in an aisle of life where a drink looks like a good idea, as it did for me, move to the other side of the store. Get some mental health food as you recall, “One drink is too many and 100 not enough.’”