Posting here has been cathartic recently. I’ve just begun to re-engage in this intellectual pursuit. Alcohol stole so much away from me. One time on Halloween I did an DXM trip and listened to Ulver’s Nattens Madrigal and came to realization that I was the wolf. Alcohol stole this beautiful Neopagan dream and turned it into a nightmare. I was the drunk destined to never return to society. What a horrible, horrible mess. I’m glad I turned that shit around. Admittedly, I’m on the precipice. Any day I could turn back. I’m always on the verge of relapse. I guess maybe any alcoholic is. At any moment one, theoretically, could drink alcohol. But freedom is choice. I choose an alcohol-free life and that makes me who I am. Addiction is not a choice. It’s having to drink and not wanting to or knowing it’s a big, big issue to do so. Having to drink: I feel many people who haven’t had an actual addiction eyerolling. The pull of addiction is so strong that there’s almost no way to disobey. Not succumbing is akin to tearing off a large chunk of flesh. There’s just no way you’re going to do that. Ergo, you must drink. If you’re in this place your brain is so fucked up chemically and actually trying to heal itself that the alcohol you put in your body doesn’t even help. More and more you must drink to reach homeostasis, to reach any sort of pleasure. The stress caused by this cat and mouse game makes the user reach for the closest relief. More booze! Fuck. It’s a terrible thing.
So how did I get out? Again, I can’t say this is a permanent fix because freedom from alcohol includes the possibility of drinking. Freedom isn’t being forced to believe you can’t drink. It works for some people but for me I prefer the freedom and the remembrance of why I choose to be a non-drinker. I chose to believe alcohol was not doing what it said on the label. There was no fun, no socialization. Which was actually true but I couldn’t see that in the midst of constant benders. I also learned about dopamine and it’s role in cravings. I learned about homeostasis, ie tolerance. I learned about stress and coping with a bottle. Truthfully, this was a quick turnaround but, hell, I’ve done it a thousand times. I ought to be good at it. I joke, but 2018 was my year of months on and months off benders and alcohol. I probably spent half the year sober, okay almost half the year divided over several stretches, and the other half blindingly drunk everyday. Exceptions were severe hangovers, which were sparse. Hangovers yes, wishing I was dead, yes. Promising myself I’d never drink again and planning out my new life, yes. Drinking that same night, yes.
Needless to say I’m relieved and thankful to not be drunk or hungover right now. There’s always that possibility I will drink. Now that I think about it that could be my strongest ally, freedom. Freedom of choice. And knowledge of what I did, where I’ve been, what alcohol actually does to the brain, did to my brain. How easy it is for anyone to slip down in that hole. How dependent we are as a society. Remembering why I don’t drink. These are my weapons against the darkness.
What about the things that led me to drinking? We’ll have to save that for another post. For now, let’s just reflect on the fact that alcohol steals your ability to be awesome. To be the wolf. In whatever way that plays out in your life.
“Zoom zoom zoom to the moon moon moon.” – Henry Hart