"an alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature."
last friday i received a chip for eighteen months. this marks the longest i have ever gone without drinking since i started, drinking that is.
i know that in some ways it seems like a year and a half is not all that long a time, and it isn't, especially when compared to the bigger picture, but for someone who drank myself to oblivion nearly every night for thirteen years, i think in that context it takes on a sort of significance.
so last friday night i came home with that piece of metal in my pocket and discovered that i had the house completely to myself, and that my sister had left a pint of bourbon on the table after a recent visit.
now that obsession, that compulsion that i had, that fear and anxiety of not knowing how i was going to manage to get drunk that night has been largely lifted, and for the most part, not only have i not really wanted to get drunk, the thought has actually made me feel sick, amazing what physical pain, a brush with death, and a program that i am trying to adhere to to the best of my ability has done for me and my life, but those rare few nights where i had those moments where i have desperately wanted to fall back on my old coping techniques, nights that i call "real" nights", i have come to understand that it wasn't that i really wanted to be drunk, but that i did not want to feel how i was feeling. and that key realization has helped me maintain sobriety in way that is, in my opinion, as important as other aspects of how i understand the world, the universe, whatever, and my place in it.
so i was sitting in the breakfast nook area of the kitchen, looking at this bottle of amber liquid, and not for the first time wondering at the effect said liquid can have once i put it into my body. that miracle of apathy, joy and chaos, that lack of inhibition, that step down a slippery slope that ends in a dark place that i am fairly convinced will be the sad, lonely end of my life.
that i don't want to become that wretched creature living a wasted life, drinking away the memories of a past that i cannot change and a future that was so stark and filled with more pain and sorrow that the thought of the escape that death promises was not the worst thing i had to look forward to.
so i picked up that bottle and put it on the top shelf of the pantry and started sketching this weeks prompt.