One is too many, a thousand is never enough

I want a drink tonight. I want a thousand drinks. One is too many, and a thousand is never enough, right? I crave the taste, the smell, the feeling of my stomach burning as the whiskey slides down my throat. The past few weeks I have been going with a friend to play Quizzo, which is a sort of trivia game often held in bars. I figured since this place was also a restaurant, it wouldn’t be so bad. I’m setting myself up for failure here, and I knew it. This is the friend who was supportive of me last summer when I told her I was going to detox and rehab, but then just a few months after, starts asking me out to bars, saying things like “It’s too bad you can’t drink anymore” or “I bet you could just have one beer.” Clearly you don’t understand what it means to be an alcoholic. I hang out with her because we have a lot of common interests and have been friends for 5 years, but also because I don’t have many friends, and I’d rather be with someone rather than be alone.

So last Monday, the father of one of my friends came to play Quizzo with us, and he ordered Makers on the rocks. I have been around beer and wine since I got out of rehab. I have always hated wine, and could care less if people drink it in front of me. Honestly, I never drank it when I was drinking, and have no interest in it. Beer is a much bigger challenge. I was a huge beer drinker, but again, I tend to be able to send my mind somewhere else. But the waiter brought this glass of whiskey over and set it down in front of the guy, who was across the table from me. The smell immediately penetrated all of my senses. I thought I was going to be sick. Since being out of rehab, I have not been around whiskey at all, and for good reason. Whiskey was my poison. I loved whiskey, but I hated the mornings after, but smelling this drinking in front of me made me go crazy inside. I wanted to grab it from him and pour the drink down my throat. I felt the need to sit on my hands. I can’t go back to this place again.

My 1 year sober date is July 28th, next Sunday. Am I physically sober? Yes. Am I mentally sober? Not in the least. My therapist states that I teeter between a dry drunk and a sober man. I am not in recovery, and I know that. I am a miserable human being who is jealous of all those people who can go out and have one or two beers. Those people who don’t have to pregame with a six pack just so they don’t let on to how much they actually drink in public. I have not found any joy in life since I stopped drinking.

I attended my first AA meeting the day I got out of rehab. It was in a church basement down the street from my house, full of old men. They gave me a 24 hr chip and a copy of the blue book to keep. I don’t quite remember what the topic of discussion was, I think it was from the blue book. At the end they asked everybody to stand and say the Lord’s Prayer, and I freaked out. I am an atheist, and I had many bad experiences in the church growing up, and I already had preconceived ideas about AA in regards to the higher power concept. I didn’t really want to go to AA to begin with because of that. One of the counselors in rehab told me if I was unable to accept something as my higher power, I would never surpass the 3rd step, and therefore never live a true life in recovery. That’s a great thing to tell someone who doesn’t even have 30 days under his belt.

I found another group that I attended for 5 months that said the Serenity Prayer at the end. Still not a huge fan of saying a prayer at the end, but it was better than the Lord’s Prayer. I have talked to many people in AA and NA about the higher power. For a very long time I was very closed off to anything about it, especially because so much of the literature in AA refers to God. But these past few weeks I have came upon the dire need to attend a meeting. I need a sponsor. I need sober friends. I need to find sober activities and find safe places to be because going to a bar is clearly not a smart idea for to be doing. I am scared I’m going to relapse, but when the urges strike, for a minute I think about how I just want to say “fuck this” and go get that bottle of whiskey, but then reason takes over and tells me that being sober is a great place to be and each day sober will help me feel better.


About gabe126

I'm a 29 year old gay trans guy who lives in Philadelphia. Gabe is not my real name, well, it's my middle name, but for anonymity's sake, let's go with that. I hold bachelor's degrees in both music and special education, and I am currently 2 semesters away from graduating with my masters in special education and autism studies. I am disabled due to severe mental illness (bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and OCD). I play the trombone and piano, although it's been a few years since I seriously touched a piano. I have 5 tattoos and another one planned, I just don't have the money right now. Derek Jeter, former Yankee's shortstop, is my husband.
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3 Responses to One is too many, a thousand is never enough

  1. reneewava says:

    congrats on your one year i just reached my 6 months …yet again … sober friends and sober activities is a must ! the fellowship of aa will produce many friends and some of the best you will ever have !

  2. Seosaimhin says:

    Please note that your own divinity, the universal collective, the whole world energy that strives for your success and fulfillment of your dreams can be your “Higher Power”. There are forces that are benevolent and you don’t have to worship them, just know they’re there.

  3. Seosaimhin says:

    Dear Gabe,
    May I even call you that? Shall I be less familiar when interacting with people that are willing to leave their souls so bare? To invite strangers to root around in the entrails of emotion like scavengers, seeking both the sustenance of the form and the value of the visceral commonality of all of this? Please, direct me in my addressing of you, risker of the deepest of emotional vulnerability.

    I struggle with different addiction, but every moment that I make the conscious decision to NOT do things that undermine my success does not condemn me to further non-success. Each time I make a poor decision – I do not berate myself. I simply review the series of events and feelings that made the poor decision so appealing at the time and I learn more. Then I begin again at hour 1. Guess what – it certainly does not in any way diminish or invalidate your chips. These are the solid objects that show you your previous successes. You earned those, and can re-earn them every day, one decision at a time. I wish you joy in the freedoms you are destined to find. I’ll hush now. I’ve just been thinking more about you and how, in ways I am not brave enough to share in the way that you have. I am as of yet too deeply in my facade to cut myself out – although perhaps I may find a zippered panel in time.

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