I Thought We Had Gottten Past This

Over a year into my sobriety and some things still surprise me. I know I can’t insulate myself from the existence of alcohol. I have to see it every time I walk into a gas station or a grocery store. I have to handle wine and liquor all day while I work the line. I can watch my coworkers enjoy their shift drinks at the end of the night; hell even my wife will have a drink every now and then and I don’t even bat an eye. There was, however, a baffling event recently that has just gotten under my skin.

I was talking to someone the other day, a casual meaningless conversation; then they poured themselves a glass of wine. I could feel my eyes drawing in on the dark red liquid as it spilled into the glass; I could taste the thick, fruity aroma; hear the bubbling, familiar, and enchanting “glug, glug” sound as it passed from the mouth of the bottle, air beings gulped back in to fill the space left by the sweet drink, filled my ears; the sound so consuming that I completely lost track of what was being said. My heart was racing; I couldn’t remember the last time I wanted anything nearly so much as I wanted just one glass of that wine. I didn’t know whether to take their glass from them and drink, or shove the bottle out of their hand sending to to shatter on the floor.

On the verge of losing my mind, I had to face away until they stopped pouring. The strange thing is I don’t think the other person even remotely noticed what happened. Stranger still was once the pouring stopped the spell was broken, my moment of weakness gone like a wisp of smoke. Back to normal, alcohol returned once again to being just something that other people do and that I simply will not partake of anymore.

I know this sounds a bit melodramatic; I am sure it is hard for most people to get the grasp of having such a high level of infatuation with a beverage being tipped into a cup, but there it is That is what addiction is like.

It’s the crazy other half of that troubled relationship that you knew for years was bad for you but you stayed with them because, you were afraid of being on your own and they, let’s face it,  knew how to fuck and would do it all night no matter what. You had been on-again-off-again for a while; but now that you’ve finally called it quits they always insist on showing up at every party dressed to the nines draped off the arm of someone new, showing off what you’re missing. Always trying to corner you in the kitchen just to see if they can still push those buttons.

That’s probably a bad analogy, but it’s at least true in some respects even if it is a bit ham handed. At any rate I didn’t start this to wax poetical about my drinking problem. I think that this event freaked me out is because, in that one small moment, I was forced to focus on my addiction, instead of my sobriety.Thinking in terms of addiction leads me down a bitter angry road that leads into pitfalls that I have fallen into before so I have to tread very lightly when my mind wanders that direction. I credit my ability to remain in control for this long because I think in terms of being sober and staying sober, and filling my idle time with positive endeavors.

It’s good, in a way, that I had this little episode. It seemed close, but I like knowing that my will power is that strong. I know another thing to watch out for and can keep my guard up.

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