Bert’s got some personal demons that he’s battling (don’t we all?), and he’s finally ready to come to terms with them.
Admitting My Dysfunctional Relationship With Alcohol:
I don’t know what you’d call my drinking. I know that I’m not ready to call myself an alcoholic. But I also know that my relationship with alcohol is VERY dysfunctional. I don’t drink every day. I don’t drink during the week. I can go weeks without a drink. I never crave alcohol. I didn’t even like the taste of alcohol. I’ve never been so hung over that I’ve missed a day of work or an event or an important engagement. I can be at dinner with my wife and friends and have no problem having a drink or two. I can drink wine with my wife and stop at a glass.
My problem is the party. The bar. The event. The guys’ night out. I can’t put a governor on my drinking. Once I get buzzed I put my foot on the accelerator. I act foolish. Do stupid things that are barely acceptable for freshmen in college. I used to be the life of the party when I drank. Recently, I only get mad at myself while I’m drunk for allowing myself to get to this state. I can’t avoid putting myself in situations in which I’m going to binge drink. In fact, I purposely put myself in situations in which I know I’m going to binge drink.
For years I’ve laughed about my binge drinking. I was always the guy pushing shots and overindulgence on everybody in the group. I’ve built a social life around alcohol. My definition of fun starts with alcohol.
Ok, so the more I’m writing, the more I’m realize that I’m gonna eventually have to come to terms with the word “alcoholic.” I’ve always thought of the alcoholic as the person who wakes up in the morning, rolls over, tips the bottle back and starts his day. The person that NEEDS to have a drink; the person that hides bottles in the drawers of his desk at work; drinks and drives; misses work. That’s not me. Maybe there are different categories of alcoholism? I’m just beginning, so I’m clueless about all of this.
All I know is that I’m embarrassed. I feel shame. I’m really scared I can’t do this. I’m scared I’m gonna lose friends. I’m scared I’m going to isolate myself in my house for fear of being tempted to turn into that guy again. I’m sad I haven’t been able to do this myself. Can I learn to dabble in drinking? Do I have to quit altogether?
I want to be a role model to my kids even when they are not around. When I drink, I’m not that guy. I don’t want to waste more Sundays hungover.
I have my first meeting on Sunday.
And Bert actually did attend his first meeting…but still isn’t sure that actually describes him.