I relapsed on cigarettes this past weekend, which is less of a setback than an alcohol or drug relapse.
I went to dinner with a friend on Saturday, a friend that I used to binge drink with, a friend whom I met 18 months ago during my first attempt at 12 step recovery, a friend whom is currently still drinking.
I show up at her house and on her table is a short glass, filled with caramel liquid and topped with ice cubes. It is screaming at me, taunting me, I wanna feel the burn in my throat, I wanna taste whatever flavored poison it is, I wanna sip it until I feel that numbness radiate from within, and until I get light headed.
Except I don’t. I don’t want my clear and sober mind to be affected. I don’t want to feel light headed. I don’t want to give my control and everything good in my life to a liquid. And I know what I would be giving up if I gave in.
I want to reminisce about our previous drunken antics. I want to laugh. I want to enjoy my Saturday night. I want to be not irritated for just a few hours. I want a drink. I really, really, really want a drink. But my brain can’t help but jump to how that hangover feels, how paranoid I’ll be driving after just one drink, how I’m highly unlikely to be able to have just one drink. How resentful I’ll be at my friend because I have to drive, how I’ll be reminded how much I can’t stand her when she refuses to pay for a cab just because I had too much to drink and don’t want to drive, how that’s not her problem. I don’t want to end up like her, with three DUI’s and no license.
Anytime I think about going out drinking, I picture myself at a bar, thin and attractive, being pursued by a man with a sizable income (and, ahem, equipment) who is in love with my quirks and thinks I’m the prettiest woman in the whole entire world. He has a gorgeous little house that reeks of mahogany, is tastefully decorated (but could use a woman’s touch), overlooking the lake, complete with a hammock, and after our first drunken night together, he realizes he’s in love with me and mercilessly pursues me. “I know it seems crazy” he says, after he asks me to move in after 2 months, “but I’m crazy about you and want to wake up to you every morning.” And we live happily ever after, moderately drinking when we throw house parties and birthday parties for two dogs. I never have too much to drink and make a fool of myself and I don’t push him away.
LOL. Yeahhh. I know, right? I know how insane and crazy that sounds. But, seriously, that’s what I think I will get from alcohol, from that perfect night out, at that perfect bar.
I am very grateful that I was able to abstain from drinking and not feel awful or resentful about it. That that drink will not bring me that perfect fantasy and that perfect guy. Far from it. It will only lead to disappointment and resentment.
I love my clear mind. I love that I’m becoming more comfortable in my own skin, albeit miserable and irritable as fuck 80% of the time. At least I’m not like her, still drinking, her mind a foggy mess.
Those good times come. Even when those good states of mind seem forever away, I can be happy that I am sober. Or dry. Since I’m not “working an AA program”, I’m not sober and that’s why I’m miserable because I refuse to “give my problems to a Higher Power”. Bullshit. I am so pissed off at my brain for thinking that AA is the only way, when I know in my heart, it just doesn’t mesh well with me.
Anyways, I didn’t drink. I did buy cigarettes. I smoked three of them on my way home because it was a 40 minute drive from my friend’s house. I smoked one yesterday and one this morning. I plan to give them to my stepdad because they’re pretty gross and I don’t enjoy them like I used to. The cigarette felt foreign in my hand while I was driving to work this morning, smoking it.
I’m just glad I didn’t take a drink. Because I couldn’t have just one cigarette. I had to smoke three of them and I don’t even like the taste of them. If I were to have taken a drink, a liquid I enjoy the taste of, the chances of me stopping would’ve been slim. And I would’ve woke up with a wicked hangover Sunday morning and who knows if I would’ve even made it home and not to a jail cell?
I can’t trust myself with booze. I turn into someone I don’t want to be. I can’t trust myself to make mature, level-headed, non-destructive decisions. It’s like the minute alcohol or drugs hit my bloodstream, I immediately lose the ability to make a decision that is even remotely constructive. I’m okay with the fact that I may never drink again. I think I’ll keep that clear mind and the little amount of self respect I have for simply not taking a drink in over 8 months.
Alcohol is nothing but empty promises and dreams.