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I’ve got one giant dread regarding the program. Once the alcohol is gone, once the steps are done, once there’s time under my belt, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to like the person that’s left.

How do I know this? Because I didn’t like myself before I started drinking. I drank; well, one of the main reasons I drank, was to escape myself.

But what didn’t I like about myself? That the perception others had of me was disagreeable. Mainly those I felt  needed to accept me in order to validate my place in the social structure. I was ostracized by those who I perceived to be my peers. So then what’s left?

At the time, nothing. Scratch that: There was tons of time spent inside my head, getting more and more worked up. Hundreds of walks along railroad tracks, talking to myself. Hours sitting in my first car, a beater, alone with The Doors, staring through the windshield, waiting for time to pass.

And that’s all I needed. Once the background changed and the supporting players were substituted out (see who’s still running the show), I had a fresh start, which I quickly filled with booze. And these new people, which I got along with and identified, slowly withdrew as I became more and more addicted.

And yes, it was years ago. But that’s what bites about the formative years: a good majority of the mold-making is out of my hands. Can’t my brain get beyond a 30-year-old slight? Can’t I just not drink?

The upside of all this: with evidence that, a day at a time, I can stay sober (a bona fide miracle), perhaps other maladies of my mind can slowly dissolve and erode away, a day at a time.

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