And why not throw in a bit of the ol’ OCD for good measure? Now I’ve got a brain with some elaborately defective patterns of thinking that can go on for a lifetime. Number one on the list: believing that alcoholism is something I can handle.

I managed my alcoholism with the diligence of Wally Cleaver at an after-school job. Always put in a full days effort. Never shirk your responsibilities. Remember, alcohol has been very good to you. Thus far, it has deleted fifteen years from your mind. The deal is: don’t get caught, or let it interfere with your life.

Simply Put: I spent hours per day managing my drinking so that it wouldn’t interfere with my life.

Events were attended. Meetings were made. Appointments were kept. I attended all these things and more, in spirit. My lanky frame floated through these scenes like it was navigating the Halls of Medicine, with Vapor Action Mist all about. A self-conscious ghost. Engage with the people, but only in a carefully noncommittal type way. Act pleasant, compliment often, and go. I’d drink on my own time, thank you very much. And when was my own time? Before and after.

Once you get the schedule down, there’s really nothing to it. Once insanity becomes commonplace, your brain accepts a new normal; one that requires new rules, new punishments, and, most importantly, new exceptions.

Because a messy alcoholic trumps a meticulous neat freak, every time.

Be Aware: Graphs and charts and calendars and alarms only take you so far. This program doesn’t work on paper. It needs interaction.

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