There’s a certain phenomenon that happens among a certain percentage of alcoholics that I’ve never thought about before, but I find disturbingly interesting.
Step One: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
It’s the free-fall that occurs after years of steady alcoholic drinking, but before the bottom and the program. Everything ramps up: volume, shame, angry, desperation. All of a sudden I was running a race. I was flying down a gravel hill on a 10-speed bike. Yes, it’s out of control. Yes, most likely a tremendous crash is coming. But I’m handling it: I’ll just stop peddling.
At the end, that’s where’s my level of self-control was: I was just another helpless, rubbernecking onlooker to my own twisted existence. I avoided mirrors and shunned all reflections. Looking myself in the eye became impossible. All of a sudden, every day was zoom.
So why did my disease ratchet things up? Well, the paranoid in me believes that once the disease knew that I knew, it was all-out war for survival, even though it meant death to the host body.
You can’t back alcoholism into a corner and not expect repercussions.
Today, I tell myself this: there is no more managing or controlling. Managing or controlling gives me the illusion that someday, I can win.
Today, I’m learning to be grateful for a stalemate.