Some quotes from “Drinking: A Love Story” I can relate with

Along with alcohol, include any other drug I used, and in some instances food, in these quotes and they have been my thoughts and experiences as well…Though with food, the effect was less of an initial seemingly positive transformation (e.g. increased confidence and sociability) than with other mood-altering substances..The binge-purge cycle alleviated anxiety but certainly didn’t make me more interactive (quite the opposite). It had a calming effect that always culminated in depression…so although it served the similar purpose of anxiety relief, it was overall quite different…

“These are utterly typical examples: strong, smart, capable people who kept drinking – who put off looking at the dozens of intangible ways alcohol was affecting their lives – precisely because they were strong, smart, and capable. In retrospect, a lot of the alcoholics I know are amazed at how much they accomplished in spite of themselves, how effectively they constructed and then hid behind facades of good health and productivity. At the time, they just got through. Just hunkered down and worked and got through the days.”

“When people asked how it felt to be so ‘revealing,’ I’d usually shrug and say something inconsequential, but the honest answer would have been: Well, it feels…incomplete. Humor, after all, is a classic defense, a foil that allowed me to create an impression of distance and self-irony while keeping the real depths of those feelings carefully tucked away, hidden in the deepest corners of my heart. That’s where the truly secretive nature of the high-functioning alcoholic exists, in those deep corners. It’s not so much that people like me hide the truth about our drinking from others (which most of us do, and quite effectively); it’s that we hide from others (and often from ourselves) the truth about our real selves…Beneath my own witty, professional facade were oceans of fear, whole rivers of self-doubt. I once heard alcoholism described in an AA meeting, with eminent simplicity, as ‘fear of life,’ and that seemed to sum up the condition nicely.”

“The truth gnaws at you. In periodic flashes like that I’d be painfully aware that I was living badly, just plan living wrong. But I refused to completely acknowledge or act on that awareness, so the feeling just festered inside like a tumor, gradually eating away at my sense of dignity. You know and you don’t know. You know and you won’t know, and as long as the outsides of your life remain intact – your job and your professional persona – it’s very hard to accept that the insides, the pieces of you that have to do with integrity and self-esteem, are slowly rotting away.”

“The drinking felt more like an experiment, an act based on some vague hypothesis I’d begun to form about the connection between liquor and anxiety, liquor and sadness, how one corrected the other.”

“The knowledge that some people can have enough while you never can is the single most compelling piece of evidence for a drinker to suggest that alcoholism is, in fact, a disease, that it has powerful psychological roots, that the alcoholic’s body simply responds differently to liquor than a nonalcoholic’s. Once I started to drink, I simply did not know how or when to stop: the feeling of need kicked in, so pervasively that stopping didn’t feel like an option.”

*—>For me, Campral has tempered the above, which also proves to me that it is physiological/neurological. The times I have drank when I’ve been on Campral, I have been able to stop and have NOT felt that NEED to keep going and going until everything or I was gone…

“Most alcoholics I know experience that hunger long before they pick up the first drink, that yearning for something, something outside the self that will provide relief and solace and well-being.”

“It had to do with transportation, with the very real-and, to alcoholics, enormously seductive-phenomenon of taking psychic flight, ingesting a simple substance and leaving yourself behind.”

“For a long time, when it’s working, the drink feels like a path to a kind of self-enlightenment, something that turns us into the person we wish to be, or the person we think we really are. In some ways the dynamic is this simple: alcohol makes everything better until it makes everything worse.”


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