Sobriety vs. Drunkenness
I am sitting here reading First Year Sobriety: When All that Changes is Everything by Guy Kettelhack from Hazelden Press. I just came across a passage that I thought I would share. This woman is at a business dinner with an old business associate. She is now sober and realizes that he is a drunk. She is watching him get drunk as the dinner unfolds and this is what she observes (p78-79):
"'What struck me most was that he was so desperately trying to escape any pain—and desperately, if barely consciously, seeking to make contact with someone. He seemed like one of the loneliest people I'd ever met. And I identified—God, how I identified with him! How alone I felt when I was still drugging and drinking! I was convinced no one, no one at all, could ever understand what I was going through.' Sharon frowns. 'I'm still not saying what moved me most though. It's just this: My terribly drunk dinner companion reminded me that I'm after exactly the same thing now that I was when I drugged and drank—a feeling that I'm all right. A feeling of oneness with the world. Self-acceptance. The ability to stay in my own skin. As escape from hating myself. An escape from fear. The ability to tolerate life— to enjoy it. Or, in Bill Wilson's words, to be "happy, joyous, and free."' Sharon closes her eyes for a moment, then opens them; her face is full of new light. 'That's the revelation. I saw this poor drunken guy trying, vainly, to do what I am starting to be able to do sober: accept and get comfortable with my feelings. With who I am. All the pills I was taking weren't the answer, though, God knows, I tried to make them be. This guy, still drinking, hadn't learned what I was now sure was true: Drinking wasn't going to give him the peace he was after. All drinking could do was make him drunk. Sever him from himself. Keep him from being who he wanted to be.'"
This is one of best things I have read about sobriety. I think it puts it so well— in sobriety and in drinking I definitely was searching for the same exact thing. In sobriety I will get that with much more permanency and that is why sobriety is the answer and drunkenness is not.