Old 04-17-2011, 05:51 PM
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"Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk it couldn't hurt me on a full stomach."
BB p.36, More About Alcoholism

The above line comes from the Alcoholics Anonymous text book (aka, the Big Book). It describes the experience of a man who had quit drinking, resolved to stay quit, and then found himself in a restaurant ordering lunch until, well suddenly happened, and he got drunk.

How many times did suddenly happen to me? How many times, despite my best intentions and efforts, did I suddenly find myself drunk?

Hungover, I would desperately track back. Where did I go wrong? Nothing was bothering me. Everything was pretty...typical. Neutral. How can that be? How can it be that something so vitally important-- my sobriety-- could temporarily be cast aside? What triggered me? There must be a logical reason for why I drink!

The truth is, I was always resolved to not drink until suddenly happened. I learned slowly that in the epic battle of my willpower vs. suddenly, I was winless. All those memories of how horrible it was, all the resolve to do better, the promises I made, the frothy emotional appeal from my family, the freaking undeniable logic that alcohol would ultimately kill me-- it did not matter. I would experience that strange quiet blank spot, where the decision to drink was not in my control.

I was without defense against the first drink.

And the problem with suddenly was this: it did not announce itself, did not arrange an appointment. It showed up when it wanted, it had a full access backstage pass.

When I recognized I was suddenly's b*tch, the entire paradigm of recovery changed for me. I'd heard the first drink got me drunk-- but what if my thinking before the first drink got me drunk? What if all those terrific slogans-- think the drink through, tell on yourself, call your sponsor, drinking won't make any situation better-- were totally ineffective against an insane mind?

I've come to understand that suddenly is a fork in the road for alcoholics. For a long time, I could not come to terms with the fact that I had no control over my obsession with alcohol, even when I was sober. And that inability to see my truth kept me relapsing.

Because I was still prey to suddenly.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:18 PM
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Great thoughts.

-- but what if my thinking before the first drink got me drunk?

But that's the key right there. Relapse is the thought process leading up to the drinking.
Four months ago I didn't care about what I was thinking. I wasn't thinking -just drinking. Now I have the power, the knowledge to stop and think about my choices. Since I have quit 80 days ago my 'suddenly' has yet to rear it's ugly head and now I have the tools to pound that sucker if it, in fact, tries to.

Thanx for that.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:38 PM
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that strange mental blank spot..where we cant fully bring to mind the the disasters or the last spree and all it's fallout.

i concur with you.
it has caught me sooo many times.....i am terrified of it happening again.
i think daily vigilence and working with another alcoholic is key to this not catching us again.
and also i must enlarge my spiritual life.
faith without works is death
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:44 PM
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Good stuff. I listen to Joe and Charlie quite a bit in the car and just heard them discuss that story. The talked about how everything that guy did leading up to the whiskey in the milk was sane thinking / acting. But when the idea came into his head regarding taking an ounce of whiskey on a full stomach, he was "suddenly" insane.

I can relate completely. I too and trying to take "suddenly" out of my actions.

Thanks for posting this!
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