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Coveting "Normal"

Old 04-25-2013, 06:23 AM
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Coveting "Normal"

I remember reading an essay in a book once where the author was desperately trying to learn a foreign language in his late 40s and was failing miserably. He so wanted to be the person who got it easily and wished he could just change up his DNA or cognitive makeup so he would suddenly be someone who was “good at languages.” It got to the point where he was looking at foreign babies in their prams jealously because they got to just sit back and learn/understand the language with no noticeable effort.

I was thinking of that story today at lunch. Not about language but about the ability to drink normally. I was watching a woman who was part of a couple across the veranda from us order a nice, cold glass of white wine with lunch. And she sipped it for the entire hour and a half. Just one glass!! Sipping one glass over an hour and a half??!! How is that even possible? Her partner had a beer (a normal sized beer, not even a big one) and managed to make that last the entire hour and a half too. Plus it didn't even look like they noticed that those glasses of wine and beer were sitting there front and center begging to be drunk. They were freaking ignoring them…

I started having “body snatchers” fantasies at that point. I was coveting their DNA, their brain chemistry, their livers…whatever it is that makes someone a “normal” drinker and not an alcoholic. Whatever makes someone able to ignore (IGNORE!!!) a full glass of wine or beer for minutes or even an hour. Whatever makes someone be able to sit and enjoy a glass of wine or beer at lunch and know that that one glass was not the inevitable start of many, many more. I want to start over as THEM, the non-alcoholic drinker, in the pram.

AND when the woman left? There was still at least a full swallow’s worth of wine in her glass. “How can that be??!!!” my brain screamed.

God, I wish I didn't have the brain of a drunk. I wish so badly I could just be “normal” and order and ignore a glass of wine with lunch. I wish I wasn't the person who looks longingly at someone’s glass of wine or someone’s beer and doesn't just want it---but also wants to be the person who can drink it---and only it---and walk away.

Instead I am the creepy, newly sober chick staring at you from over in the corner secretly coveting your DNA or whatever it is that makes you “normal.”
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:50 AM
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In the other corner is the really creepy girl who had 3 glasses of wine before she came here, hopes she isn't slurring her speech as she has 2 more glasses of wine with lunch, and will be stopping at a store well out of her way going home, because she hasn't been in that one in a few days and it won't look suspicious that she's buying wine again. She's looking at you and wondering how anyone can sit there not having any wine at all; coveting your strength and your freedom. Wishing she had it in her DNA to conquer an addiction.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
In the other corner is the really creepy girl who had 3 glasses of wine before she came here, hopes she isn't slurring her speech as she has 2 more glasses of wine with lunch, and will be stopping at a store well out of her way going home, because she hasn't been in that one in a few days and it won't look suspicious that she's buying wine again. She's looking at you and wondering how anyone can sit there not having any wine at all; coveting your strength and your freedom. Wishing she had it in her DNA to conquer an addiction.
Perspective: BOOM. Thank you for the reminder Non, you are so right about that.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:28 AM
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Wow can I relate to that. Thanks for the great share. You did wonders for my morning.

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Old 04-25-2013, 12:41 PM
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Just a great post and reply :-)

Perfect - thank you !
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:09 PM
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You summed up so eloquently what so many of us feel about our addictions and drugs of choice. I could relate! That is how I feel when I see a bottle of pills or hear someone talk about throwing away the remainder of a pain pill prescription. How could you throw it away?! Are you mad?! Or the even stronger thought--how could you WASTE it and throw it away and not give it to ME?! I am sitting here suffering, can't you see that?! GIVE ME those pills! Aarggh!

And I have a preternatural sense for sensing pills and pill bottles. I once spotted an empty (rats!) bottle on the side of the road while driving by--at night! Yes, I stopped and checked it out.

We can't change our DNA, only our response to it. Thank the stars we have each other!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Lyoness View Post
And I have a preternatural sense for sensing pills and pill bottles. I once spotted an empty (rats!) bottle on the side of the road while driving by--at night! Yes, I stopped and checked it out.
Yes! Me too! Not with pills so much but with booze for sure, although it's everywhere. What's even worse is that I have morphed into the damn Booze Police or the Special Inspector General for Potential Alcoholics. I don't mean to do it but I find myself monitoring what everyone around me is drinking---how much, how often. Maybe trying to gauge if they too might be a drunk.

If someone says, "I only had a couple at dinner last night," I am right there thinking (not saying, of course)."No...you had two cocktails before dinner, a glass and a half of wine with dinner, and an appertif with dessert, you've got a problem, my friend."

Not that I am paying attention or anything And, yeah, aren't you glad you invited me to dinner? No drinking activity shall go unnoticed with my new superpowers...
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:28 PM
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When my life was tumbling down round my ears, I asked a friend if things would ever get back to normal, and she said "adjust to the new normal."

She was SO right.

I've been sober a year and now it does feel normal to not drink. And I no longer obsess over not drinking or how much others are or are not drinking! Whoo hoo! All hail the New Normal!
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:31 PM
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Brilliant post PT and flawless response NONS. I too find myself monitoring peoples drinking habits. As friends innocently tell me how they drank bottle of wine alone previous night or how they and partner have few bevies each night I'm thinking umm...

Previously these comments would have just allowed me feel more normal! Now I finally know better.
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