In the beginning drinking was a gift. It was a superpower. I could change the world anytime I wanted. I could change myself to fit the world. I liked it so much I wanted to keep it all to myself.
Drinking became a secret. It was medicine. I could fix the world anytime I wanted. I thought I could fix myself, but drinking kept breaking me instead. My heart, my head. My cell phone.
Drinking was a wicked pet monkey living on my shoulder, a devil in my eye. It was a curse and I liked it because it made me different and special. Nobody had ever known this curse like I did.
I put the curse in my back pocket and kept it there like a promise. I would save drinking for later. I had a bunch of things I wanted to do first and I knew I couldn’t do them wet.
I did it all. I made a living. I made a family. I made myself. It was amazing until the novelty wore off. I remembered my superpower. I tried to bring it back, to make living like an adult less hard and boring and sad.
But drinking had changed. Drinking was a mutant freak, everything all at once. It was a gift and a secret and a curse and a promise. It was sticky sweet. It was sickening. It was a black hole.
I crawled out and through the muck looking back so hard my head almost fell off. Lot’s wife and then some. Drinking was a monster receding in the distance. Drinking was my ex-best friend. Drinking was a friend of a friend. Drinking was an interesting acquaintance I wish I’d known better. Drinking was a dumb bitch.
Drinking was not for me. It never was. I don’t understand how it works for other people, if it does actually work for other people, but it was never going to work for me. I don’t have the guts for it, or the nerves, or the solid sense of self. Something’s off inside.
But I was never going to go down in flames with it either. Drinking was not my lover. Drinking was not enough. Time and time again I moved toward love and light and life. I swallowed pills and then puked them back up, hoping I’d beaten them to the punch so that I could fall asleep next to my husband for real. I freed myself.
I was never going to hit a bottom low enough to make want to stop because that kind of drinking was not in my path. I am not afraid of jails, institutions, and death.
I was more afraid of never moving up. I was never going to climb a mountain high enough to make drinking okay. I was never going to climb a mountain. I was never going to move.
There are many paths, but for me the only one forward is not drinking. Head forward, no secrets, no medicine, no curse. Blessedly, the path is littered with good gifts, with teachers, and only the occasional wicked monkey. Mostly I walk, but there are times when I fly. Not drinking is my superpower.