I don’t have a problem, I can stop whenever I want to
I don’t have a problem, if people didn’t piss me off, I wouldn’t have to drink
I don’t have a problem, everyone blacks out.
I don’t have a problem, I got fired for no reason.
I don’t have a problem, I got this.
I don’t have a problem, everyone is doing it.
I don’t have a problem, I just need something to take the edge of.
I don’t have a problem, I don’t drink every day.
Those were just a few of the many things I used to say to myself. Although I know I didn’t, you’d swear I wrote the book on Denial and excuses. Being a binge drinker made it sooooo much easier for me to deny the fact that I was an alcoholic. In fact, that was the biggest excuse I used to justify my behavior. I could go a week or so without touching a drink. I hadn’t realized that when I did, I was completely unable to stop after that first one. If I had a gallon of rum, I was drinking the gallon of rum until it was gone, or until I passed out.
Of course now, looking back, I can see the progression of it all. Back then, I couldn’t see it at all. Everyone else did, but I surely didn’t. I baffles me how everyone sees it before we do, yet we are completely clueless until we hit bottom doing ninety miles per hour. In my very early sobriety, I thought that “maybe” I’d been “over doing it” for the last four or five years give or take. One day my sponsor asked me to make a “progression line” of my drinking. To say that the results of making this list shocked me, would be a HUGE understatement. To my surprise, I had been drinking like an alcoholic for almost 20 years. How did I not see this coming? How could I have been so blind? That’s how the disease of alcoholism and addiction gets you. That’s why they call it a progressive disease. It creeps up on you then BAM! You’re stuck.
The more you drink, the more your body builds up a tolerance. That means that you have to drink more to get the desired effect. By the time I put down the bottle, I was drinking almost a gallon of whatever all by my little lonesome. I can honestly say that I am here today and healthy by the Grace of God. There are some who are not so lucky. They suffer from liver damage, brain damage or death. I have absolutely no idea how I didn’t do any damage. I can only speculate it was because I was a binge drinker and did not consume all that alcohol on a daily basis. Although I did get that lucky, that doesn’t mean I didn’t already have one foot in the grave. Had I continued on the path I was on, I would have begun to suffer those health problems or died of alcohol poisoning. I got a “Do-over” with my life, and there’s no way I’m gonna take any chances with it or repeat my actions.
Accepting the fact that I had this disease was very difficult. However, once I finally did, my life started to get a lot easier. There isn’t any cure, therefore I’m stuck with it. I could either feel sorry for myself and drink myself to death OR I can live the rest of my life sober and happy. I have chosen to live, and live well.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist