Requested from the 07 archives.
They say one of the surest signs of alcoholism is drinking alone. No doubt this can be a sign of problem drinking, yet you have many people that do most of their drinking alone but are considered safe, “normal” drinkers.
So what’s the difference?
Well it’s not so much the drinking alone that’s the real problem here; it’s why the alcoholic will drink alone. Shame, embarrassment, and secrecy are all contributing factors but the overwhelming reason an alcoholic will isolate their self from others is their inability to face reality. Total dependence upon alcohol means that all things in life are now derived from drinking. Joy, sadness, courage… everything comes from the bottle until the very substance that provides life takes away the ability to live it.
At least for me, the facade of normalcy was no longer possible when the bartender asked if I needed help or when a convenience store clerk commented on the way my hand shook or how it was awful early for a beer. Even associating with other drunks, those considerate of our common plight became too painful a reminder of my sad state. Any contact with the real world made me painfully aware that I was no longer the master of my own destiny, and the very substance that gave me the strength to face the day also insured I would too debilitated to follow through.
It wasn’t the drinking alone that was the problem, it was why I was drinking alone.