It Took Years of Practice

by The Discovering Alcoholic on August 28, 2007

It wasn’t an overnight thing; it took years of practice to become an alcoholic. It was fun at first, before I got a little older and serious about my career as a drunk. Then there was no more collegian style drinking; only professionals were allowed at that training camp. Those that drank for pleasure and the rank and file abusers were left on the sidelines. Repetition and focus were the keys to becoming a hard core drunk. Every night turned into two-a-days, starting at noon at the wakeup and continuing on into the late night. Before I realized it had become second nature, 24/7 became the rule and I couldn’t even contemplate performing a routine task without drinking.

Flash forward past the rock bottom, withdrawals, rehabs, meetings, and amends to the days of early sobriety and thoughts of recovery. Clean and sober, but something that I just couldn’t put my finger on was missing. A certain happiness, confidence, and sense of belonging that I felt should have been there but was absent.

Well duh. You can’t erase all those years of training in just a few months! It took me a good many years to learn how to be a completely dependent alcoholic and it took just as many to create a successful recovery. Not only did I have to retrain my body and mind to react realistically in life situations, but there was a severe lack of maturity and emotional intelligence I had to make up.

For years I had depended on alcohol to define my life, in a sense it was my all-purpose tool. I dealt with school, work, relationships and family all with the same tool and always got the same comfortable feedback. Now I had to learn how to love, laugh, and live with loss all by my lonesome and nothing seemed quite right. It wasn’t because I wanted to get drunk, it was because I didn’t know how to feel when I wasn’t drunk. Normalcy eventually returned and now I feel whole again, but it was a very slow process. In fact, it took years of practice.

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