Avoiding alcohol entirely is actually the path of least resistance. One drink sets off something in my chest. The sight of a nearly empty glass makes me so sad. It’s a kind of loneliness. It makes me need, need, need.
Quitting is not just getting through the first few days. It’s a shock that lingers. You can get flooded with emotions, and you’re not used to them, and it hurts. I think I was sober for three months before I started to feel like a normal person. And the weirdness, the persistent thoughts, the old urges – they can come back, still. I don’t think there’s any way to ward them off forever.
Sometimes I get paranoid about the alcohol content of salad dressing or pasta. I know it sounds silly. I do this because I have lived with cravings, those vicious self-destructive needs and I don’t want them to ever come back. I am trying to stay safe.
If it ever has to come up in conversation, the only thing I want is for it to be normal. I don’t think it’s a big deal; it’s a relatively minor fact about my life. I don’t want it to be a big deal for you; there is nothing you need to do or say.
I don’t want to lecture people, though. So I just whine about it here.