Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 164: did you say alcohol?

Judging by the past week's entries, you could be forgiven for thinking this blog wasn't about alcohol at all. Actually, come to think of it, it's not about alcohol, it's about the opposite: its absence. And really, this week alcohol has been so unobtrusively absent I haven't even noticed the space it's left behind. True, I have said that under the circumstances of the past week, a girl might want to reach for a glass of red, but I genuinely didn't have any desire to do so myself. And otherwise I was too generally preoccupied with events to give alcohol a second thought. Is this really me talking? I can't even actually remember at this stage how I used to feel about the intoxicating liquid of which I used to quaff so much. I have a vague sense that I viewed it not as my friend so much as a monster I let out every now and then (aware it would probably injure or damage me in some way). But that could be my "now view" wrongly reporting on the past. I am certainly glad to be out of its grip now and am not keen to let it get a hold on me again. Because many people are in the grip of alcohol's clawing hand. They cannot take it or leave it. They use it habitually, reliably, and as an emotional crutch. And maybe it helps in some small way, but also it doesn't. Over the past week, maybe a drink or two might have calmed my nerves or softened my edges. Maybe when my party looked like it wasn't rocking, it would have helped to drink myself into oblivion and forget about it. Maybe then I would have done something bad myself and that might have distracted me from how wronged I felt by others. And maybe it would have left me feeling even worse afterwards. Speculations aside, I swallowed each shot undiluted, experiencing the raw reality of what was happening unaided by painkillers. Which is kind of like being punched in the face with a bare fist. There's nothing to cushion the hit, but you do come out of it tougher.

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