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The End of my Addiction

Addiction memoirs


Molly78
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I know, you either love them or hate them - I'm a bit hooked. It's like a validation I think. "Oh look, some other perfectly intelligent human being did all the stupid things I did......& more".

Anyway, I'm reading Blackout:Remembering the things I drank to forget by Sarah Hepola. And I came upon this great summary of the role of alcohol in her life:

"Drinking saved me. When I was a teenager crippled by self consciousness it gave me power. When I was a young woman unsure of her worth, it gave me courage. When I was lost, it pointed the way, towards the next drink & everywhere it leads you. When I triumphed, it celebrated with me. When I cried, it comforted me. And even in the end, when I was tortured by all it had done to me, it gave me oblivion."

About to go on & read about how she got sober. I don't think it was with bac.

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I go back and forth about them. 

In 2009/2010, I decided to create my own program, since nothing had ever worked for me. I went to the library and checked out every book they had on alcoholism and recovery (14 books) and ordered some more off of Amazon. I read a lot of memoirs. Some of them trite and really annoying. It's where I found Ameisen's book, actually, and what started me on the path to trying baclofen. 

Drinking: A Love Story is still one of my favorites. Of course, it haunts me too, since she died from lung cancer in her early 40s. When I first got sober, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like, it can't be this easy/good! What's going to go horribly awry now??? lol.

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I love Caroline Knapp's book as well, must have read it 4 or 5 times.

Turns out Sarah Hepola's sobriety was actually achieved much like Knapp's - via AA & white-knuckling. She hated AA initially but came to an understanding of the spirituality aspect after a while.

Another good quote regarding her recovery period:

"Addiction was the inverse of honest work. It was everything right now. I drank away nervousness, I drank away boredom and I needed to build up a new tolerance. Yes to discomfort, yes to frustration, yes to failure, because it meant I was getting stronger. I refused to be the person who only played games she could win."

The last sentence I think describes me quite well when younger - I still struggle with losing/being wrong.

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8 minutes ago, Molly78 said:

"Addiction was the inverse of honest work. It was everything right now. I drank away nervousness, I drank away boredom and I needed to build up a new tolerance. Yes to discomfort, yes to frustration, yes to failure, because it meant I was getting stronger. I refused to be the person who only played games she could win."

The last sentence I think describes me quite well when younger - I still struggle with losing/being wrong.

Oh yeah, I can definitely relate to that quote. Completely. Fear of failure is my personal favorite reason to, as my therapist calls it, "sleep walk" by drinking...

I don't really relate to the first quote you published because that wasn't my experience. Maybe it's that my years in traditional recovery have tainted my memories (quite possible0 but I only remember the bad aspects of drinking, even when I was young. Especially when I was young. 

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  • 1 month later...

Augusten Burroughs' _Dry_ is pretty good, and he also has a collection of essays called _Magical Thinking_ that deals a lot with his alcoholism. My favorite part is probably where he admits that he can't bring any guys home from the bar for one-night stands, because he's been too ashamed to take any of his empty bottles out to the recycling; he had over 300 empty handles of scotch all over the floor of his apartment. I also really related to his refusal to buy more than two handles at a time - that's the limit, any more would be ridiculous - so of course he ran out and had to go back to the store every day. I did that shit for a long time.

And if you're a famous-writer-obsessed voyeur like me, _The Trip to Echo Spring_ is kind of cool, by Olivia Laing. Also, you could pick up just about any literary biography - Cheever, Faulkner, any of the Hemingway biographies. Those are all 700-page doorstops, though, so it takes a while to get through them.

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