Peace. I have felt peace this week, in the evenings, for the first time in longer than I can remember. Over the years, as I stopped and started drinking again, a voice in the back of my head always said, “You can just control this. It’s mind over matter. You just need to stop at one glass of wine.”
When I recently “tested” myself after several weeks of not drinking, I realized, FINALLY, that the voice in my head is wrong, and is the voice of my disease. As long as I listened to that voice, and believed that voice, I felt internal turmoil and frustration. I would spend every evening struggling not to pour a glass of wine.
Not now. Yes, I would still like to be able to drink, but I know without question, that I CANNOT. It is that deep feeling of “knowing” that the way my body is wired chemically means I cannot drink alcohol. It’s not something to be afraid of or ashamed of. It is my reality. It’s just like people who have been told by their doctor that they are at a high risk for skin cancer and cannot lay on the beach. Or the person who is at risk for a digestive disease and they cannot eat the food they love. Those people would like to play in the sun or eat that food, but they know it will cause them problems, so they do not.
For some reason, we see Alcoholism as a disease we have to hide, like AIDs used to be, something we need to be ashamed of. I’m not sure how our culture got to the point of viewing it in this way, but I hope and pray that in the not too distant future Alcoholics will be able to publicly own their disease, just like Cancer patients. I pray we will receive the support and love of our whole community, not just the “anonymous” voices on the Internet or in whatever support group we seek.