I am certain I’ve used this metaphor or analogy before, addiction as predator. But here it is again. The past few weeks I’ve actually thought of drinking again, in a “controlled” environment. Ha! After picking up my 9 month chip even still these thoughts enter into the wilderness of my mind. How can this be? Here’s a selection of thoughts my slippery, confounding alcoholic brain has whispered to me:
” You can drink …as long as your husband is with you.”
“You can drink with friends socially.”
“You can drink at home.”
Oh the predatory nature of addiction. Finds a healthy unsuspecting specimen and waits…until most vulnerable to strike. In this case, nine long months of sobriety has steadied my usual instability and has left me with a bit of complacency. Therefore, ripe for the picking. Addiction’s wolf-like senses of smell, sight, hearing are keen to attack. My reminders include not -so- distant episodes of drunken debacles that not only tested the theory of successful drinking but ruled it impossible for me. Example: Drinking only with husband around to ward off the hungry wolves? That’s been tried before. Ends horribly 9/10 times. Drinking only with friends socially? That’s been done. Regretfully. Drinking at home? That too doesn’t work. One glass leads to bottle leads to slurred speech in front of children and “Mommy why do you always drink wine?”
But the pack is ever-present, ever-ready to devour my sober sensibility should I wander off into the woods of wishful thinking. A true philosophy of the Program, alcohol is “cunning, baffling” to the addict…to me. I remain vigilant today. Aggressively aware to this presence of alpha wolf lies, his looming, circling, howling to his pack, “She’s complacent, she’s forgetful…she’s vulnerable. Get her!”
Like a pack of hungry wolves- or piranhas that hollow out their victim leaving nothing behind but bones- alcoholism is a predator feeding on the soul of the addict until she is a shell of her former self. Letting myself become idle, cavalier or plain stupid is no longer an option. Sober living demands a sentinel, valiant existence to withstand the lurking wolves of my mind. I am at the ready…once again.