Dry by A. Burroughs

A book review is in order. I’m almost finished with “Dry: A Memoir: by one of my favs, Augusten Burroughs. He survived a horrific childhood and adolescence to become a self-made ad man in NYC, overcame his addiction to alcohol, and a best -seller. Who does that? So he has my respect of course. But he is one of my favorite authors because his writing is so honestly devastating it crumbles the walls of my soul and allows light to enter. And he is fucking funny.

Dry has me thinking about my own sobriety. And how fragile it is at the moment. I don’t go to enough meetings. I don’t talk to my sponsor. I stew in resentments for days. Ok, not days but anything over a passing few minutes is not healthy. I let my ego/identity overwhelm my sacred peace of mind. And ironically, if my peace is real and true, nothing should be able to shake it. I had the thought to drink a few nights ago. Maybe I already wrote about that. There are beers in my husbands fridge in the garage. I think about them in there. That is not good. I see them. And it is ridiculous because the fact is…drinking wouldn’t make anything better. Just worse for us all. Me and my family. I’ve learned drinking doesn’t solve any real issue I have or fix any feeling I want to avoid or change, which is truthfully why the alcoholic drinks.

In his book, the author paints a vivid portrait of the details foreshadowing his relapse. And it makes me nervous. The title of the book, Dry, I imagine is aptly named because a dry drunk is not a happy sober person, accepting of alcoholism and living life to the fullest extent by following a strict set of rules and prayers and steps. AA gives an alcoholic a framework to recover. But being sober is a choice. It really is a personal choice to live or continue abusing alcohol, because the alcoholic knows no other way to drink. My framework is my own creation. AA is helpful and very necessary to many in recovery. But it’s far too rigid for my personality. And AA criticizes and counts, keeps score. I don’t like that.

Ok it’s a day later, and I just returned from a meeting. Wow.. also read this draft and it seems I’ve gained a little perspective. It seems to me that being with other alcoholics who want recovery, want to stop, choose to live and be free of addiction..well, that’s not such a bad group to associate with. Even infrequently as I do. And the energy I get from being surrounded by those who want the same thing I do–sobriety and peace–is powerful. I’m not saying these guys are my best friends but to be in a room with them makes me feel better. At ease. Peaceful from an acceptance and a profound understanding of one another that brings me a moment of serenity. Like a breath of fresh air. I am not the “poster child” of AA, far from it. But what I’ve realized is none of us are. AA is a “suggestion” for recovery…it says so in The Big Book. I wasn’t coming up with any other great suggestion to recover and this one, Thank God, is working so far. And if it ain’t broke…


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