Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Telling on my addict..

Just read Augusten Burroughs brilliant memoir "Dry".  Speed-read it in fact.  In 24 hours.  Bloody brilliant, really recommended it.  A great story well told.  Ripping through the story of his terrible boozing, being sent into rehab by his employer, going through rehab, home and into recovery, a shocking relapse finishing with recovery mark 2 (which, from looking at his website, has lasted to this day).  Such a great story and heaps of insights into rehab and AA and stuff that I'm not doing giving I'm reshaping my new sober life on my own.

When in rehab he outs himself to the group of fellow addicts as having an apartment full of empty bottles.  Really really full.  Hundreds of empty whiskey bottles.  His counsellor applauds him for saying this and says "What you are doing is 'telling on your addict.' You need to visualise your own internal addict.  Think of it as a separate 'being' that lives inside of you. And it wants nothing more than for you to drink.  When  you don't drink, it says, 'Oh come on, just one.' Your addict wants you all to itself.  So when you talk about the bottles, or any other consequence of drinking, you are in effect, 'telling on your addict.'"

I like this.  I feel like I've been telling on my addict in this blog which is why I started writing this blog.  I've written about how my addict drove me to pick up wine bottles even when I was trying to have an alcohol free day, how my addict would do deals with itself over hangovers ("I can drink lots tonight and have a hangover tomorrow because I'm not going to the gym, then that hangover will stop me drinking too much tomorrow night which is good because I want to go to the gym the next day after that"), how my addict would appear behind my eyes like a paranoid junkie whenever the wine started to be drunk checking out how much was left, (how much are they having?, how much is left for me, how much is in the house how much can I get I'M YOUR ADDICT AND I NEED LOTS OF WINE!!!!!!!!!!).  I'm telling tales on my stupid fucking addict to get her out of my head for good (hopefully).

Later in the book when he's back in his normal life in recovery he talks about riding a 'Pink Cloud' and it kind of sounded like what I've been espousing lately in my posts so I just googled it and someone somewhere online said "the pink cloud is that wonderful time in early recovery when it all starts clicking and the using days seem far behind and life is just great great's a good thing, but also kinda dangerous, cuz we start to consider ourselves ten foot tall and bullet proof.........and start to think we got this clean and sober thing nailed........and get a little too big for our britches...."..

And yeah, if you re-read my last two posts I've definitely been a bit super-strong holier than thou oh wonderful sober me, so I think I must have been riding the pink cloud lately which makes me worry that it 's not always going to be this easy.

Later in the book he warns of a 9-month point in recovery when lots of people relapse.  So I guess I can't really let up on reminding myself why I'm doing this.  Never let up on 'telling on my addict'.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Dear Mrs D, Saw your comment today on Mr Sponsor Pants. Love your blog. You could be me. I tried to give up by myself. I read the Big Book and 12 x 12 and loads of other stuff. I ended up reading recovery blogs online and 'attending' online meetings (Staying Cyber) with a glass in my hand.

    Why won't you go to AA? Step 1 - Admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable - Good luck to you doing it by yourself, but my experience was that I could not do it on willpower alone. By myself I was powerless. I had to go to meetings.

    I love my meetings and I love the people I have met there. I went to my first meeting on June 13th 2011 and the compulsion left me immediately.

    But then I find out that putting down the drink is almost the easy bit. Living sober is the hard bit. That's what AA is for. The long haul.

  2. Daisyanon - AA works for some, not for all. I believe I'm in power - I don't like the idea of giving up the power to anyone else. The decisions and choices I make always ultimately comes back to me...There's nothing wrong with reaching out for support and commraderie but I will never let anyone else be in charge of my sobriety-that's for me to do. Mrs. D I enjoy reading your blog and your honesty. Keep up the good work. I look at drinking now as a breakup - ala a relationship gone bad. It's not always easy to breakup but in the long run we know it's the best thing to do for our sanity! ;)

  3. Oh, duh, I have just noticed, I put June 2011, should have read 2010.

    Anon, you are right, AA is not for everyone. I was responding to a comment Mrs D made on another blog, so you may have read my comment here out of context.

    Happy sobriety to you.

  4. I also read his book and really got some good insight out of it. I am also a non-AA person. It has nothing to do with willpower for me. Instead, it comes from needing to understand myself and what "I" need to keep sober, not what someone else feels I should have or be doing.

    I do this by reading from a lot of different sources (AA, Women For Sobriety, blogs, books). I really feel I'm getting to choose what works best for me from all these sources and it HAS been working. I am not "white-knuckling" it, but my eyes are also open that there will be obstacles down the road that will try to veer me off course. Blogs like yours help remind me there are others that feel the same way.

    In the meantime, this works for me! Thanks for a great post.

  5. Great post Mrs D, there is such a need for these recovery reviews and the real life stories behind them.
    I think it is about being humble and carrying a smidgen of that terrible alcoholic shame with you everywhere so you are never tempted to just have a bit or 'self-manage' - the way I started smoking again three times.
    Once we have a grip on it, it is useful just to have a moment and re-visit where we are at, and where we are headed.