All or Nothing: The Hallmark of Alcoholism (and why I can see you a million miles away)

“Let me have another drink?”, he asked.

“Of course”, I replied, and meant it, “don’t go cold turkey–you’ll turn into a psychopath!”

We laughed as he pulled the bottle closer to him.  Unscrewing the top, he filled up his old metal thermal with the luke-warm liquid; come on, man; this shit, alcohol, ain’t cheap.

“Fill it all the way, pussy”, I told him.

“Fuck you, bitch”, he retorted as he pushed the half-full vessel off the top; down on the linoleum it fell and shattered; fucking idiot, I thought; didn’t say anything though; points were being kept track of somewhere; clock ticking down to the buzzer in some dark isolated place; 2 seconds and down by 30; hailmary from the QB to see who deserves to win; shacked in to addictions like a slave from Africa arriving to colonial America; book title.

7 Steps Out Of Patriarchal Slavery

“How many slaves you have”, I asked him.

I kept pushing him; tension leading to revelation; sobriety concealed under night; no moon is out; pitch black is the soul of one who dies alone; tears fall from flowers that bloom in the spring light; shutter to think; close to mind his own business; death, death, death; I paused, stop this thinking; drinking ain’t bad, man!

“Huh?”, he asked as he turned on the TV with the outdated remote control.

The newscaster was just finishing his report on the weather; Tom was his name; heckled by the unruly crowd; the TV was quickly turned off; FUCKERS sucked into oblivion like a hole of stars shared amongst the vine of grapes.

I looked at him.

“Ethan”, I quietly inquired, “where are your kids?”

“With my mom”, he darted his eyes away as he spoke, “I lost rights when I couldn’t… or didn’t… child support, man, you know how that goes…”

“No”, I replied trying to find his eyes, “I don’t have any kids.”

Rumor on the street is that the ice cream man is dead; froze his tongue to the tailpipe.

Alcoholics and Their All or Nothing Thinking

“Often times alcoholics live in a world of extremes. Extreme ways of doing things and extreme ways of thinking. It’s another way our addiction plays out. We often have all or nothing thinking followed sometimes by all or nothing actions. Things for us are generally black and white. We at times look at things in a way that if we don’t “win” or get our way then nobody wins (especially when we are new and first receive alcohol addiction help). This thought process can actually be harmful to our sobriety in the sense that when we are unable to see any other way not only are we setting ourselves up for a us against the world mentality but we are potentially harming others, living in fear / self will, and we are shutting ourselves off from remaining teachable. If we fail to remain teachable it might lead to a relapse. When we go to a drug rehab in California, AA, or other Los Angeles rehab programs we learn that we cease fighting all places, people, and things. We learn to let things just be so that we can have peace and personal growth.”

Hero or Zero? Team player.

“So you think it’s the right time to stop drinking”, Ethan asked as he topped off his vessel with the last beer from the fridge.

“Look man”, I told him bluntly, “I’m not a FUCKING expert. Yo. Get a FUCKING second opinion from a QUALIFIED COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL.”

End of story.

Thanks for tuning in. Keep your eyes peeled for more great articles on You’ve Got Hate Mail! 🙂

Jamie Smith

It's all about the story, man.

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