An Addicts Tale

Quit or Die

I will die if I do not quit alcohol.
My children’s lives will be greatly damaged if I die early.
I lie to myself about the use of alcohol.
I twist reality around the use of alcohol.
Alcohol makes me a liar.

I am an alcoholic and I cannot use mind altering substances. I have proven this to myself over and over and over again. I metabolize alcohol differently than most of the general population. I am not a social drinker, I drink alone to become intoxicated. I destroy and defile my body to become intoxicated.

I have low self-esteem because of alcohol use. I lost my job, my social standing, my marriage, and my self-respect because of alcohol use.

Each time I have “quit” for good makes it harder to quit the next time.
I must quit or die. I must quit or die. I must quit or die. I must quit or die.
I must quit or there will be no tomorrows for me or my children. I am an addict. I am an addict. I am an addict. I am an addict. My affliction makes me insane.

I have no excuses left to use. My youthful daydreams have all been crushed in the mill of life. They have been battered and smashed by a wall of addiction, affliction, and alcohol. I must quit now or die early. There are no tomorrows for me anymore. I am 50 years old. I have tried to quit alcohol for 30 of those years. I finally gave up. I quit on quitting. I quit on myself and much worse, my children. I have no right to quit on my children. I have let alcohol turn me into a quitter on life and family. I always find a reason to procrastinate on quitting.

Alcohol always softly seduces me back by subtle degrees. The slightest wisp, leads to a ripple, leads to a thread, leads to a string, leads to a rope, leads to a cable which leads to the chains of addiction that once again firmly wrap and imprison my soul.

I am my own prison warden, my own keeper of the flame of torment. I fashion the bars which bind me so steadfastly, and I police the prison of my own addiction. My addictions are misty, ephemeral waifs and seductive little sirens, playing softly with my emotions, cracking the safe of my head and heart with impunity, time and time again. They wait patiently, like some cold blooded, emotionless serpent; lying low and still, always creeping through the corridors of my head, picking and prying and pushing, seeking that exact moment when guard is down or temporarily weakened. Then, like some evil super-assassin, they knowingly strike at the perfect moment of maximum weakness, endlessly luring me back into the shackles that bind me so steadfastly in my personal prison of addiction and affliction.

“Tomorrow”, I say for the thousandth time, ‘I will quit tomorrow.” There are no tomorrows left for me anymore. I have burned them all in my furnace of affliction and addiction. I am my own prisoner, judge, jury and executioner. If I do not quit now, I sentence myself to be damned for eternity. Once I am dead, I will have quit forever. Dead is forever.”

I need to remind myself each waking day first and foremost that I am fundamentally insane, and that I suffer from a life or death affliction of the gravest magnitude. It took me ten years to get two years clean and sober, but I got there finally. I don’t ever want to go back to the place I came from. In that place, I couldn’t imagine going even one day without drugs or alcohol. I did not think it was possible for me. I finally escaped from that place with the help of others who shared my addiction problems and who understood exactly what I was going through.

There is a way, a well-trodden path to follow, and it is a simple one but it is not an easy one. I need to walk this path each and every day, taking it one day at a time; for my disease, ever watchful, sits patiently waiting in the darkest corners of my mind, immortal, immutable, immovable and incurable. It wants to kill me, and it will never cease trying to the end of my days here on earth.

I live each day under a sentence of death, which is but temporarily commuted because I have chosen to follow the only path I have found which temporarily keeps my addictions at bay. I don’t worry about tomorrows any more, I live my life simply in the current moment, and I choose not to use one day at a time. I stand, each new glorious sober morning, looking into the gates of hell, and each new day that goes by, as I walk the well-worn path, makes it a tiny bit easier for me to again turn my back towards the ever raging inferno that lurks ever so slightly beneath the surface of my mind.