I just read this in the New york times and I can relate real tough about this. But as you get older and you truly realize that being focus on all planes in life happens while being sober and seeing things with new eyes
By JIM ATKINSON
I drank booze for a very long time, and I drank quite a lot of it. Interesting, but I never truly thought about why until I quit 16 years ago. There must have been reasons. But what were they?
This is no idle inquiry, since, after a decade and a half of very sober investigation of the neurochemical, sociological and spiritual reasons for both my addiction and recovery, the only way I can get my head around all that is to consider what booze gave me, what it took away and how the balance of power changed.
In my early days of drinking, alcohol gave me something that nothing else in my life — not relationships, not career — could. “It made the whole world come into focus,” a fellow addict once told me of her first drink. Others have cited “peace” and even “peace of mind” from the bottle. Some even describe their first drink as a mystical and spiritual experience. Myself, I always felt that alcohol was the one thing that made me feel safe. And that gave me a particular kind of energy, a fortitude, really. I was more willing to stand up for myself and to take creative risks when I was packing a certain amount of alcohol in me.
I never drank to be the life of the party or to feel sexier and smarter. I was drinking to haul my ego up from its ordinary state of funk to feel “normal.” In this sense, I came to know alcohol as a form of self-medication. Once medicated, I felt, I could then pursue my chosen craft of writing with more confidence, verve and stamina. And it seemed to work.
As I wrote in my first post, I achieved a measure of success in my 20’s and 30’s as a magazine writer and as an author of two books — one of them , “The View from Nowhere,” a travelogue of the best hard drinking saloons in the nation. The way I figured it at the time, maybe some guys had to worry about their reckless drinking. Mine had gotten me a fat book contract and my 15 minutes of fame.
All of this gave booze the aura of a magic potion to me. I wasn’t just that I happened to like how it made me feel — most anyone who has a drink will attest to that. I believed that a certain modicum of it was needed — like food, water or oxygen — for me to lead a happy and successful life. In retrospect, I knew that I was over-drinking by the time I was 30. But I figured that I was a “high performance” alcoholic — an interesting oxymoron, if there ever was one — and honestly couldn’t imagine life without the stuff. READ