I remember being new in AA and hearing these old guys say stuff like "just don't drink and you won't get drunk." Then, they'd follow with something like "It's the first drink that gets you drunk. Just don't have the first drink!" Duh! Now, tell me how to not have the first one?
I spent a lot of time arguing w/ them about the first drink getting me drunk theory. The problem was: I wasn't understanding it the way that they were meaning it. I thought they meant like one drink and they'd be drunk. Well, kind of. 1. After the first drink -- my BODY and my mind demand another drink. Plain & simple. If I have the first one -- my body will have the second one -- regardless of "what I think about it" and regardless of what I want! So, that's what they were trying to tell me. But, you know us alcoholics? We seem to have inbred communicating problems. LOL. We say something and mean something else -- or we hear something and make it mean something different.
My problem was: I KNEW based upon my personal history and experience -- that I was NOT capable of not taking the first drink. I had previously had years of experience of intending to not drink again -- or, at least, if I did drink -- to not drink like the last time I drank! LOL. The time when I puked all over the party and make a real jerk out of myself. Or, the time I got in trouble for stealing a set of hub caps (that wouldn't fit my car) and I had to tear them up and beat on them to get them of of some guys Cadillac -- in the middle of a well lit and highly people populated parking lot! LOL. (I guess I was alcoholic and not being too secret about it, aye?
I'd end up doing some -- sometimes funny, but most often tragic things, after I started drinking. I did tragic -- over and over and over and over and over again! So, I knew ... "Duh? Don't drink the first one!" But... "HOW do I not drink the first one?" You see, that's what makes me alcoholic. I can not avoid -- on my own -- for a long period of time -- (like forever?) -- leave alcohol entirely alone! At some point, I'd ALWAYS pick up the first one! And, that was all it took to get me started.
I wanted to stop and to stay stopped. But, I had three problems w/ that. 1. No matter how well intentioned and determined I was and no matter how many promises I had made that "I don't do this again" -- I'd end up doing it again. 2. I didn't really comprehend "stay stopped." You see, when I'd stay stopped for a long period of time -- the insane idea would come to me that "Gee, Dallas! Look at you go, good old boy! You've obviously licked that drinking problem -- and SURELY now -- you can have one!"
So, as I came to understand it: 1. I had a physical problem (in the body) that my body could not tolerate one tiny sip of alcohol -- or, something tragic would happen, like -- I'd end up drinking a quart of whiskey. 2. My mind -- would not let me go -- without drinking.
After I put one and two together -- I had it figured out. But, the real problem was #3. I could not avoid #1 and #2. I wasn't capable of making it work because I didn't know "HOW do you do that?" HOW do you NOT have the first one?
Thanks for letting me share!