I’ve been ruminating recently on the difference between individuals who can take or leave the booze, and those of us who can’t leave it alone.
I see the impact of alcohol on an individual as an iceberg.
For some (lucky?) people what you see above the surface is what you get. Beautiful, glistening, shining in the sun. Being able to have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner on a Saturday night and then not have it cross your mind for days. The odd beer with colleagues on a Friday lunchtime, or a the occasional glass of sloe gin late at night, not forming part of a pattern, but just as a harmless, social pleasure.
For those of us who have become alcohol dependent, the ice has grown like an invisible cancer. It looms large below the surface. Its capacity for destruction is enormous. But the outer appearance remains the same. This is why naturally moderate drinkers cannot understand dependent drinkers.
I have been contemplating this in the context of approaching my 100 days. Have I chipped away at the ice below the water’s surface? Yes. Has it gone completely in 100 days? No. Could I be a naturally moderate drinker now? Well, the answer to that is either yes, no, or maybe.
Perhaps (to mix my metaphors spectacularly here) the ice below the surface is like fat cells. Once created you can empty them by losing weight, but they will always remain, vacant, ready to take on fat molecules and swell to their former dimensions in a trice.
I am not seriously contemplating trying moderation. I am going down the route of saying that I might be able to do that, but I know I can do sobriety, and so I will stick with what I KNOW I can do rather than risk it all for an unknown. What I do want to understand for myself is why I am making that decision, and that I am doing it on an informed basis.
By the way, that beautiful photograph? Not perhaps what you think it is. Just like booze, then. Keep your eyes peeled, folks.