I never had a thing for Rob Lowe. he was only a little bit older than me and his evident beauty was overshadowed by his self-satisfied grin. a bit obvious, I always thought. not my type at all.

but enjoyed him in his reincarnation in The West Wing. and recently I remembered an article I clipped from a paper a while back about his autobiography. he has been sober now for twenty plus years. found the article online, and this is the bit that struck me when I first read it: Lowe on Charlie Sheen:

Charlie Sheen, meanwhile, is still out there, on his Violent Torpedo of Truth tour. Is he still in touch with him?

‘Oh yeah. We agree to disagree on the merits of traditional recovery. He knows I’m saving a seat for him and he wants no part of it. I’m always happy to see the experiment. Those guys are the scouts, the guys who go out there and say, “We can still do this, we can get as f***ed up as we want, we can f*** whoever we want… 75 hookers, crack, no concerns, we’re going for it…” I go, “You go for it. Go out there and report back to me.” That’s how I look on it. Charlie’s out there gathering intelligence. And in a few weeks or months we’ll meet up and see if the water’s warm or not.’

He pauses, then looks me dead in the eye. ‘I got news for you. I’m not giving up 20 years. There isn’t a drug, a piece of ass, a drink that’s making me give up 20 years. I’m not giving that up for anybody.’

but the thing that startled me was the date of the original article. May 2011. fuck. it really did take me that long, from being at the stage in May 2011 of cutting articles out of newspapers and keeping them in a little private box in my room, hoping somehow they would inspire me by, I don’t know, OSMOSIS or something, to be able to moderate – to November 2013, to realise that no, moderation would not work and the only thing left was complete abstinence.

and maybe I haven’t given up twenty years yet (though the proof of that pudding is still to come, maybe mini time-bombs waiting their time to go off inside my body just when I think I am all better?) but I damn well wasted a good two years trying moderation and failing and refusing to even countenance the idea that abstinence might actually be EASIER than moderation – that something I had never tried might actually be a good idea.

who the hell did I think I was? had I learnt nothing from the ancient wisdom of Sam-I-Am?

sometimes I wish I could go back and take myself gently by the neck and, interspersed with banging my own head on the kitchen table, explain to myself exactly where I was going wrong and what I should be doing instead.

however I am not much of a one for dwelling on past regrets. mostly I am able to regard the past as in the past and let it go. perhaps my ability to fret and panic about the future is so overwhelming that there is comparably little amusement in revisiting the past…

but the vision of those two years ‘lost’ to moderation attempts I think will stand me in good stead for any whispers of whether it could be possible for me in the future. because I am not planning on losing any more time.

because people can change. perhaps it is only that we, finally, grow up?

if Rob Lowe can go from the Brat Pack to writing an essay about sending his son off to college – I can not drink. ever again.

55 days to one year.