Monday, 12 April 2010

"I don't miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time."

"As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn't happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end," (pp. 151–152, 'Alcoholics Anonymous').

Over to Tom Waits for the worked example:

"Well, Frank settled down in the Valley
and hung his wild years
on a nail that he drove through
his wife's forehead.
He sold used office furniture
out there on San Fernando Road
and assumed a $30,000 loan
at 15 1/4 % and put down-payment
on a little two-bedroom place.
His wife was a spent piece of used jet trash,
made good bloody Marys,
kept her mouth shut most of the time,
had a little Chihuahua named Carlos
that had some kind of skin disease
and was totally blind. They had a
thoroughly modern kitchen—
self-cleaning oven (the whole bit).
Frank drove a little sedan—
they were so happy.

One night Frank was on his way home
from work, stopped at the liquor store,
picked up a couple Mickey's Big Mouths—
drank 'em in the car on his way
to the Shell station; he got a gallon of
gas in a can, drove home, doused
everything in the house, torched it,
parked across the street, laughing,
watching it burn, all Halloween
orange and chimeney red. Then
Frank put on a top-forty station,
got on the Hollywood Freeway,
headed north.

Never could stand that dog." ('Frank's Wild Years')

"We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defence against the first drink," (24:1).

"Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk it couldn't hurt me on a full stomach," (36:2).

[Suddenly, but inevitably.]

"In some circumstances, we have gone out deliberately to get drunk, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like. But even in this type of beginning we are obliged to admit that our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened," (37:3)

"Or perhaps he doesn't think at all," (24:3).

"...when he has before him a way to stop his drinking and abuse if he really wants to pay the price," (108:3).

"Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all" (14:1).

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