Used-2012-11-09-Fuggit sobriety recovery alcoholism

Don’t Lose It

When i was still drinking, i had a lot of rules to keep myself in check. Here’s a taste:

  • No drinking on weeknights
  • Only one bottle of wine per drinking session
  • Only drink what i have in the house
  • Alternate a glass of water with each glass of wine/beer
  • No drinking when i have the kids

Each of these worked like a charm. Until it didn’t. Unfortunately, these stopgaps stopped working when it came to the Fuggit Button.

i have an unusually large Fuggit Button. This is the button i hit when i give up. It happens like this: i’m going along my merry way doing things like i should be until, all of a sudden, i realize i don’t have to. Before you can say “hold on”, this huge Fuggit Button fills my brain and it’s all i can see so i press it. i give up. Fuggit. It happens automatically so that i don’t even have time to think about it.

This worked out great for me. Until it didn’t.

Last night i’d planned to go to an AA meeting that started 2 hours after i finished work which meant i had to hang out in the subway before the start of the meeting and i got home at 9:30 pm instead of 6:00.

Just as my work day was finishing, i decided to press the Fuggit Button and go home early and write instead. Then, a strange thing happened. i caught myself.

Dude, you see what you just did there?


You just hit the Fuggit Button.


You just decided to forget your responsibilities. You just opted not to do the next right thing.


So that’s the way your mind operated when you were drinking. And how did that work out for you?

Hmm. Maybe i’ll go to the meeting instead.

The topic of the meeting was gratitude, which fit, because today i have one more thing to be grateful for.


What about you…i’m curious to know if you had rules to curb your drinking and, if so, what were they? Leave a comment and let us know!



About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I can only relate to this in terms of food. This is SUCH a good learning experience for me (and my theories on addiction).

    With food, you sort of have to “stay away” from trigger foods OR at least monitor them. I have to. There’s no “extended” rule plan for [my] bulimia. One more bite tips me into something worse than hell, worse than a hangover. I can’t say i count stuff, per se … but i’m aware of how much i eat, and need to be conscious of that throughout the day.

    I’m grateful for recovery in all shades and colors.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Al!

    Hi Working On It and Celeste!

    • Funy you should talk about this, a i binged on food last night and felt like i’d hit the Fuggit button afterwards. Today i’m back on track, but there are all kinds of ways and places to hit the freaking button. (Not that i’m comparing my struggles with food to yours! Just pointing out that we need recovery in all shades and colors!).

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. What a great post. It shows just how much you are growing and fighting the insanity, and winning. 🙂

    I almost hit the fuggit button on writing last night, and would have been behind by about 1700 words (roughly 8 pages of writing, double spaced). I pressed on, wrote anyway, even after procrastinating so much I did not even start until 9 pm, but managed by 11 to squeak out all but 300 words or so. I’m glad I did not fuggit because it is important to me to finish this, to show I can accomplish *something* even if it amounts to nothing. Maybe not as “life or death” as alcohol and whether or not to drink, but insofar as keeping my mental health, which is important to me, this story has greater stakes than some might think. ‘Cause those of us in-the-know know that the mind is a battlefield, isn’t it. And I am just trying to stay out of the territory of the Ultimate Fuggit, right? Gotta keep at even the smallest of things in regards to mindset and be ever-vigilant, even in the small stuff. I see Melissa commenting about that, too.

    Food is a toughie. Ya gotta eat. Adds a layer of complication to the equation. But vigilance at the smallest of mind-set levels does work, if you keep working it.

    So glad to read this post, Al, so glad that you caught yourself, that you didn’t press fuggit, and that you went to the meeting. One more victory to keep the momentum going in the right direction. If you ask me, that was one huge FUGGIT with a fat, giant middle finger to alcoholism! 😀


    • Celeste I LOVE, “that was one huge FUGGIT with a fat, giant middle finger to alcoholism!” Amen. I hope you don’t think i’m saying food is harder: It is different. I think i ‘m preaching to myself here! I know i am. I am a Counter. I can’t help it. Always have been. Never calories …(oddly) … however i have times of less (vs. more) “vigilience” as you said, Celeste. The nature of the beast is that i will be a food addict forever! I will. There are times where i am “free” from any kind of vigilence … but that will not last eternally. I would rather be vigilent than sick. Food addicts, maybe we’d be considered “dry drunks”. I don’t think so.

      So, I guess in some ways, i’m saying with bulimia (compulsive eating) it’s not completely a matter of “soul sickness” and “right thinking”. There is a lot of pragmatic and slightly ritualistic things you need to do to start recovering … and MO’s change along the way.

      ANYWAY, back to AL! WAY TO GO!!!! Thanks for letting me share about an off topic.

      I’m curious to see what “working on it” has to say, if she’s out there of lovely on?

      • I hope you don’t think i’m saying food is harder: It is different. I think i ‘m preaching to myself here! I know i am.

        No, not at all — it really is different. I have had experience with eating disorders in friends (and from research I have done on it because of that), and I myself have had a weird relationship with food (more of the OA type of stuff) and BDD, too, so I get that part. It has not only an addictive component, but aspects of self-harm, and OCPD, too. It’s (bulimia, anorexia, and the combo of the two, which is what one of my friends had) a really complex disease. You said it best here, I think: “I would rather be vigilant than sick.”

        This is how I have to be with my food allergies, too. Gosh it was hard living in a place where bakery goods were so prevalent and I could not eat a one else I would be sick for days. Different sick, I know. Not the same ball of wax. But I understand that vigilance = health. Mental, physical, emotional, spiritual health.

        I’m glad you could write what the differences are and clarify! 🙂

    • Thanks for your support! i’m doing what i can and feeling good about myself while at the same time setting goals and doing the work necessary to get myself better. i really appreciate your thoughts and encouragement, babe!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  3. Great post, I tried also to set myself moderation in drinking, but I failed every night, I promised myself I would slow down, but the autopilot came on and I carried on where I left off the night before.

    I’m glad we can now see our way past this, everydays a good day now I’m not drinking, I don’t watch myself fail.

  4. At one point I made a list of all the reasons I shouldn’t drink. “You won’t sleep well.” “You’ll feel like crap tomorrow.” “It’s empty calories.” “Don’t be a drunk mom.” “It’s bad for your health.” It went on.

    I usually hit the fuggit button so hard that I would always forget that I had even made that list. I remember one day driving in my car, debating whether or not I was going to buy wine. I suddenly did remember the list, but I didn’t have it with me. This is what I thought, “Maybe I should shrink it down, take it to Kinko’s to get laminated and carry it in my wallet. Yes. Yes that is a fantastic idea. That will totally help. I’ll do that tomorrow.”

    I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

    • That’s so true! All my rules and intentions went right out the window as soon as i git the Fuggit button. Even if i’d had a list, i’m sure i would’ve conveniently not read it or read it without paying any attention to it when i wanted to binge!

      Keep coming back,

      AL K Hall

  5. oh, the Fuggit button. Hmm, I just pressed mine last night, and I’m processing the whole thing. No, I didn’t binge, I simply had one beer. “Simply?” I’m still trying to fugging decide what my MAIN problem is. As for rules, well it’s only been to drink, or not to drink, and if I do, can I manage it? Oh and I’ve also tried to remember to drink water while drinking alcohol, since I can gulp it down sometimes, when I’m especially thirsty. I do keep coming back, because I get so much out of what you share. I hope it’s ok that I do, when I’m still either in denial that I’m REALLY an alcoholic or not, or just haven’t accepted it.

    • Only you can decide of course, but your presence is welcome while you figure it out, and after you figure it out or never do too!

    • NNkato, you don’t have to admit to being an alcoholic to quit drinking. If you feel your life would improve by not drinking, then stop. If you’re happier drinking, then drink. If you try to stop, but can’t, then maybe you need some help to quit.

      • Yup, just an echo here. I for the most part, with at least one major drunk, quit drinking in March of 2009. However, there have been times I have had a drink or two, outside of the one time I got smashed again in December 2009. The December 2009 episode showed me that there is an element to my drinking that can be totally out of control, however, and yet I have never classified myself as “alcoholic” because I don’t feel I qualify for “step one” — being powerless over alcohol and my life becoming unmanageable over it.

        Funny — having typed that though, I realize I have skirted on the edge of both those things — powerlessness over alcohol and not being able to stop once I start, and having un-manageability in my life because of alcohol. It was never a consistent enough pattern for me to come right out and think I am an alcoholic, though.

        But, my life is vastly better without any booze at all. I recognize that I think I have the potential to slide very easily into abuse at the least, addiction at the worst, and I simply choose not to drink 99% of the time because I actually feel better when I don’t.

        Part of it is just having some really horrible experiences under the influence, and I can trigger and relive those experiences when I am drink or am around alcohol. I get physically turned off by seeing it or drinking it for myself.

        On Saturday, I was at an open house for a business, a really super-fun one (a shop my sister owns) and there were bottles & bottles of wine and beer. Well, I can’t drink beer because it has gluten in it, but I can tolerate wine. However, I was not even remotely interested in having any at all. I just went down that path of decision-making & consequences, and saying to myself, “I almost never drink. If I do now, I don’t know that I will stop at one glass. And with what a lightweight I am now, if I have more than one glass and try to drive, I’m risking my life, my son’s life and the lives of the people in the cars around me because even just one glass can impair me at this point.” I also know that I sometimes do have weird reactions to alcohol, and can get a migraine or feel super shitty the next day, and only have had one glass. It’s a kind of allergic response sometimes. I just wanted nothing to do with it at that party, and did not feel I was missing out. In fact, it was kind of funny to be a completely sober person as others around me got buzzed or a little drunk. It was fascinating to watch people change before my eyes, and kind of look stupid, honestly. It made me realize how dumb I was drunk in the past.

        All that book-of-a-comment to say that I do not call myself an “alcoholic.” But as a former abuser of alcohol, I do follow the steps, I do lead a basically alcohol-free life (I also don’t tell myself I can never have a drink, either). I have found the overall result is that alcohol is less and less of even something I desire. I prefer to associate more with recovery and recovering alcoholics than I do with drinking.

        I can relate to what you are saying, and what Boat wrote really summed up a perfect answer for someone like me, too. Brilliant words, Boat, and thank you for clarifying that for me as well. 🙂

  6. My rules at the end were no drinking Monday – Thursday and then no more than 4 drinks on weekends. That was my last-ditch effort to moderate (though not my first time attempting moderation). The reality was Monday’s felt crueler than usual and 4 drinks turned to 5 high ABV beers, so it was probably more like 8 anyway. I realized moderate drinking was not for me, and that was like a light bulb going off. I’m glad I tried moderation because I absolutely know it doesn’t work for me. Great post as usual.

    • Very good point, BBBB. i’m glad i tried all the “rules” i did because i can truly say i tried everything and so now i have no regrets about leaving it all behind. (Is it just me or is this reminiscent of the Kafka text about going before the law and the bailiff who accepts the bribe and tells the plaintiff he’s only accepting it so the plaintiff can tell himself he tried every possible avenue to access the law and still didn’t make it—lol, forget ti, it’s certainly just me!)

      Thanks for stopping the comment and the visit, BBBB!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  7. Al, Boat and Celeste-thank you for your time and comments. What Celeste says resonates with me. I do go to events, partys, don’t drink, am fine, and am glad to get up the next morning with a clear head. But I have had horrible experiences while abusing alcohol, and that’s why I started my blog, as you know. Again, thank you, as I continue to grow.

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