What i Means
Not only did sobriety save my life, it gave me a life worth saving.
Alcoholism defined me for the longest time. i joked about it (“I don’t have a drinking problem, ‘cept when I can’ find a drink” [Tom Waits], “i’m a writer; drinking is a job requirement”, “i was an alcoholic but the my tolerance went up”…), i wrote about it, planned my day around it, denied it, survived it, and tried to hide it.
Right after i stopped drinking, i was afraid drinking defined me and didn’t know what ‘I’ meant anymore. i tried referring to myself as “alcoholic in recovery” for a while, then went back to “writer”. i also had “Coffee Addict”.
In the last couple of months, i’ve found my coffee is backing up because i no longer finish my morning travel mug during my commute so now i have that to polish off along with my “arrive at work” double instant espresso but i can’t finish all of that before 11 when i go the coffee shop for my morning espresso and then i have to gulp all the leftover dregs cold before lunch and my dessert coffee.
i’ve decided to drink less coffee. Logical, right? Not for me. It took me weeks to come to this obvious conclusion–that i no longer need to force myself to maintain my coffee intake and that i should just scale it back instead. i’m grateful now that i can recognize it and, more importantly, i can make necessary changes without threatening who i am.
i no longer define myself because i will no longer limit myself.
“Drinker” is a word. i’m neither.
Posted on November 18, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged AA, alcohol, Alcohol Recovery, alcoholic, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, Coffee, drinker indentity, health, Recovery, self identity, sobriety, sobriety and coffee, What i learned in AA. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.