i Poured Myself a Glass

Whine Glass AlKHallAnonymous sobriety recovery alcoholism

Whine Glass

Today at lunch i poured myself a glass of wine. It was the weirdest thing.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that in “Yeaman” a bottle of wine waits patiently on the tables of the restaurants where i have my business lunches 3 times a week.

Usually i have no problem ignoring it and will even pour a glass for others at the table before setting the bottle down and forgetting it. Well, today i poured a glass for 2 of the 3 clients i ate with… and then poured one for myself without even realizing it!

Now, i wasn’t tempted to have a single sip because my life is immeasurably better now than when i was a drunk, but it goes to show that old habits are hard to shake.

P.S. Concerning my previous post, this situation was all the more ironic in that, when i met the clients i lunched with, i explained i’m a teetotaler! Eyebrows were definitely raised…

Soup du Jour Al K Hall Anonymous recovery sobriety alcoholism


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 January 21, 2013, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. jumpingpolarbear

    They wouldn’t take it as a good sign if the only way you could endure lunch with them was to fall off the wagon :).

  2. AL- I feel you! Though I am experiencing hyper-awareness as opposed to passivity at this time. I am altering my prescribed medication under my doctor’s supervision, and in every peripheral part of life that is even touched by addictive substances, I am falling sensitive to like a mom at a graduation. It is like the first 90 days decided to say hi! But I tell on myself, like you did, and stay honest. For as they say, you are only as sick as your secrets.

    • Astra Starr!

      Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment. i’m 2 years sober and i still go through periods where i’m extra sensitive…and i don’t have medication to blame it on! Honesty is key, though, and trying to avoid negative emotions as well! Bets of luck and hope to see you back here again!

      Keep coming back,

      AL K Hall

  3. I think that when pathways to the brain are reinforced for years, then we slip into a near-autonomic response when we are relaxed and feeling comfortable. I think that in a way, this was almost more than just a habit — it is actually a brain pathway that is still present and just went on auto-pilot because it was triggered to do so. But here’s what I think: you must have been feeling relaxed with those guys. I think it indicates you were in the same “frame of mind” when you used to drink at lunch: you poured glasses because you were already a little relaxed & uninhibited.

    So I am wondering if you were already feeling kind of comfortable with these guys, more so than “normal” during a lunch, when often you are not very comfortable making small talk and so on? Is my amateur-hour pop-psych analysis correct?

    It’s really super interesting coming after the recognition that perhaps you share about the teetotalling when it is not really necessary to.

    What’s that idea/saying/concept from AA? Something like that when you are ready to work on something new it starts showing up all over the place? Sounds like you have reached a new level of work, a new place of understanding or a new layer of the (always ongoing) recovery process. A new doorway of potential understanding has opened up to you.

    I’m glad you wrote about this here. It’s pretty interesting, and is a good example of ideas like “When the student is ready, the teacher will come” or some other Master Po Zen Koan Wisdom, lol. Stuff which is often very true…


    • Your comment reminds me of what i’ve heard called “muscle memory”. Maybe it’s a little like that. Writing about it here makes me think i’ve gotten to the point where i’m on auto-pilot with my not drinking. This is a good ting. In the past i had to make a conscious effort not to drink, but now as it’s clear that’s not going to happen, i’m not on 24/7 watch. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not gliding and i’m not saying i may accidentally drink without knowing it, i’m just saying my vigilance has moved to another level.

      Thanks for making me think, and keep coming back,

      AL K Hall

      • Don’t get me wrong, i’m not gliding and i’m not saying i may accidentally drink without knowing it, i’m just saying my vigilance has moved to another level.

        Yeah, totally. I get that and it sounds like that is what has happened, and sounds like a lot of the mature people in recovery terms I’ve bumped into. And it is the kind of thing only time and work can develop.

        I’ve found almost exactly the same kind of thing with not eating gluten and dairy. I am vigilant, but my attention is not on it constantly nor is it my focus to think, “What am I going to eat for this meal?” The vigilance is different.

  4. Yeah, it’s weird how the old patterns can take over. Ever take up smoking after 10 years of abstinence? Everything comes back immediately, like you’ve never quit. I’m guessing it would be the same if I took a drink…

    I remember being at a liquor store to pick up some N/A beer. They were sold out. Then I spotted an old brand of beer that I was quite fond of and picked up a 6-pack of that, only to realize while waiting in line to pay for it that that type of beer was “off limits.” The clerks who know I only drink N/A beer laughed at me on the way out saying “that was close, wasn’t it?”

  5. It’s harder to slip into bulimia, BUT, sometimes the thought of having a binge jams between my ears. It’s usually a weird slap in the face that wakes me up. I sit and think about what i used to do; and i can’t be bothered. I cannot go through the torment of ANY of it.

    I think booze is very tricky. Food is too, but not for me (specifically) because of my “patterns”: My binges were “all in” or nothing.

    I can see how a slip could happen easily if people don’t know about your tea toddling, or are trying to be polite and pour you a cupper ;-).

    I know that you are probably in that place where you just CANNOT, CANNOT do that: Been there; Done that. And yet, our addictions will always “lay in wait”.

    Stay strong and sober my friend.

    • Hi Mel!

      Oh, i was definitely an all in binge drinker as well, but i think it’s like i told Celeste in another comment, my vigilance has shifted to another part of my brain. i’m more secure in my sobriety than i was before…gotten to a place where it’s a given and not a choice, so my brain didn’t stay my hand from pouring the drink, although it sure as hell kept me from taking it!

      Thanks for your thoughts, and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. If calories DID matter with booze. I know lots of folks who would rather drink their calories (re you pic) …

  7. Habits are strong… But you were stronger and that’s what you should always keep in mind 😉 Good luck!

please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: