Still here. Still sober. Still appalled at the politics going on here in the U S of A. My intent is not to go on a political rant. However, I find myself in an almost perpetual state of agitation, anxiety and anger-and of course all fear based. Which comes from things not being the same as I’ve experienced them for the majority of my life. Many of the the so-called norms rapidly changing. Seeing injustices done and seeing that so many don’t see them as injustices. On and on and on..
I did watch the testimony of Dr. Ford-felt that I had to as a form of supporting her as well as the realization that many of us have or could be in her situation. After watching her, I stayed tuned and watched Kavanaugh’s testimony. Without going into all of my thoughts and emotions about that-one of my first oberservations-within about 5 minutes of him beginning, was, “that man has an alcohol problem.” To be honest, I hate to think that I have or had anything remotely in common with him. But, he was doing something that I know I’d done many many times while I was drinking. Trying to normalize it all. Trying to find a common ground with people through connection to alcohol. He did it repeatadly. I used to to do that.
It’s funny, that slippery slope of having a drinking problem. On the one hand, we try to hide it-not admitting how much we’ve had to drink. Denying any kind of black out. Saying the words “went to sleep” instead of “passed out”. Expending a ton of energy to deny it to the world that surrounds us. Jumping through all kinds of hoops to hide it. Sneaking. Lying. And yet, at the same time, trying to make it all sound so normal. For instance, I’ve got a friend that’s been sober for like 35 years. We drank like fish through high school and college-but she eventually stopped. Got in to AA-and is still very active in it. I would find myself, in conversations with her, bringing up alcohol in some way. I would be conscious of it. Almost as if to say, “see, I’m still drinking, but it’s just normal drinking. I don’t have a problem.” I will say, that she never once said anything negative to me about my drinking-or tried to step in.. But somehow, for some reason, I would bring it up-The thing is though, while I was talking about drinking as if it is oh so normal, the voice in my head was telling me that I was full of shit. That I know that I drank way too much..I mean I don’t normally talk about how much water I drink in a day-or coffee.
What I saw Brett Kavanaugh doing-and what I was trying to do-was validating it. Normalizing it. He was trying to get Senators to say what they drank-how much-whatever..
So we go on and on and on. Trying to normalize it. Looking for validation. Always on the lookout for someone “who really has a drinking problem!” Always comparing – so that we can feel better about ourselves. And even when we’re doing that, there’s that internal struggle-that voice that knows the truth. The voice that’s constantly pulling at us and driving us crazy until we can medicate it away again for a few hours. That voice is always there. Does Brett Kavanaugh have that voice? Who knows. Denial works until it doesn’t. What was interesting was seeing and identifying that behavior on the stage it was on.
I do know is that with almost 3 alcohol free years, I never talk about alcohol. Rarely think about it. There’s a behavioral aspect that just changes when we stop and have some sober time under our belts. We’re not always thinking about it. We’re not looking for normalization or validation of our drinking. I get a picture in my mind of someone in a situation that’s unfamiliar to them. They go overboard in several directions because they don’t know how to act. That’s how a drinking is when they’re trying to act like they don’t have a problem. It gets to the point that it becomes such a huge, ingrained part of our lives that it seeps out into every aspect of it. It’s a noose around our neck and our psyche. It’s unbelievably freeing to be rid of it. And oh so easy to recognize when we see it. Like I did the other day. One of the things that alcohol does is unite people who have absolutely nothing in common. It can make us complicit with people and situations that would otherwise be abhorrent to us. It’s a total mind fuck!