Previously on Ceej: A Mental Breakdown.
Part XX: Experimental Treatments…
After that night, I finally admitted that I may be an alcoholic. I knew I had to do something. Damien’s suggestion was Alcoholic’s Anonymous. Mine was a little unorthodox. I didn’t like the idea that I had to admit I was powerless and would never be able to solve my own problems. I wanted to empower myself.
“First,” I told Damien, “I’m going to go to the liquor store and buy another bottle of rum.”
“I don’t like where this is going,” Damien expressed a sentiment that all my friends and family would reiterate when I told them of this idea.
“Hold on,” I told him, “There’s a good reason for that.”
“I sure hope so.”
“I’m going to stick this rum in the freezer,” I explained, “so it’s there if I want it. It’s within reach. But, I won’t crack the seal. I’m going to prove my power over it.”
Damien didn’t like the idea, nor did anyone else for that matter, but they knew they weren’t going to talk me out of it, so they let me do it. My brother was the one who told me I needed to put an arbitrary date on this so I couldn’t just say I was done whenever I wanted to drink. So, I picked a Friday three months in the future. That was the day we’d crack the bottle and celebrate that I was able to beat it. Everybody agreed to come to that party.
Well, it wasn’t easy. Far from it. There were some nights, especially toward the beginning, where I pulled the bottle out of the freezer and caught myself just before cracking the seal, slammed it back on the counter, and yelled at it. And, I mean brutally.
“YOU ALMOST HAD ME!” I screamed, “BUT YOU WON’T GET ME, YOU BASTARD! I WILL BEAT YOU!”
These arguments with an innocent bottle of liquor slowed down as time went on before they eventually stopped altogether. I was learning to deal with my problems without resorting to drinking. Eventually the day came, and I declared my victory, but nobody was able to come to the party.
“But I gave you three months advanced notice!” I insisted.
“I’m sorry, Ceej,” Damien said, “I didn’t believe you’d make it all the way.”
In order to accommodate schedules for the party’s new date, that bottle of rum stayed sealed for two more weeks. Hey, the party was supposed to start by cracking the seal on the bottle that taunted me. If I cracked it prior to the party, I’d suck fun from the party.
Alcoholics Anonymous would have made me admit I was powerless over my addiction. I’d have to have spent the rest of my life avoiding alcohol because one whiff of it would send me right back into addiction. Instead, I empowered myself. I gained power over my addiction. If you can’t be anywhere near alcohol lest you drink it, it’s still controlling you. A recovering alcoholic is still an alcoholic. I’m not still an alcoholic.
This really was the first meaningful victory in my mental issues. No hospitals, no rehab, no medications, no doctors, and no Mental Health Centre. I did this one in their absence. Maybe, just maybe, they weren’t the solution to my problems. Maybe they were the problem. Maybe I should also get off my medications…
…or maybe not. Maybe they’re right.