'Addiction' is one of those words -- like 'happiness', 'success'' and 'pornography''-- that is hard to define. that everyone thinks he has a handle on until he tries to explain it. One of the problems is Western (re. American) psychobabble, which causes such terms to end up meaning everything and therefore nothing. On the other hand, how about this? ''Alcoholism is the only disease that keeps telling you you haven't got it.." -- ? Now THAT I can work with.
In an earlier blog, I described myself as having been a shy, nervous teenager with a strong intellect but no social skills. I was more frightened of women than I would have been by a rattlesnake. Basically, though even then I was becoming a master of camouflage -- I was a Man from Mars. Very uncomfortable inside my own skin. But one night, some guys and I wound up with a bottle of vodka and I had my first taste. It was the magic elixir, and I knew it right away. I got drunk that first evening, and the next morning I experienced the first of a thousand hangovers. But the hangover went away and the desire for alcoholic liberation returned by sundown.
The famous story by Robert Louis Stevenson ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." is usually interpreted as a well-meaning but too-curious doctor who, by drinking a certain concoction that he himself has created, turns into a Hollywood monster like Frankenstein or Dracula. I have never seen it that way. For me, right from the beginning, alcohol not only made me confident in a fight, smooth on the dance floor, and, above all, extra potent in a lady's bedroom -- but it also liberated -- dare I say unleashed !? -- the tigers of wrath, the nightingales of soliloquy, and the dark angels of eroticism that formerly had been locked in the lonely closet of my imprisoned personality and psyche. My own personal My Hyde was an adventurer and seducer. I liked that person. I wanted to be that person.
And, you know, for a long time it worked. That's the problem: for a long time, it works. Or seems to. A typical example (so often I use sex as an example) is this: in my first few times with women, I was the Pre-ejaculation King. She'd be saying, "When do we start?' and I was already heading for the shower. Alcohol changed that. It numbed me enough to provide 'staying power', and youthful energy plus my own native lustful obsession with sex took care of the rest. I could work for hours, like an ox, like a pack-horse -- and the girls loved it. Well, I was, as they say, 'young, dumb, and full of cum'. And having a few drinks was just having fun. I was still the clever student with the bright future, right? What did a twenty or thirty lost weekends matter?
Except that over the years it began to matter. I started failing at things I had been groomed to succeed at. I was mailing in the results, doing it with mirrors. I sort of became a con man, a master manipulator. In short, a phony -- a poet wanna be who was always going to write the next great masterpiece..but never quite got around to doing it. Gradually I began the 'f*ck having a hangover' binges that is the fate, sooner or later, of every drunk, days on end. OK, I had a job teaching at the local community college -- by then Duke University and Harvard Business School didn't want me -- I always had a woman, and there was plenty of weed to smoke and booze to drink and lots of football on TV.
One morning I woke up in a haze to realize I had gone from being 20 years old to 40 in what seemed a single night. By then I had a couple DUI's (driving while intoxicated) and I had seen the inside of a jail cell. I said to myself, ""What the f*ack, man? You need to tighten up !.'' And with my by then total bravado I spent a few more years in denial, always planning on cleaning up my act the next day. Or the next. As always, I spent a lot of time in the fitness room, so I still looked good. But I was Mr. Hyde at heart, and no one else.
Before I continue with my story (next time), please allow me to offer a few general observations based on personal calamity. First, ''addiction' can be defined as follows: Do YOU control the impulse or does the IMPULSE control YOU? This pertains to the good, bad, and neutral obsessions: not just drugs and booze, but also video games, diets (ladies, are you already so malnourished that you couldn't get pregnant if you wanted to but still think that you are fat and need to lose more weight??), credit cards, gambling, work, and even fitness itself (if you are using steroids to build your body, you have an addict's personality.). Second, alcoholism has nothing to do with morality. As I heard said at an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting long ago "An alcoholic is not a bad person who needs to get 'good'; he is a sick person who needs to get well." Third, alcoholics are genetically predisposed to become such, which does NOT mean that all such people become active alcoholics; Fourth (and Foremost) ALL alcoholics are driven by a deep and agonizing sense of PERSONAL INADEQUACY. Alcoholics sincerely believe that drinking gives them an extra edge.
And, moreover, in the so-called early stages, they think that other people don't notice. It is sort of like a compulsion to cheat at cards. If you thought you could win fairly, you probably wouldn't cheat. But deep-down you think you can't win, because you are convinced -- and your life experiences have reinforced this conclusion --, that you are a LOSER. Believe it or not, this includes many, many so-called successful people, people who HAVE won !! Maybe some of you remember my story about Tanya the Dominatrix? Quoth Tanya: ""All of my (male) clients, including the rich men I see, are INADEQUATE people."
Back in the days when I was a callow boy struggling for acceptance and feeling rejected, the seeds were being sown. I was a drunk even then, simply one who hadn't yet taken his first drink. A vampire who hadn't yet figured out where the blood was. But I found out. My Hyde was a clever guy in ways the academic professors knew nothing about, hahaha..
===Eric Richard Le Roy===
Внимание!!! Злоупотребление алкоголем вредит Вашему здоровью! Автор выступает за здоровый образ жизни и рекомендует алкоголь исключительно в умеренных количествах по согласованию с лечащим врачом.