So I walked into my local Big Y grocery store, recently and was confronted with the new addition of alcohol to the store. Much to my chagrin, the alcohol was not just in one place, but was literally scattered, in stealth, and not so stealth displays ALL OVER THE STORE!! What’s an alcoholic in recovery to do? My immediate reaction was to want to drop kick a 30 pack of Bud across the store and run screaming into the parking lot to the safety of my car. From there, I planned to stay hunkered down, writing an anonymous letter to the editor of The Landmark about the state of affairs at the Big y and how this was messin’ with all of us ex alkies. I did not do this. What I did do, was talk to my other friends on similar paths of recovery and make jokes about it. I posted on facebook and ranted. Mostly, I thought about it and why it still bothers me to some degree and what it represents and I wrote this blog.
For those of you that don’t have addiction issues with substances, stop reading this and get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars or whomever you thank out there for this sort of nature/nurture scenario that did not set you on the fast train to hell that can be that which is the life of an alcoholic bottoming out. After doing this, stand up and keep reading.
Booze in Big Y bothers me personally because it still triggers these “FUN” receptors in my head, that will probably always be there, and I’ve had to seek different, more reasonable ways to satisfy them as I am not willing at this time, a day at a time, to take the risk that the call of booze represents to me. Thing is, I kind of have to honor and thank alcohol for all the fun because there was a lots of it. Oh hell yes! It kept me numb during a period of my life when I probably wouldn’t have made it otherwise. But, it also did other things which I’ve discussed ad nauseum in other blogs so you can reference those if you don’t know what happened to me at my own hand and how I’m one of those touched by grace, that found my way back.
So I say to myself, “I see you alcohol and thank you for soothing me and holding my hand when I needed you but unfortunately for you and fortunately for me, I do not need to hold your hand any longer. The feelings and emotions you were masking have been revealed and they are not so scary anymore now that I know from whence they came. Now I am movin’ on and despite the boozy Big y, I am not listening to your call”….
Addiction to substances, is such a hot button issue right now, and the awareness of the importance of dealing with these issues in society has been raised so much so that we probably all know someone who struggles. Those of us claiming that we are in recovery from addiction to substances are merely the ones willing to put our hands up in the air and say, “alcoholic”, much along the lines of saying “human being”. Addiction is just amplified attachment to something, and it comes in all forms. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that most in our society are probably addicted to something, someone or some ideal to which we are a slave in serving….the slave in our head that tells us unless we get a “hit” of whatever it is we think we need, we are not enough.
Those who struggle with the idea that addiction to substances is purely a weakness, humor me, if you will. We human beings are all in.recovery from the game of life. Recovery from the life that we think we are supposed to have, the one that we see on TV, in movies, media in general. We are bombarded constantly with messages of a life of physical and emotional perfection that in reality doesn’t’ exist, so we are constantly in a state of thinking we’re” less than” in some ways…it’s almost impossible in this day and age to tune all of this out and there is some really great stuff that goes with the new age of media too, so there’s that on top of everything else.
Alas, the solution for me isn’t avoiding Big Y, because that would be foolish. I like Big Y for lots of reasons and I don’t have the time or energy, both valuable resources, to shlep to another grocery store all the time. Plus, eventually, they’ll probably all have booze anyway. It’s just an adjustment period right now, as I come to accept this new lesson in the classroom of life, and walk through the store, past all the new sorts of shiny bottles and packaging that are fascinating and present the query in my head of, “I wonder what that tastes like? …that wasn’t’ around when I was drinking”….that takes some negotiating to mute.
I also don’t want to go the other route and cling too much to a sense of self righteousness as a recovering alcoholic because I overcame this addiction, I am somehow better than the average Joe who never has had to overcome anything. That is just arrogant and ridiculous as every single one of us has a story and every single one of us has some internal battle on some level to which we can say, “I can relate….yo!…. you who…..human being, remember?”.
Mostly, I’ll just grin a bit as I remember who I thought I had to be when I was drinking and cruise on down the aisle of Big Y and of life, with a sly smile, and the knowledge that it’s just life after all and I’m just damn glad I’m still here to be a part of it.