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The Anonymous contributor represents a group of people who wish to withhold their full identity. Their work will be identified at the end of their articles using first name and an initial.

Drinking – A Love Story – It’s a Hunger!

Chapter 4 of Caroline Knapp’s book is entitled “Hunger.”  In this chapter she talks about the development of her hunger for alcohol, from its earliest drizzles to its raging torrents.  She describes her obsession over getting her fair share of whatever alcohol was offered, how the whole idea of turning down a drink was preposterous and how she tied early behaviors to the need to satisfy that hunger. Where did my hunger originate — my need to be in control — my need to fill that hole in my soul?  I remember first hearing about people having an “oral fixation” and secretly laughing at my perception of the sexual connotations to that phrase.  Having spent some time recently studying some of the more famous psychiatrists, I seem to see a connection between a fixation of some kind and the need for the drink.  As a young child, I was very… Continue reading

“Drinking – A Love Story” – Looking at Similarities Not Differences

I almost didn’t have a story to write this week.  I was reading Caroline’s book and finished Chapter 3.  The majority of the second half of the chapter was about her family and their relationships.  They were upper-middle class.  Both parents were highly educated and came from wealthy families.  Her father was a functional alcoholic. He was a well-respected member of the university and health care communities.  They had cocktails before dinner in a very proper New England home.  Dinner was subdued and there was very little emotion of any kind — positive or negative. Periodically, her father would ask how she was doing, with the piercing look of a psychiatrist, as if she were one of his patients. But never any long, heart-to-heart deep conversations over a bowl of popcorn while watching a movie on TV.  Her father was married previously and there was drama associated with that part… Continue reading

“Drinking – A Love Story” – I’m Not That Bad!

Finishing Chapter Two and starting Chapter Three, this week’s reading focused on two parts of alcoholism with which I could readily relate. First, that no one ever saw my real drinking and second that denial allowed me to stay out there as long as I did. The author spoke at length about how she drank when she was with others and when she was alone. She would go out for drinks with her colleagues after work to the bar across the street. After one or two drinks, she would “have to run” and no one knew that those first two drinks were only the start of her night. I can recall going to the bar/restaurant on the mezzanine floor of our office building. There was always a core group of colleagues, along with others who would join once in a while. Made up mostly of bankers, the group also included… Continue reading

“Drinking – A Love Story” – The Functional Alcoholic

By Jackie S. The next installment of Caroline Knapp’s story digs deeper into the life of the functional alcoholic.  She talks about the difference between perception and reality.  How it looks to the world like she is holding it all together, but inside she is falling apart.  Like the Smokey Robinson tune, she used humor to hide her tears. By deflecting her depression and sadness through humor, she was able to hide her depression from everyone – even from herself. I was a young lawyer working for a large financial institution and a woman married to a very controlling perfectionist.  Therefore, I lived in two completely different worlds.  The only place I would refuse to drink was on the job, but I had to do that part of my life perfectly.  I appeared for all intents and purposes to be a workaholic ( c’mon – do alcoholics do ANYTHING part… Continue reading

Drinking – A Love Story – The Story Continues

Our reading this week took us to the end of Chapter One and the beginning of Chapter Two.  The joy of reading together like this, is the ability to share our stories and to look at the similarities we have with the author. I highly recommend this form of study to others as a wonderful supplement to the recovery process. One of the topics Ms. Knapp discussed was the situation of being in a dry location, and carting her own alcohol in her overnight bag to be sure she’d have enough to get her through the time she would be spending there.  She also talked about making a 90 minute round trip visit to the nearest county that sold alcohol and crafting what she perceived to be logical reasons for the need. I have memories of visiting my parents’ vacation cabin.  Nothing exciting – a little one bedroom wood frame… Continue reading