Gut Rumbles

April 02, 2006

kinda frightening

After I finished with my garden, I took a shower and headed off to the grocery store. I plan on having a big, gluttonous supper tonight (filet mignon, snow crab legs and shrimp), and I figured that a crisp spinach salad and a baked potato would go nicely with the meal. I needed spinach and croutons to make everything happen, so I went to get some.

I decided to purchase some REAL butter for the snow crab legs while I was at it, so I wheeled my buggy over to the dairy products aisle, which also happens to be the beer and wine aisle at my Kroger store. Bejus! That was a mistake.

I saw all that cold beer stacked in the coolers and suddenly the urge hit me. I've never wanted a cold beer so badly in my LIFE as I did right then and there in the store. I could TASTE IT in my mind. I could FEEL IT bubbling on my tongue and sliding down my throat. I WANTED that taste and that feeling. Oh, it would be so GOOOOOD!!!

And right there next to the beer was WINE! Man! A bottle of white zin sure would be a nice touch with the steak and seafood, just to... y'know... prime the pallete and all. Besides, I ought to keep some beer and wine around the house for when thirsty friends drop by to visit. That's just being a good host...

Hell, I thought of a HUNDRED good reasons to buy some beer and wine.

Fortunately for me, Georgia still has its Blue Laws that forbid the sale of beer and wine on Sundays, except for in restaurants. Kroger's ain't a restaurant, so I couldn't consummate the trade there. Instead, I purchased what I came for and drove back home.

The weird thing is that I wasn't even THINKING about having a drink when I walked into the store. But when I saw the beer cooler, I started salivating like Pavlov's got-dam dog. The alcoholic justification mechanism kicked into gear and I damn near had MYSELF convinced that buying a six pack was a good idea. After all--- I HAD done some pretty hot work in my garden. I DESERVED a cold beer.

Bullshit. That AIN'T a good idea and it won't EVER be, and especially not TODAY. Not NOW. Still, I thought about a cold beer all the way home. Hell--- I'm still thinking about one.

I want to believe that I wouldn't have bought the beer even if today weren't Sunday. I've been sorely tempted before and I didn't do it when I could have. But it was kinda different today. Stronger. Kinda cunning, baffling and powerful. Kinda really difficult to resist.

The truth is... it kinda shook me up.


Just wonderin, would a non-alcoholic beer or wine fuck you over? I've tasted some pretty good ones.

BTW, when I get the urge to drink, and I don't want to, I drink a glass or two of bottled water. Helps.

Posted by: Bane on April 2, 2006 06:24 PM

Ah, you've stared into the void, the void stared back, and even though it was hard, you gave it the finger. Good job!

Posted by: Cythen on April 2, 2006 06:25 PM

Mmmmmmmm Beer.

Posted by: rightisright on April 2, 2006 06:37 PM

Dinner sounds divine!
Congrats on resisting a mighty big temptaion!

Posted by: Maeve on April 2, 2006 06:39 PM

The "non-alcohol" beers and wines actually do have alcohol in them -- just not as much. I'd stay away from them.

For what it's worth, I think you would have walked out of the store with no beer and no wine -- shaken, but still intent on being sober. Temptation is NOT indulgence. It's not whether or not you're tempted -- it's what you choose to do about it.

I believe in you. Now just keep on believing in yourself.

Posted by: Omnibus Driver on April 2, 2006 06:40 PM

Hang tough, old man! Ya gotta believe...I do.

Posted by: Maggie on April 2, 2006 07:10 PM

Hot work and cold beer were made for each other. It's likely to be a tough summer for you, especially with the garden. But hey, you passed the test, so what if it was an easy one. I think you would have passed it on a Saturday as well, but it would have been harder.

You're still rebuilding your habits. You can do it and you will. Get yourself some sparkle water. It has the same effervesance without the buzz.

Posted by: Libby on April 2, 2006 07:31 PM

Forget about beer and wine. Are you weak?

You have already drunk your share.

Posted by: TomCat on April 2, 2006 07:33 PM

Shopping on Sunday sounds like a good idea for you. I go through similar things with junk food, and I know it's not the same, but a bad junk food habit can fuck up the heart, arteries, BMI, and physique about as good as any other addiction I think. Just shop on Sundays. I shop with my 157 pound food policeman. He is Sunday for me all days of the week.

Posted by: Renee on April 2, 2006 07:49 PM

You go dude! Sometimes it's not just one day at a time, it's one minute at a time. Keep it up, I know you can. You're one strong willed son-of-a-gun! Hang in there!

Posted by: DogsDontPurr on April 2, 2006 07:52 PM

You did well.

This shit will bite you in the ass when you least expect it. Daily, weekly or even twice a year -- it's always scary and it will always be there.

The thing is, it makes no difference. It's just another day and your sober. The "one day at a time" thing is a little more than a cliche and you managed another one.

Now do the same thing tomorrow.

BTW, nice try on the ban, Sam. Now Google "proxy".

Posted by: Some drunk on April 2, 2006 07:55 PM

You're only human; old habits die hard. I'm glad you were able to resist.

Posted by: Lisa on April 2, 2006 08:28 PM

I'll bet that's why they invented "AA" and "meetings" and "sponsors". And quarters to drop in the coin slot.

Posted by: Ol' Lurker on April 2, 2006 09:07 PM

So, do your shopping on Sunday for a while. Those urges will strike, I get them and it's been over twenty years since I had a drink. They don't last as long these days.
It helps to finish the thought. Don't just think about that drink but the next one. And the one after that, and the downward spiral. Think it through, how some of us that are pulling for you will give up, how going through rehab as a repeat customer would feel.
It's okay to think about drinking, just finish the thought.
I'm probably not the first feller to say this but drop me a line if you get one of those urges. I spend a lot of time online due to some health problems and there is a pretty good chance I'd be back to you within an hour.
If I can stay sober, anyone can.

Posted by: Peter on April 2, 2006 09:51 PM

Nothing but that reptilian lower brain tryin' to drag you down. It will ALWAYS be there. Use what you learned at Willingway, then go to the fuckin "Pig" for your "rations". They don't sell alcohol of ANY kind.
How was dinna? Sounded devine....meal fit for a "diggin-in-tha-dirt-Jawja Cracker".

Posted by: LilToni on April 2, 2006 09:59 PM

I quit in 1975. While dining with friends in Nashville in 1991, I asked if I could sniff her Grand Mariner. The urge came back stronger than anything I'd ever experienced. I won again, but it was an awesome temptation.

Posted by: K. D. Zu on April 2, 2006 10:02 PM

Peter has a great idea. God bless blue laws.

Posted by: Bane on April 2, 2006 11:18 PM

I too have been sober for about 3 years, and I do all of my shopping on Sunday, for the same reason. (BTW I am surprised that mayor over religious jack ass manager at that store even LET them put alcohol in there...) But I still get urges and I get tempted. But you just gotta hang in there. I don't know if ithe cravings ever gets better, but I know being sober gets better every day.

Posted by: Steph on April 3, 2006 12:20 AM

Peter is right Rob. Always accentuate the negatives about drinking...never the positives....cause Rob...there aren't any positives about it for you. I'm glad you layed that out...and congratulations for passing it by. Fandango!

Posted by: No Mo on April 3, 2006 12:24 AM

Maybe in a few years you will be able to have a few beers without going gonzo.

Of course that thought is against the credo of the omniscient AA (all bow to Bill W.). But I know more than a few ex-raging drunks that can now sit down and have 2 or 3 beers with friends and then go home and go to sleep.

Then again, I know more than a few ex-raging drunks that still CAN'T stop at 2 or 3, so they abstain.

All comes down to how much self-control you can master. Some can do it and some can't. Whatever works for YOU and makes you happy is the best route for YOU.

Posted by: rightisright on April 3, 2006 12:28 AM

I'm proud of you. Hang tough. We all know you can.

Posted by: Harold Foster on April 3, 2006 12:32 AM

Rob, I'm don't even have an alcohol problem and that shook ME up.

Good for you for hanging in there and not succumbing.

Posted by: A Different Kim on April 3, 2006 04:31 AM

good man,it came back and you kicked its ass

Posted by: j on April 3, 2006 06:14 AM

.. stay away from that aisle...

Posted by: Eric on April 3, 2006 10:10 AM

White Zin?

If that shit ever knocks you off the wagon, you will need to be dragged off and shot. Hang tough, son.

Posted by: Elisson on April 3, 2006 10:25 AM

I have the utmost empathy for anyone dealing with any addiction. This life is indeed a struggle, yet it's difficult for some of us to have hope that there is a better next life in another dimension somewhere. But, I think it's even more difficult to accept that there is nothing later. I think it's the same with the choice to drink or not. If a person gives up and lets despair take over, the defeat only ends up being a much greater struggle than the struggle that provoked it.

Posted by: Tessa on April 3, 2006 11:28 AM

Rob, that was a training moment. From a position of perfect safety, you got shown what they were telling you about back at Drunkbusters -- and now you know it's real.

You'll be better prepared if it hits you again -- which may not be a Sunday.

I've always thought Blue Laws were silly, but today I'm grateful for them.

Posted by: McGehee on April 3, 2006 12:17 PM

Rob: Good decisions are frequently the hardest kind to make. You've gotta know that your bleeding ulcer was due to your boozing past -- based on the pain you've been thru in the last few weeks, would you really sign up for another tour of horsepistol duty again so soon?
Do yourself a favor and block out any of the comments about "someday" being able to drink again, or even going the O'Doul's route. Those of us who can't drink, can't drink. Period, end-o-discussion. I know whereof I speak.
Keeping you in my thoughts - marti

Posted by: marti on April 3, 2006 01:32 PM

Vice and temptation - I remember when I quit Smokin - Six months later the Color RED would get me - That's the color of a Winston pack - It finally diminished...

Posted by: Mark -- on April 5, 2006 11:23 AM
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