I read an article by Russell Brand after the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. You might have seen it around… I found it here after reading it somewhere else first. There was a part of his article that got me thinking about how powerful addiction really is. I’m not sure if Russell Brand is an alcoholic, but he is a recovering drug addict and addiction is… addiction. There are similarities to be found regardless of the substance. Anyway, I have been thinking about his words ever since. The truth of them really struck me.
“Recently, for the purposes of a documentary on this subject, I reviewed some footage of myself smoking heroin. I sit wasted and slumped with an unacceptable haircut against a wall in another Hackney flat (Hackney is starting to seem like part of the problem), inhaling fizzy black snakes of smack off a scrap of crumpled foil. When I saw the tape a month or so ago, what was surprising was that my reaction was not one of gratitude for the positive changes I’ve experienced. Instead I felt envious of this earlier version of myself, unencumbered by the burden of abstinence. I sat in a suite at the Savoy hotel, in privilege, resenting the woeful ratbag I once was who, for all his problems, had drugs.” -Russell Brand
Shit. I get that. I have felt jealous of my old self, my drinking self, even though I am so much happier and better off now… simply because I could drink. I hadn’t yet drank the sober kool-aid and my alcoholism could go on with its walls of denial securely in place.
Whenever I have cravings for alcohol I now think of them as proof that I am an addict. Why? Because my life is better without it! Like… way better! Cravings for a substance that was hurting me and making my life shitty is not logical. Last night I actually thought about drinking again after my son goes to college… he is 15 months old. Is that logical? No. Is it comical? Maybe. Is it happening? Hell no. Why would I want to do that? I LIKE MY LIFE BETTER SOBER. Sorry to yell. It is just so true.
So now I look at my cravings as proof that I really am an addict. Thank you for letting me know, craving. I think I will pass. I will beat you because you do not hold power over me unless I give in to you. I will try to be grateful for you because you are teaching me about myself every time you show up.