I could say “there are no manuals for this” but that isn’t entirely true. There are loads of self-help books that address various aspects of my recovery work (I’ll be reading as many as I can), but there’s no manual that lays out a road to recovery specific to me and my situation.
We can personalise a lot of things, but this ain’t one! Not yet, anyway. Technology is a wondrous and frightening thing and maybe one day this will be possible. For now, I’m making it up as I go along.
I am tackling the big scary idea of making music as part of a daily routine and I am quite proud for not having died of a heart attack yet.
Today I thought I’d have a listen to my collection of microcassettes (remember those?! If not, I envy your youth) to see if any of them contained some fun/usable sounds. One in particular stood out. I had labelled it “Reason to stop”.
I have no memory of making this recording.
I have a penchant for covertly recording conversations I have with people. Mostly fuelled by my obsession with audio, but also because I think it’s fun.
This cassette captured a conversation – well, argument, really – between myself and Mrs. M which took place roughly six years ago. I know this because she refers to me as her “girlfriend”, but also because I have a vague recollection of it happening.
Even then, she was giving me shit for drinking.
The context was entirely different back then; I wasn’t constantly getting pissed but I had found out my blood sugar was high (it has always been high) and from what I gather I had had a few drinks that night and so she was upste because of course wine and high blood sugar don’t go hand in hand.
Despite being upset by my high blood sugar, I wasn’t upset enough to do something about it. And that upset Mrs. M.
My favourite quote from the entire conversation came from my mouth:
“It is unreasonable to expect me to never drink again.”
I also played the victim just like my mother does and told Mrs. M how she made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, that I was worthless.
Mrs. M didn’t do that; I’ve always felt that way. It’s easy to take it out on someone else, and maybe there were some harsh words shared before I hit record…I’ll never know. But hearing me switch into victim mode was, well, disgusting.
I am disgusted with myself.
I’m also only slightly amused (but mostly frustrated) that even six years ago I felt like I had a very valid reason to stop drinking…but I didn’t.
Why am I such an idiot?!
I labelled the tape “reason to stop”…presumably for a reason.
What more did I need?!
If I could understand and/or explain the mental blocks that prevented me from doing the right thing then and there, I would. I just can’t.
Obviously I knew I should stop drinking.
I just didn’t.
And it would be easy to say “I wish I had” but then maybe I wouldn’t have learned a lot of the harsh lessons that have led me to the place where I am now – which is convinced I can’t ever drink again. Who knows what the consequences of going down that road would’ve been?
Despite nothing particularly musical coming from this morning’s microcassette session, I hope hearing myself and Mrs. M hash it out helps me in another way. I imagine it will though I’m at a loss to explain how, other than perhaps just reinforcing that me and alcohol cause nothing but problems.
It’s always useful to be reminded of that, even if those reminders hurt like hell.