Thursday, October 1, 2009

I think that you know me

You know who I am. You're just pretending that I don't exist. I've been around you for all of your life.

I watched you cry when you were young. I saw the discomfort on your face. I once beat you for waking me up from a nap. I criticized you. I saw how you slipped away to a quiet spot, any place away from me.

I remember that you used to laugh and want to be around me. Then as awareness took hold, you became wary of me. You knew but were too young to fully understand what was happening and what I was doing.

As you grew up, moved away and began a life of your own, you saw the effects of my cunning in lots of situations. You saw people vomit, you watched them stumble, you heard them try to talk, to make sense when they were senseless. Yet, you held true to yourself. You didn't let me in fully or embrace me.

Then, you made a decision one day to live your life with one of my disciples. At first, you were in love, living a fantasy. Then the ugly truth took hold but still you didn't believe in my power. You simply thought that your own power was greater than mine.

I knew that I would beat you down. But it took a lot of years. You were strong and willful. You still believed that love would make a difference. What you didn't realize was that love isn't important to me. I'm too wrapped up in myself, I'm too angry, too filled with anxiety, too messed up to appreciate your love.

I liked to make promises to you because you so easily believed them. I made you sick at heart, sick in your soul. It took me years to do it but I succeeded in beating you down. I saw that I had claimed another victim.

And just when I thought that I had you totally in my clutches, you cried out that you needed help. You walked away from me and did what you could to fill your heart and soul with joy, gratitude, hope, and faith.

I still try to get to you. At times I succeed but now you have developed defenses against me. You have found a Power that is greater than you and than me. But just remember--I am waiting for you. I am still around. I look for a chink in your armor, a weakness in your soul. And I will claim you again if you aren't vigilant.

I think that you know me. My name is alcoholism.


  1. wow!! what powerfull writing Syd,I who do not have a problem with alcohol understand better how it can take control. I watched this woman on DR. Phil yesterday who had 4 DUI's and was still giving excuses for her drinking. She was making us the viewers feel as if it was our fault, that we left her down, she said this is a disease, why should we alcoholics not have ribbons to wear like, Aids, Cancer, war, etc, she said no one cares about our disease. I felt like jumping into the TV and saying, it is a disease, a disease of choice, YOURS..

    She should come and visit your blog. Ty for sharing. HUGS

  2. OMG, Syd. This is AMAZING. Seriously. I cannot even tell you how much this touched me today. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this and for helping me to realize I'm not alone.

  3. I wish that your piece could be posted outside of every bar, liquor store, and frat house in America (just to name a few.)

    The disease kills. Period.

    Thank you for this.

  4. my old buddy, who finally turned against me

  5. Addiction is the big lie. jeNN

  6. " made a decision one day to live your life with one of my disciples." Tequila was its name.

  7. You are on form Syd. Very poignant post.

  8. Syd,
    Your posts are always "spot on" and always speak straight to my gut, but this one is beyond powerful.

    You were "inspired" when you blogged this. I have been where you write both as an alcoholic myself, but just as importantly as a sister, wife, and mother of alcoholics.

    God help me!!!

  9. AWESOME writing Syd! Please submit this to AA for publication!! You are such a gift to the recovery community! Blessings to you and the Mrs! Love, Lisa

  10. Syd. Powefully amazing writing here...

  11. really well done, for me i changed the last line from alcohol to addiction

  12. Syd, AlAnon is looking for submissions to the Forum. I'm certain this would make it in, and that is would be powerful reading for many.

  13. Cunning, baffling, powerful! - - - So says the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Yes, I had to study that book, in addition to begin to acquire a complete library of Al-Anon literature, all to help me understand the disease of alcoholism. I was stubborn at first, because I did not grow up in alcoholism, albeit my family was quite dysfunctional.

    So, what was it that attracted me to an alcoholic as a spouse! Aha - - - my therapist replied - - - seems that I had this powerful NEED to be NEEDED - and my hubby NEEDED me!

    Syd, your graphic description of the insidiousness of this disease manifested itself after less than two weeks of marriage. I found myself foundering like a ship on the shoals gradually over the years until I was drained of my spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual self.

    But, I have come to accept that this was necessary, due to my stubborness, and refusal to accept a Higher Power back into my life. (After all, where was He when I needed Him to show me what was wrong?)

    After much time in family therapy, my therapist suggested I try Al-Anon. I did. I stayed. I'm grateful. I can now understand that an alcoholic is a wonderful person with a miserable disease, and be compassionate.

    Anonymous #1

  14. Very meaningful... and at the end, I found it so powerful, in that the Enemy realizes "You have found a power that is greater than you and me".

    Thank you.

  15. wow heavy. I have been following this blog since I started going to al-anon 3 or so months ago. Makes me happy that God is out there. thank you

  16. wow....
    (have you ever had this many "wows" before?)

  17. Wow, that paints a vivid and all too real portrait of alcoholism as I've known it. Great post! I agree with Lou about sharing this piece in the Forum.


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