Pickles and Cucumbers

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I’m reading ” Drinking -A love story” and some stuff really clicked today

I haven’t figured out how to copy and paste from my kindle app so I’m actually going to type this out because I think it’s really important…here goes

“…… Most alcoholics (not all) sooner or later have to grapple with the idea that they have a disease. Some people drink in wildly alcoholic the first time they ever taste the stuff….But those of us who’ve experienced more gradual and insidious descents into alcoholism have to turn the disease concept over and over in our minds, to learn over long periods of time to believe and accept it….until I got sober , alcoholism seemed more to me like a moral issue than a physical one. This is one of our culture’s most basic assumptions about the disease, and one of it’s most destructive: we figure that drinking too much is a sign of weakness and lack of self restraint; that it’s bad ; that it can be overcome by will…..

When I finally went to rehab, I was astonished to hear lectures about alcoholism that suggested my drinking really did have physiological roots. Your brain’s ability to manufacture the stuff you need to feel good is compromised when you drink a lot routinely. If you abstain, it’ll get it’s balance back….those neurological reward circuits have extremely long and powerful memories, and once the simple message-alcohol equals pleasure- gets imprinted into the drinker’s brain, it may stay there indefinitely, perhaps a lifetime

Environmental cues -the sight of a wine glass, the smell of gin, a walk past a favorite bar- can trigger a wish to drink in a heart beat.

Once you’ve crossed that line into alcoholism there appears to be no safe way to drink again, no way to return to normal, social, controlled drinking.

A lot of alcoholics use the cucumber to pickle analogy to describe that phenomenon: a true alcoholic is someone who’s turned from a cucumber to a pickle; you can try to stop a cucumber from turning into a picklce , but there’s no way you can turn a pickle back into a cucumber.”

So…now from me…..

Here’s the thing.

I know that I am a pickle. It did happen gradually over many years but when the blackouts started I knew it was time to stop.

If you asked anyone whether or not they should encourage an alcoholic to drink they would say “Of Course Not!” but I guarantee you that even though I know that I’m a pickle and friends have told me in the past that I should be careful not to become a pickle…those same friends will be very uncomfortable with me not drinking in the future because they just don’t get it.


But we get it


More Thoughts ….

Don’t Label Me Alcoholic Because I Choose Not to Drink

The “A” word