the perfect drug
The last thing that you need is to touch a drop of alcohol. Ever since this change in your life has happened, you’ve stopped. It’s been almost a month now and you want so badly to drink a whole bottle of wine or chug a bottle of tequila. It’s all you can really think about and it hurts you that you’re thinking this one.

One side of you is pulling you toward the bottle; the other is too but it’s cautiously tentative. You know that you’re better than this and you can do better and yet there you are. The constant tug of war in your head is killing you and you just want so desperately to give in. It would be so easy to give in; you’re constantly around alcohol at both of your jobs. It has been so hard to not down a shot right before meeting up with a client. It’s been so hard to not drink a mixed drink when you’ve been doing karaoke on Wednesdays. Everything has been a constant struggle since you started living this sort of double life that you’re still getting used to and making sense of. It’s not easy but you’re trying.

And now you’re really failing because you’re staring at a bottle of vodka you’ve picked up and you’re home. It sits on the floor with you, crossed legged and guitar at your side. If you were smart, you’d hide it away in the closest and just play your guitar and try to forget it’s even there. You can’t seem to do it, though, because it’s staring you in the face and you are looking at it with a look of longing on your face. It has been so long and the struggle is incredibly real. One sip couldn’t hurt you. One sip would get you through.

Your hands are sweaty and shaking when you reach out to pick up the bottle. It’s a miracle it doesn’t slip through your hands when you finally pick it up, setting to between your legs on the floor. When you go to twist off the cap you have a moment where you wonder why you’re putting yourself through this. It’s almost been a long and surely you can make it longer than this. Every day might be a struggle but it’s a struggle that’s worth fighting through. Nothing good can really come from this, and you know that, but maybe you’d feel better, at least for a little while.

Once the cap is off and it’s only a matter of seconds before you lift the bottle up to your mouth, you decide to just go for it. You’ve been so good for so long and you know that you want it. Both of you want it, deep down, and it’s only a matter of time. It’s so much better to do it in a controlled environment anyway, where you can control what is going in your body and no one else is around. No one else will have to deal with you like this. It’s just you, the bottle and the guitar, just like it’s always been.

Slowly, you push the bottle against your lips, pulling back to allow the liquid to burn down your throat. It feels like fire as it works its way down and that’s the feeling you’ve been craving. That burn is like a high that you couldn’t even imagine and you don’t even know why you like it. You just do. The burn travels all the way down to the pit of your stomach and the adrenaline mixed with the alcohol makes your head slightly dizzy and you want more. You’re craving more because you can’t just have one sip. You tell yourself you can but you can’t. It was wishful thinking on your part.

You go to take another long drink, allowing that burn to happen again, and when it settles into your stomach you feel something new. You feel guilt and shame. You can’t believe that you allowed yourself to do something like this. It had almost been a month and now it was back to square one. It wasn’t fair that you were so selfish that you put yourself in this situation. There would never be just one drink because that one drink would always leave you wanting more, craving it. It was bad enough that you are living this crazy life and sorting out the entire mess but now you’re addiction onto the whole thing. It wasn’t fair and you have to keep telling yourself that.

You set the bottle down in front of you, looking at it in shame. Your eyes shift over to your guitar and you know why you did it. There are only two things you can count on in this crazy world: your guitar and alcohol. You can’t just give one up. You need it to survive.