No, not the TV show. 🙂 This is the voice we all hear inside our own heads. It’s us. It’s our thinking.
So last night, I didn’t drink any alcohol at all. It was fine. Drinking would have required going to the liquor store, and I didn’t feel like doing that, so I didn’t drink. A rare occurrence, yes, but not a very big deal. Except being sober past 6 o’clock seemed to turn on this voice, this series of negative thoughts about sobriety. Thoughts like – you know you can’t do this. It will never work. You’re crazy to consider it. Life without wine will be a flat, boring, misery with nothing to look forward to. Ever. Wow.
This voice was so clever. It didn’t say you need to drink right now. No, that would have been too obvious. Instead it focused on the imaginary future. The imaginary boredom and misery.
Now something else occurs to me. This is the same voice that two or three glasses into the bottle says – you know you’re going to keep going. And then I do.
Maybe this voice isn’t really me. Maybe it’s the addicted part of my brain talking to me, coercing me. It’s clever because who knows us better than our own brain?
Is it possible with enough time sober to dry this pickled section of the brain out, to get it to shut up? To stop trying? How long does it take? I’m afraid my last attempt wasn’t long enough. My clever brain tricked me by saying- look, three drinks in a sitting sounds like a lot now. It doesn’t sound appealing. That means if you’re careful, you can control it. You don’t have to be that girl – the one who doesn’t drink. You can have it all – the perfect life.
Or maybe the truth is – it never really completely dries up and goes away. It gets quieter, for sure. But maybe it’s always hanging around, looking for an opportunity to get back to the old ways of thinking. Is this why people talk about protecting their sobriety? Maybe the truth is – any voice (at least in my head) that says there is a good reason to drink alcohol is this voice. And maybe it’s just the addiction talking. Maybe it’s not really me.