Clicks of Recognition

When I was in graduate school, pursuing my MA in literature and creative writing, I took a wonderful class that focused on Modernist female poets. Though I often felt ill-prepared for the round-table discussions we had about the various poems we read, I fell in love with poems and knew I was in the right place. When we got to Elizabeth Bishop, our teacher told us a little about her biography. “She was a closet alcoholic for most her life,” he said.elizabeth

I felt a click of recognition and a sinking feeling. That’s me, I thought, though I wasn’t drinking heavily at the time. I still hid how much I drank. I was around 24 when this happened, and I took that thought and locked it away, much like I suspect Ms. Bishop often did.

Another click of recognition came later when an older friend sang the praises of drinking (wine, in particular) but with this warning: “You’ve got the stop the moment you feel good,” he said. “If you drink beyond that point, things can get ugly.”

I can’t stop when I feel good, I said to myself. This time, I felt scared, but once again I locked the thought and feeling away. I’m sure I went home and drank that night, too.

All the signs of problem drinking were before me, but I refused to acknowledge them. I was an alcoholic from the first drink, but I thought I could handle it. Thank God I’m handling it now, and in the right way.


About Robert Crisp

Just a lad who likes to create.
This entry was posted in addiction, alcoholism, early sobriety, recovery, sober, sobriety, treatment, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Clicks of Recognition

  1. abbiegrrl says:

    Yes, thank God, indeed!
    Whenever I realized that I “felt good”, because I drank so quickly, it was already much too late for me to stop. It had 2 or 3 more drinks to go before I felt all that I’d already drunk. (I think you might understand) So…I think that drinking a glass of water in between drinks might have helped for a minute, but, you know, after I got buzzed I forgot WHY I was trying to go easy. smh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Crisp says:

      I’m reading Caroline Knapp’s Drinking and relating to so much of what she writes, just like your reply. As I’ve said several times today, the WordPress recovery community is wonderful and helps me every time I logon. Thanks for taking time to read my posts and respond. It means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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