It’s fair to say that being an alcoholic makes most things more difficult.
Work, relationships, climbing short flights of stairs… all these things become meaningful harder when you’re either paralytically drunk or so vomit-sweatingly hungover your heart feels like its about to give up beating.
Still, during the decade or so I spent as an alcoholic, there was one thing that being a drunk actually made easier: Knowing who the asshole was in any given situation.
In any given situation, the asshole was me.
Every obliterated relationship: My fault.
Every firing, or breached contract, or missed deadline: Also my fault.
Every vicious argument, every betrayal of trust: 100% me.
Every time I woke up in a police cell, or in a stranger’s bathtub: Nobody to blame but myself.
For over a decade I’d internalized this simple worldview: I’m entirely bad, therefore everyone else around me is entirely good*. Ergo, if I were to ever stop drinking, my world would be free of conflict, free of negativity, free of drama. Kumbaya.
So you can imagine how I felt, back in 2009, when I finally got sober and realized the hideous truth: I wasn’t the only asshole in the world.
Not ever sober person is nice, or kind or honest.…