As I’ve mentioned, I love listening to, and reading about, other women on their recovery journey. Naturally, it helps me to feel less alone in a world of normalized drinking. Additionally, so much of what women share ignite something in myself that I didn’t even know was there.
Such was especially true in the book Drinking, A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. Chapter 4 of her book is entitled Hunger. In it, Knapp talks about this obsession she had with alcohol. It was always on her mind. When thinking about an upcoming event or dinner, she would wonder ‘Would there be enough?’, ‘Should I bring my own?’, and ‘Should I drink before?’. It’s a NEED. An underlying hunger.
I didn’t realize that I also had this hunger until I read her story. I related so much to this idea of obsessing over drinking. In reflecting back, I realized that in my twenties I couldn’t have one drink, or even a few. Once that first drink was down, I dedicated the entire day (or evening OR both) to getting drunk. REALLY drunk. In my head, what would be the point of doing it any other way?
These ‘hunger’ stories show up frequently in my memories of my drinking days. In Boston bars, at weddings and special events and at BBQs in friend’s backyards.They are all variations of each other. The details are different, but the story is the same.
One Easter, for example, having lunch with my husband and my in-laws. It was a beautiful spring day and we dined at a restaurant on a lake, overlooking the water. I had one drink-just one- at that lunch. But, that one drink set that desire in my soul and I was scheming to find more of this feeling. As my husband and I headed for home, I spent the car ride texting everyone I knew looking for a drinking partner for that evening. It was EASTER. People were with their families. I didn’t care. I reached out to anyone and everyone. I was able to track one friend down. She met me out and we had a few drinks together. Then she went home. Not me, though. I stayed, drinking alone, until the bar closed, then went with the bartenders to another bar in the city and drank until 2am. I had to call out sick the next day because I was so hungover. I spent the day in bed, disgusted with myself and buried in guilt and shame. All because of one drink over Easter lunch.
The stories like this run rampant in my 20s and 30s. It starts innocently enough and ends with me, often alone or in the company of strangers, drinking to the point of blackout.
Buy Karoline’s book here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=drinking+a+love+story+by+caroline+knapp&crid=1M969ZMG5F6X7&sprefix=drinking+a+%2Caps%2C137&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_11