the “what-if” game

For those of you who may not know, I have been sober from alcohol and drugs since January 31, 1997.  18 years, that’s a lifetime, and feels like several. There is a little mind-game that every sober alcoholic I know plays, called, “I would drink again if____________.”  Also know as “If ___________ happened, I would get drunk over it.”

In the beginning of my journey into sobriety, I would want to drink for really big important reasons, like it happened to be Tuesday and I had managed to stay at work for the entire day; or I stubbed a toe. Going to the grocery store was a big trigger, the beer was in the same aisle as the bread.

I spent countless nights wondering how I would get married and not drink champagne, or go to someone else’s wedding and not drink alcohol.  I agonized over whether or not I would invite my actively drinking alcoholic father to my wedding. I was single during many of these sleepless nights, no fiance waiting in the wings.  My dad has since died, and I’m still not married, so I sorta just side-stepped that whole dilemma, at the same time proving to myself yet again that fear of future events is a waste of time.

Yet here I am, day after day, full of fear about the future.  Ever since reading that stupid MRI report 12 days ago, my mind has lived in a mansion of What-Ifs. Not all-day every-day, but at least a hundred times a day. I step into the fun-house and stare at my warped reflection in the distorted mirrors, i loose my balance on the spinning, tilting floors, and run from the mad, mad clowns.  Then I nap.  I nap for hours, drifting into a blissful state of non-thinking. Each time I awake, I am startled again by the remembering. I have a brain tumor.

This would not have even occurred to me as a possibility on the “What would you drink over” game.

When I went to my psychiatrist with my involuntary movement symptoms, and he suggested that I see a neurologist for an MRI, “and make it a high priority.” That, hearing that, stirred the desire to throw back some whiskey to blot out my fear.

However, the words, “You have a brain tumor.” Well, fuck drinking, I’ve got some serious shit to do! Like post more pictures of my dog on Facebook.

Thanks for reading along with me.  More will be revealed…


saffie sselfie

4 thoughts on “the “what-if” game”

  1. I have essential tremors – you know what makes them better? Yep. Cut to me and my friend’s 70 year old mom occasionally do a shot together to take the edge off at brunch. What’s funny is I’ve never really cared for the stuff that much. My shaking hands have always bothered other people more then me so I just let people think I am a nervous delicate thing…

    Involuntary movements are something else though, quite disturbing at times – handy excuse for slapping people up side the head though – oops! Just meant to stroke your hair and it slipped! I like your guy (I’m reading backwards), my first neurologist sucked and I still have occasional problems understanding the second through his accent. My scans were clean so the first guy acted like I was imagining and possibly faking it despite my inability to walk a straight line heel to toe occasionally. Even the second guy seemed dubious until a bunch of weird things happened during the EMG he administered himself… turns out Myotonic Dystrophy is not a trainable monkey – it doesn’t enjoy the spot light, it doesn’t do well on tests, and it doesn’t respond to treats reliably so its completely imaginary as far as others are concerned (I haven’t name it yet though). It was an adjustment but as hard as it is for others who don’t understand DM, just getting a diagnosis was the biggest help. I know that must seem impossible given your news but I still believe its better to know…. I really like that you are writing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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