By Diane J.

<Why do I keep thinking that I have a binge coming up? Why do I feel I deserve “one last binge”….? I’m actually looking forward to it. Not all the time but it does enter my mind occasionally. Yesterday was the worst so far. I was determined to get beer. On one hand I feel totally in control and then it all escapes me and here I am planning my next drunk. I still feel like I need one more binge…. and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. Any input appreciated. – T.>

I sort of managed to convince myself I needed “one last binge” A LOT–I was one of those people who was always going to quit “next week” when “things’ aren’t quite so “hectic” and I can REALLY REALLY REALLY…oh, what’s the point (laugh)? I never quite DID it. If I had a dollar for every “last bottle” I ever bought I could be spending this weekend on a beach somewhere…. (laugh).

And when I finally “started to stop” (stutter sobriety, I think–laugh) the “one last binge” idea kept coming back at me, too. I finally had “one last binge” last fall. Ummm…. I coulda skipped delirium tremens, I really coulda.

Let me tell you something about that idea about “one last binge,” OK? It’s not going to go away for a while after you stop drinking totally, unfortunately…. Even after that last disastrous binge, well into my first few months of sobriety, I’d find myself thinking about having “a really really really last binge…. better this time (laugh), of course…”. That’s the addiction talking, I think.

Part of getting sober is learning to talk back to it. Put a little reality into those fantasies. Jennifer gave you wonderful advice when she wrote about “thinking the binge all the WAY through”. How good would that binge BE, really? Isn’t the fact that you’re planning one, even though you mean to QUIT for good, proof that there’s something wrong with your drinking, that it’s about time to get it over with? Same thing with the moderation idea, probably, unfortunately.

You DO have “two brains”, sort of, at the moment: there’s the sensible, smart, realistic woman who KNOWS that the drinking’s been out of control and the stuff is bad for her—ah, but then there’s the woman who’s used to drinking a hell of a lot and CRAVES more alcohol and finds the idea of sobriety pretty scary and uncomfortable.

Treat it like a voice in your ear if that helps (I called mine “my addict”: argue with it. Don’t let it push you around. Isn’t it, for example, interesting that the little voice is suggesting BOTH bingeing and drinking “moderately”? Now why would THAT be (laugh)? REAL moderate drinkers don’t sit around planning their next drunk, at least not in my experience.

What that little voice wants is back AT IT–and it takes some willingness to be uncomfortable and sit through craving to get it to shut up. If you feed it it just comes back even louder.

You write:

<Perhaps it’s because I’m not educated enough on the science of my addiction. If only I had some scientific proof that I definitely can never drink another drop without falling back into the old patterns, then I could give up on those menacing thoughts that enter my mind on a daily basis>

Good luck (laugh). You can always find somebody, somewhere, who wrote something that with enough concentration and imagination and (possibly five or six drinks in you) you can construe as being “proof” that maybe maybe maybe there’s a little little little possibility that you might possibly possibly be in the tiny percentage of people who–GET TO DRINK AGAIN!

The question is how much pain has drinking already caused you? And, if you weren’t hooked on the stuff in some way, would you EVER believe the pleasure it gives could be worth THAT MUCH pain?

These are tough days, I know. Glad to see you posting and hang in there. Keep arguing with yourself! Take care.

Nov. 17, 1998