It's taken me years to figure it out, but now I realize why it's called "obsessive-compulsive" behavior.
It's because even though the compulsion to drink has been lifted from me, the obsession with liquor lingers on.
On the subway, do I stare at the ads for hemmorhoid creams, or English as a Second Language Schools? Nah. Not when there's a gorgeous ad for a "new" type of Remy-Martin called "Remy-Red" nearby. And it's so tasteful. You can almost taste it. Well, I can almost taste it. And speaking of taste, wouldn't a Remy taste good right now? Do I even remember what Remy tastes like?
By the way, this is how a recovering drunk thinks. Well, one recovering drunk. Me.
But here's where it gets interesting. While I no longer compulsively consume booze, I can't say the same about anything else. Such as cookies. Or Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Or Planters Peanuts. And don't even get me started on the subject of Ruffles Potato Chips.
I laugh at the so called "suggested servings" type messages on the packages these things come in.
As far as I'm concerned, one container = one serving. OF ANYTHING. They should say, "Open Lid - Insert Face". One ounce or one pound, it's all the same to me.
I've started noticing my inherent "ism" (without the "alcohol") cropping up all over the place now. Whether it's shopping for music on iTunes, or buying shirts at Lands' End. One is too many and 20 are never enough.
I even buy books that way now. I'll drop by Barnes & Noble or Borders, just to while away an hour or two browsing, and wind up schlepping home a pile of stuff I'll never read.
In other words, I'm still compulsive as hell, but I don't obsess over my compulsions the way I did in the past. The way I did over booze.
Booze, towards the end, was all I ever thought about. If I wasn't actually drinking, I was thinking about drinking, or planning drinking, or making purchases for drinking, or daydreaming about drinking, or cleaning up the mess left by last night's drinking.
It was all about the drinking.
If I was in a state that didn't have Sunday liquor sales, and it was Saturday night, close to closing time, and I noticed that there probably wasn't enough booze so that I would be able to drink the way I wanted to drink all day Sunday, I would fly into an absolute panic until I, or someone else, ran out to the liquor store to "stock up" enough supplies to last until Monday.
Now, have you ever heard anyone say "OHMYGOD!!! We're nearly out of brussels sprouts and tomorrow all of the brussels sprouts stores are closed!!! Someone must run out, right now, and load up on brussels sprouts so that we'll have enough to get us through the day tomorrow!"??
I didn't think so. No, only someone with a serious mental illness would actually say anything (or think anything) like that.
I've acquired a lot of self-awareness over the last couple of years and, with any luck, I'll acquire a lot more.
But I hope and pray to God that I never start thinking that Self-Knowledge = Wisdom.
My Higher Power is Wise. I'm just a recovering junkie.