The Best Concert I Never Saw


I’m a bit pleased with myself proper now.

How usually do we are saying that to ourselves? In all probability not a lot. Positively not sufficient.

I am a recovering alcoholic. I’ve been sober a lot of the final 29 years. Sure, I’ve had some relapses. Too many to rely, in truth. However I didn’t drink at this time, which is particularly superior, as a result of I actually wished to.



A few month in the past, I purchased two tickets to a live performance by a gaggle known as “Silversun Pickups”. Nicely, that live performance is tonight. I ought to be preparing for it at this very second. However I determined to not go.

Why would you do a factor like that?

As a result of my psychological well being/sobriety/security come first. Let me clarify.

I’ve been feeling a bit “off” all day. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not or to not go to my DBT class, and ended up deciding to go. I’m actually glad I did, too. At this time’s lesson was about Radical Acceptance, one thing everybody may use a hand in understanding. It’s a doozy.

Nicely, I felt much more “off” after class. I knew I had this live performance to go to, however now I didn’t really feel prefer it. I wasn’t enthusiastic about it, though I love the group. And it was at First Avenue in Minneapolis, previously owned by the Purple One himself, Prince (aka Funkiest Minnesotan Ever). In order that was further cool.

Regardless of my efforts, I simply couldn’t discover anybody to go together with me. Now, I don’t sometimes thoughts going locations on my own – as a traditional introvert, I’d somewhat hold with myself, at my very own tempo, than be depending on another person’s temper and schedule. In order that wasn’t a difficulty.

However on my means house from DBT, I seen a short thought that a drink would certain be good. Nicely, one temporary thought turned two turned three…and earlier than I knew it, I was preoccupied with planning on how I was going to get wasted whereas I was alleged to be at this live performance.


Maybe it is a good time to say that I’ve been sober for about seven months at this level. As a result of I consider there is no such thing as a remedy for alcoholism, I are likely to suppose and discuss it within the current tense. It’s at all times someplace, lingering within the huge recesses of my thoughts, ready for a weak second or a silly thought like, “I’ve received this.” So when I say, “When I drink…”, what I imply is, “Throughout my energetic ingesting intervals…” It simply makes extra sense to me.

When I drink, I get wasted. Shit-faced. Demolished. On objective, with willpower and intent, eyes extensive open. I can’t appear to assist it. In actual fact, that’s the entire level of ingesting, for those who ask me.

In accordance with my mind, that’s what alcohol is for – to take you away out of your worries and make you okay (or numb) for a short time. There has by no means been a interval of what can be thought of social ingesting for me. I’ve drunk alcoholically ever since I took my first drink at age 13.

Due to this fact, when I wish to go get drunk, I want one factor particularly. Nicely, two issues: Time and money. One in every of these I have none of, the opposite I have an extra of. I’ll allow you to guess which is which.

Time is the important thing ingredient. I want sufficient time to down the variety of Jack and Cokes my physique requires at that second. Ergo, a live performance would have been an ideal cowl. And, since I would have been having enjoyable at a loud live performance, I knew I wouldn’t have to fret about my spouse calling me.

So, for a short whereas this afternoon, I thought I had all of it deliberate out. I would go away to go to the live performance however not even depart city. I’d discover a watering gap and get drunk, in peace. After the primary couple of drinks, I’m certain my arms would cease shaking from the guilt I was feeling and it could now not really feel like my coronary heart was about to leap out of my chest.

I would lastly be capable of chill out.

The solely downside with that concept (okay, there are a lot of issues with that concept) was that I knew higher. Most of my mind was telling me to not drink, not even to depart the home. My physique was sending me all types of indicators – my abdomen was tangled up (as a result of, hi there, dangerous determination), I was getting grumpy (as a result of I felt responsible), and I was completely conflicted by my black-or-white decisions. I didn’t know but what I was going to do. I did know I didn’t wish to inform my spouse about my plan as a result of then I wouldn’t be capable of undergo with it. However I didn’t wish to not inform her, both, as a result of I knew that speaking about it was one of the best factor I may do.

After mind-fucking myself for about an hour and a half, I couldn’t take it anymore. I mentioned to her, “I’m not going to the live performance tonight.” She checked out me, and I was like, “If I depart the home, I’ll find yourself ingesting.”

Her response? “Sufficient mentioned.”

Sufficient mentioned.

Sure, I do understand how fortunate I am. CeAnne is extremely supportive and understanding it doesn’t matter what I do or say. It regularly blows my thoughts.

She may have been offended that I wasted 60 bucks on tickets however blew off the present.

She may have raised her eyebrows and given me the look.

What did she do as a substitute? She thanked me for telling her, advised me she was pleased with me, and gave me a pleasant, lengthy hug.


I’m truly nonetheless attempting to determine how I received by means of that. Prior to now, if I’ve been decided to drink, I have. No holds barred.

It’s not usually that I have an insane urge to drink, however folks are likely to suppose that since I’m an alcoholic, I should at all times wish to. They attempt to shield me from print and TV advertisements, blissful hours, even dialog involving alcohol.

The factor is, most days I don’t give it some thought in any respect. I imply, it’s unimaginable on this tradition to keep away from all references to alcohol, and I will admit that Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam advertisements do minimize by means of me a bit. However actually, the one factor you are able to do is determine learn how to dwell with it. Make some type of peace with it and go on about your day. Don’t let it torture you.

That feels like acceptance to me.

Twice within the final month I actually actually actually wished to drink. One was tonight, in fact, and the opposite was about four weeks in the past. However you recognize what?

I received. Each instances. That tells me that I can defeat the ideas which might be attempting to defeat me.

It was that when I relapsed, I would name an excellent good friend and inform her about it. With out fail, she would say, “You’re alleged to name earlier than you drink!”

I take into consideration that when I do have the urge. And since I’ve been in a position to do it efficiently a handful of instances, I understand that if I inform somebody my plan beforehand, there’s an excellent likelihood I’ll survive the day sober and with my self-respect intact. The solely distinction between now and my previous is that now, I truly do it.

However it takes follow. As a result of follow makes everlasting.


I consider that every thing we do, we do for a motive. There may be some type of payoff, nonetheless twisted or neurotic or self-absorbed it might sound.

The subsequent time you’re eager about doing one thing that possibly you shouldn’t – one thing that makes you dismiss your values, one thing you suppose will really feel good proper now however is not going to truly show you how to, one thing that makes your insides really feel all squishy – pay particular consideration to that feeling in your intestine. You understand, that knot? The butterflies? Or possibly it’s in your chest, otherwise you get a bit weak within the knees, or your hand begins to shake as you decide up that drink/drug/weapon of alternative.

Take note of that.

Discomfort can inform us after we’re about to make a nasty determination.

So be good to your self.

Initially Revealed on The Despair Warrior

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