I have been told I am dogged. Once I get the notion to do something I just find a way to do it. Like climbing a mountain in Puerto Rico when I’m out of shape, or quitting drinking after twenty years of perilous boozing.
It’s not a quality I particularly admire in others or myself. It seems Germanic and monomaniacal. A task orientation taken to the extremes is more like obsession.
But is it necessary for recovery?
I think stick-to-itiveness is the quality that keeps me from drinking now that I’m sober. I don’t talk about it much, but I do still get those punch in the gut moments when I think, “Drink.” It happens at the weirdest times – in restaurants and alfresco cafes for sure, but also amongst the glut of late night boxes when I moved, or on the first cool morning walk with Fiona…
I don’t know where this bud of alcoholism comes from, but the way I stop it is to say aloud, “NO.” Not the pansy ass Just Say No of the Nancy Regan campaign, but a growl of a no. A fuck no.
And so far it works. Just like the one foot in front of the other approach to mountain climbing.