Yippee-ki-yay-mother-Russia. I know it’s not an intellectual thing to say, but I LOVE action movies. Especially action movies with big strong handsome men who save the world from the bad guys. Today, Bruce Willis‘ new (DieHard5) movie “A Good Day to Die Hard,” hits movie theatres around town.
This article/video today from Huffpo Live, Bruce Willis Talks Getting Sober, describes how Willis says in a recent interview that he started drinking again.
“I had been sober [for a while]. But once I realized that I wasn’t gonna run myself off the pier of life with alcohol, drinking vodka out of the bottle every day … I have wine now, mostly when I eat.”
The knee-jerk (maybe when we’re being a little “holier-than-thou”) reaction from those of us in the “recovery community” is to gasp at this type of statement, especially coming from a celebrity. Doesn’t he know once an alcoholic always an alcoholic? What if he makes other alcoholics think they too can have wine with meals? Wine with meals—harmftt! Denial.
But what does Bruce Willis drinking again have to do with my own recovery–nada. It just makes me tense up a little, hoping he doesn’t get drunk in public and mess up a good thing.
We have to remember that by nature we alcoholics drink mostly because we like the effect it has on us. And even after a long period of sobriety, if we decide to take a drink–however nonchalantly, innocently–we’re eventually right back where we left off. And we love it. That feeling that to us surpasses all understanding…the buzz. I don’t think this is what Jesus was talking about in Philippians 4:7.
To an alcoholic, a buzz is not just a buzz. A buzz is a spiritual experience.
Heather King (she is a Catholic contemplative and sober writer-find her at Shirt of Flame.) describes this perfectly in an interview she did back in 2010 with Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete and Crossroads Cultural Center,
“The first time I drank was a religious experience. Unfortunately for an alcoholic who has this neurological mis-wiring, neurological glitch such that when you take a drink you’ve ceded all free will. Eventually this mental obsession, physical craving (it might take a while) is going to set up, and it progresses. But the very first time I drank, it was that feeling I’d looked for my whole life—I love everybody; everybody loves me. And it lasted a very short period of time before I had a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality.” Heather King
It’s not about what kind of alcohol I drink; it’s about the effect the alcohol has on my brain, the brain of an alcoholic. To understand the neurological workings of an alcoholic brain, click here.
I was 3 years sober when I decided to “have a glass of wine with dinner.” Why not? I can handle it. I hadn’t drank in three whole years–so obviously, I’d licked this thing. So on our anniversary in 2009, at a romantic bed and breakfast in the North Georgia mountains, I had a yummy glass of red wine. Then I had two chardonnays with dinner.
I woke up the next morning and told my husband, “It’s no big deal, honey. I like being sober better. That was a fluke.”
A week later, I had wine when my husband and I went out for sushi. A couple of weeks after that I had several beers at our neighborhood Christmas party. Within three months I was back to my old ways, drinking every evening, trudging through the days, hung over.
Two people can drink the same drink, the same amount. The alcoholic has an entirely different internal biological chemical experience than the non-alcoholic. For you non-alcoholics out there, you’re missing out! lol. But seriously, I hope Bruce succeeds in his “controlled drinking” experiment. He’s a bigger man than I. It took me a couple of years to get back on track after deciding it was okay to have a little wine with meals.
As a “word girl,” I immediately noticed his use of the word, “mostly.” At least he’s honest. Mostly he only drinks wine with meals, but sometimes he drinks it all by its self. That’s when the best buzzes happen–on empty stomachs.
Here is a blog post from a couple of weeks ago talking about how “real men” (yes, that included Bruce Willis) do get sober. Not anymore.
- Bruce Willis sobriety: The action star dishes on why he’s drinking again (Photos) (examiner.com)
- Bruce Willis: I was on the wagon, but I drink wine now (todayentertainment.today.com)
- Bruce Willis Talks Sobriety, Oscar Snub with GQ (news.softpedia.com)
- Entertainment › Bruce Willis says he’s against new gun controls (japantoday.com)
- Bruce Willis Opens Up on Never Being Nominated for an Oscar, Sobriety and Political Aspirations in GQ (eonline.com)