I wrote a book – a memoir. I called it Saturation because, during my 3rd treatment center stay, I had to visit with a counselor who also had a part-time job outside the center as a medium. That’s right – she was a psychic. During my first visit with her – about a week into the program, she asked me what I thought about the alcohol poisoning I’d done to my body. I was well past physical withdrawal so I knew there were no traces of alcohol in my system, but I also knew that wasn’t what she meant. I told her I didn’t feel very well, which was true – residential treatment is depressing – no matter how nice the facilities are. But that isn’t what she meant either.
“You are completely saturated.” She said. It sounded so much more powerful under the influence of her Irish accent.
I knew exactly what she meant. My tolerance for alcohol was extraordinary. In my book, I describe the mental and psychological sensations of withdrawal and compare them to what I imagined my mind being warped and stretched slowly over an Event Horizon might feel like. The precipice of insanity where the fall endures time – and the rush can be felt mingling with the fear in one’s mind – that’s the mental anguish of withdrawal. Often times I wondered how I would survive if I had to live forever in that mental torment. There’s no better description of hell and I get it when I read or heard about someone going nuts as they got clean or sober.
To speak about the mind/brain and body as though they’re apart from for a moment; they’re extremely unhappy campers when it comes to having to recover from substance addiction. They know how to scream without taking breaths or breaks.
The terror and anguish are almost beyond words and they are the main reason I continued to drink. There were only three ways I ever got through withdrawal – unconsciously, medicated, or drunk.