Category Archives: Non Fiction

Ethanol, part ii

Promise I’ll get back to writing about music soon. But this is my site, my rules so you’ll just have to shine it on a little longer.

In the wake of my post Ethanol, and the kind and caring responses that arrived, I want to clear up a small number of misconceptions that people may have about alcoholism. The facts are:

  1. Alcoholism is not about getting drunk
  2. Alcoholism is not about partying, getting wasted, or waking up with a hangover
  3. You probably know several alcoholics without knowing it
  4. Nobody becomes an alcoholic simply because they really, really like alcohol

I am an alcoholic, but you will rarely find me drunk. I hate being drunk. I’m not pretending that it never happens, but I am unhappy and ashamed when it does. And bored. Bored of it.

I drink to get sober. I drink in order to reach normality. To feel like how I imagine the real humans must feel all the time.


This is, in some ways, a love song. Or a coming-out party, if you want to come. You’re all invited.

This is a song about C2H6O. Ethanol. Alcohol.

I am an alcoholic. I am not proud, but I am not ashamed. We are all human and we make it through our own days in ways as best we can. And some days, if not every day, the easiest way to survive arrives in a glass bottle.

I remember the first night that drinking changed from being fun to being necessary for survival. I knew it was dangerous, and I remember the way that felt. It was exciting. A woman led me to that place, but it wasn’t her fault.

Here we are, 25 years later, wondering night after night whether I can make it to the store for more before closing time.

Some days I feel like a traitor if I don’t drink. That’s how insidious this harsh, delicious mistress is.

There is something quite irresistible about addiction.

I once tried to give up drinking. Three days later I was in a hospital bed. That’ll teach me. I was happy enough, even over the moon: Chlordiazepoxide Hydrochloride is a hell of a drug, as the name might suggest. By morning I did not want to go home.

What do we learn from all this talking, crying, shouting, hallucinating?

Nothing yet.


Barely, but yes.

Still getting away with it, even if I do sorely disappoint every single person I have ever loved.

Take care, all of you. You are important and loved. You are loved and loved unconditionally, ethanol or none.


Added: Ethanol, part ii.