The Alcoholic’s Logic Behind the Clean, Fresh Breath of Surrender
Posted Dec 17 2009 4:20pm
This is a guest post from my good friend, The Discovering Alcoholic, who writes a top rated recovery blog, www.discoveringalcoholic.com, covering alcoholism, substance abuse, treatment and recovery issues.
The uninitiated find it hard to believe that alcoholics will drink high alcohol content mouthwash in volume even when the resources exist to purchase more palatable alternatives. To the addictive thinking of the alcoholic however, the logic is very clear. Mouthwash is potent, does not have to be secreted away, and is part of the morning and evening ritual of “normal “ people. Easy to justify drinking it in the morning to start the day and, at least for me back in my days of struggle, simple to rationalize copious amounts as a sleep aid. Here’s one of my favorite related posts from the 2007 TDA archives:
Nothing says “alcoholic” quite like guzzling a bottle of mouth wash. It’s one of those common threads for all alcoholics; follow the timeline and progression of the disease and near the end you will invariably see the consumption of mouthwash. It’s one of those odd things that crosses social barriers for both similar and almost polar opposite reasons.
The Clean, Fresh Breath of Surrender
The poor, homeless alcoholic will spend less than three bucks on a liter and a half bottle of generic mouthwash with high alcohol content (sometimes over 40 proof) because of the old drunk axiom of quantity taking precedence over quality. His circumstances and environment have long ago disabused him of the thought that fighting his disease was an option. Just find a way to get alcohol, any kind will do but mouthwash is cheap, plentiful, and always available on Sunday.
The rich, high-society drunk who spends c-notes on designer vodka and vintage champagnes will none-the-less find themselves locking the bathroom door and tipping up a plastic jug of the amber odor fighter too, but for a different reason. Just like his homeless compatriot, he has succumbed to the urge to drink and at this point any alcohol, any form will do. Although he still has the money to indulge in a more palatable beverage he also has a support structure that makes it necessary to hide his shame. Another reason, one I found myself guilty of many times was that I would purposely drink my stock dry saying this was it, the end… only to fall back to the old standby under the bathroom sink when the craving became too strong.