“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.”
“To a drinker the sensation is real and pure and akin to something spiritual: you seek; in the bottle, you find.”
“But then the wine came, one glass and then a second glass. And somewhere during that second drink, the switch was flipped. The wine gave me a melting feeling, a warm light sensation in my head, and I felt like safety itself had arrived in that glass, poured out from the bottle and allowed to spill out between us.”
“The hard things in life, the things you really learn from, happen with a clear mind.”
“Passivity is corrosive to the soul; it feeds on feelings of integrity and pride, and it can be as tempting as a drug.”
“For a long time, when it's working, the drink feels like a path to a kind of self-enlightenment, something that turns us into the person we wish to be, or the person we think we are. In some ways the dynamic is simple: alcohol makes everything better, until it makes everything worse.”
“Was he smart enough? Introspective enough? Was it just enough to love him, or should I attach myself to someone who seemed farther ahead of me, someone smarter and more ambitious than me, who'd be sure to carry me along into the version of adulthood I thought I should be striving for?”
“Addiction to alcohol is also a neurological phenomenon, the result of a complex set of molecular alterations that take place in the brain when it’s excessively and repeatedly exposed to the drug. The science of addiction is complicated, but the basic idea is fairly straightforward: alcohol appears to wreak havoc on the brain’s natural systems of craving and reward, compromising the functioning of the various neurotransmitters and proteins that create feelings of well-being.”
“It happened this way: I fell in love and then, because the love was ruining everything I cared about, I had to fall out.”
“A love story. Yes: this is a love story.
It's about passion, sensual pleasure, deep pulls, lust, fears, yearning hungers. It's about needs so strong they're crippling. It about saying goodbye to something you can't fathom living without.”
“Meg often slept with me she didn't want to sleep with: she didn't know how to say no. More precisely, she didn't know she was allowed to say no.”
“There’s something about sober living and sober thinking, about facing long afternoons without the numbing distraction of anesthesia, that disabuses you of the belief in externals, shows you that strength and hope come not from circumstances or the acquisition of things but from the simple accumulation of active experience, from gritting the teeth and checking the items off the list, one by one, even though it’s painful and you’re afraid. When you drink, you can’t do that. You can’t make the distinction between getting through painful feelings and getting away from them. All you can do is just sit there, numb and sipping, numb and drunk.”
“Anyone who's ever shifted from general affection and enthusiasm for a lover to outright obsession knows what I mean: the relationship is just there occupying a small corner of your heart, and then you wake up one morning and some undefinable tide has turned forever and you can't go back. You need it; it's a central part of who you are.”
“Insight,” he said, “is almost always a rearrangement of fact.”
“I loved the way drink made me feel, and I loved it's special power of deflection, it's ability to shift my focus away from my own awareness of self and onto something else, something less painful than my own feelings. I loved the sounds of drink: the slide of a cork as it eased out of a wine bottle, the distinct glug-glug of booze pouring into a glass, the clatter of ice cubes in a tumbler. I loved the rituals, the camaraderie of drinking with others, the warming, melting feeling of ease and courage it gave me.”
“Smooth and ordered on the outside; roiling and chaotic and desperately secretive underneath, but not noticeably so, never noticeably so.”
“Beneath my own witty, profession facade were oceans of fear, whole rivers of self-doubt.”
“In between, for five or ten minutes at a stretch, the real version, tense and dishonest and uncertain. I rarely allowed her to emerge for long. Work—all that productive, effective, focused work—kept her distracted and submerged all day. And drink—anesthetizing and constant—kept her too numb to feel at night.”
“You're the nice, quiet alcoholic. The good intellectual alcoholic.”
“hope come not from circumstances or the acquisition of things but from the simple accumulation of active experience, from gritting the teeth and checking the items off the list, one by one, even though it’s painful and you’re afraid.”
“I don't think you can get really out of anorexia (or any addiction, for that matter) until you simply have no other choice, until the sense that your back's against the wall grows too strong and too irrefutable, until you are simply in too much pain - too desperate and deeply bored and unhappy - to go on.”
“I’d go to a party and promise Michael I wouldn’t drink too much. He’d plead: “Just take it easy, okay? Watch yourself,” and I’d swear: “I won’t. I don’t want to get too drunk.” I’d mean that, of course, and I’d start out by measuring myself: one glass of wine the first half hour, one glass the second, and so on. But then something would snap, some uncontrollable process would kick in, and all of a sudden it would be two or three hours later and I’d be on my sixth or tenth or God knows what glass of wine, and I’d be plastered. I couldn’t account for it, couldn’t explain it, couldn’t even rationalize it, although I struggled mightily to. I seemed to get drunk, blind drunk, against my will.”
“When you love somebody, or something, it's amazing how willing you are to overlook the flaws.”
“You hide behind the professional persona all day; then you leave the office and hide behind the drink.”
“Of course, the problem with self-transformation is that after a while, you don't know which version of yourself to believe in, which one is true.”
“time I wanted to explain the perils of growing”
“You are Insignificant. One of millions, neither special nor unique. I did not ask for this ignominy, and I resent the comparison.
Fine. I don't you like you, either.”
“I don't believe outstandingly beautiful and charismatic women create obsession in what would otherwise be normal men, but rather they attract the weirdos and the stalkers; flames in the darkness that these disturbing people inhabit, unwittingly drawing them closer until they extinguish the very flame they were drawn to.”
“Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine.”
“You know you're walking around with a mask on, and you desperately want to take it off and you can't because everybody else thinks it's your face.”
“They loved him because he was a prince and a faerie and magical and you were supposed to love princes and faeries and magical people.”
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