Being An Alcoholic is a Full Time Job
“Whence the sudden confidence? If it would only remain! If I could go in and out of every door in this way, a passably erect person. Only I don’t know whether I want that.” Franz Kafka, Diaries, November 6, 1913
As I read Kafka’s Diaries, I get emotional. I am not reading his writings for an analytical study; I read them as the voyeur I am. Kafka did not write these for publication. He left explicit instructions for his diaries and any works he left behind to be burned upon his death. His diaries are his personal thoughts with an insight to one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. I get melancholy not because I identify with him as a writer; I identify with him as a human. The vulnerability and fear he expresses are overwhelming to me. I get this. He shared in his personal diaries how his thoughts would overcome his reason and logic. I read his diary daily, and it moves me how poignant his thoughts expressed are so similar to mine. He wrote novels and fictional stories, but his personal thoughts are what stirs my emotions. He was not an alcoholic, but he was a tortured soul who, even though he was known as an odd person I see a man who lived his life doing what he loved. Writing. He was a trained lawyer, but he wanted to write. He did not do this in the whirlwind of fame, excitement or society. He did this from his room and put his agony and curiosity onto paper whether in fiction or his diaries. This inspires me. I am not a Kafka expert, and I only know about him what I have read and studied over the years, but I realize he did not write to inspire. He just sat down and wrote what was in his head. I sometimes find myself over thinking what I write. My head is filled with racing thoughts today and for this alcoholic, this can be a dangerous place. I think too much. I am tired. I want to rest and write. Even in the city, I have decided I want to isolate today. I just can’t face being out in public or around people. I am sitting in my apartment answering the office phones and writing. I have had fantasies of just sitting here until tomorrow. As an alcoholic, I know I must do the things I did yesterday to stay sober. I cannot rest on yesterday’s sobriety. I have prayed and thanked God that I woke up sober. I have talked to my sponsor. I have read my recovery materials. I am not going to drink. I was going to go to a particular meeting this morning or at noon and I have not done that yet. Even in this city I love, I want to isolate today. But, I know I must get up and go to a meeting soon and help another alcoholic. My sobriety cannot take a day off. I have the tools, and I will continue to use them one day at a time.