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No One Will Know

I Can Get Away With Having a Drink

Photo via Wikimedia Commons /

I’m alone.

I’m on a business trip and the hotel bar is open after a long day, or I’m hiking when I run into a few hikers sitting on a log who offer me a beer.

My spouse is away / I’m on a road trip / I’m doing a one-off gig where nobody knows me.

I’m house-sitting for friends who are abroad / I’m dog-sitting for a photographer on a job in Kenya.

I could have a drink. I’m all alone.

“No one will know.”


Seriously, I took a few days to go to the cabin and do some writing. Our last guests stupidly left a couple of beers in the fridge.

I didn’t come up here to drink, but, hey, it’s only two beers and I’m here for 3 days.

I could drink them both tonight, relax, and get up early and commit to writing hard for the rest of the time I’m here.

“No one will know.”


Seriously, though, really - “no one will know.”


Uh-huh. This is a lie that has run through my brain more than once. And I’ve heard it said by many other sober alcoholics.

Thank God I recognize it for the lie that it is.

The lie is trying to tell me that I could get away with it.

But when it says, “no one,” that doesn’t include me. And I’m someone. I’d know.

It also tries to play on the idea that I could sanely and safely drink those couple of beers left in the fridge without kicking off the obsession to drink more.

And, given my track record over the years of my out-of-control drinking as well as the fact that I am STILL an alcoholic and always will be, that it’s an incurable illness treatable only by continued abstinence from alcohol, it really doesn’t make any sense.


However, given my love of “getting away with things” during my drinking/drugging days, whether it was a dumb scam or keeping the extra change given to me at a cash register or stealing candy bars when I was wasted just for the hell of it or cheating on tests or lying about my whereabouts or whatever it was I was up to, the idea that “no one will know and I just might be able to get away with it” does hold a certain appeal.

Until I think the drink through.

Sure, those couple of cold bottles of Molson would be tasty. And I might enjoy them, unwind to some music, and have a good night of sleep.

I might even get up and have a terrifically productive day of writing, complete with a good mid-day hike to work up a sweat.

But that evening last night’s Molson’s would be talking to me. “Tasty, right? Just a couple more. Go on, grab a six pack and have a few tonight, and a few tomorrow, and that’ll be it. Finish them up before leaving, and go back to sobriety. And your boring-ass day job and the visit to the podiatrist on Wednesday and dentist on Friday and your baseball team sucks and the Springsteen tour got cancelled and climate change is going to wipe out the planet and Molson is good!”

And from there the images of me puking, of laying in bed with the spins, of me driving drunk, getting busted for DUI, of spending a night in jail, reaching out to lawyers to see if they can get me off, yada yada yada scoring drugs on the street, buying blow from some low-life and hoping that there’s no fentanyl in it, and on and on the merry-go-round goes except it’s not merry and I’m dying to get off it.


Having thought the drink through, I realize I’m not on a merry-go-round, and I don’t want to get on one.

I pour the beers down the sink, and wash the sink down with a bit of soapy water. I put a bit of soapy water in the beer bottles, swish it around, rinse them out, and into the bin they go.

I need to take extra steps because I have a wily illness, alcoholism.

And I know that I would know, and that could be the beginning of the end for me.

“No one will know” is a crock of shite. Don’t buy it.

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