I've been watching When A Man Loves A Woman lately. It's a darn good movie. The speech at the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the end would make just about anyone cry, I think, and the fact that Michael loses his wife in the end, despite having done nothing wrong, makes it a good "Real Life" movie, where things aren't always fair.

What really hits home are the couple of scenes where Alice is seen sneaking a drink, right from the bottle. I watch that and I wonder how a person could do that; nobody just plain likes the taste of alcohol that much, do they? And so I say, well, okay, she's addicted. And yet I can't understand how that drink helps her. Would a Diet Coke do just as well?

But then I compare it to my behavior, substituting food for liquor — even down to the one particular action that Alice takes, of throwing away a bottle of vodka because she's disgusted with her behavior, but then turning around and taking one more swig. I've been known to do the exact same thing: I've got a box of cookies in my lap, half gone in one sitting, that I throw away in shame. Then later, I go back and haul it out of the trashcan and eat some more.

Somtimes, what goes through my mind when I'm binging is Screw it, go ahead and balloon up to 400 pounds. I never understand why I would want that, either at the time or later on looking back at it in disgust. Despite the depression that I'm in during those episodes, I know my problems wouldn't go away and I'd just gain a host of new ones if I actually carried through on that plan.

Do alcoholics think similar thoughts when they're hitting the bottle? I don't know, I've never been much of a drinker[1] and do so only in social situations. Can anyone out there share their experiences with me?

[1] Once upon a time, after watching Leaving Las Vegas, I decided to drink a lot just to see what it was like. I'd never had a hangover, I'd never been drunk. I sat on the floor at home and drank pre-made margaritas and scotch for a while. It was odd, it did nothing for me, it gave me no emotional satisfaction even in the Take that, world! sense.I didn't go past that night, and have never done that again.