Saturday, August 22, 2009

Alcohol: The Bad Lawyer Performance Enhancing Drug

The correlation between Bad Lawyers and alcohol (or drugs) is fairly strong--at least, I accept that it is so. I am an alcoholic; at least twenty-three years ago I was an actively practicing alcoholic. Drunk.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous points out the salient feature of all good practicing alcoholics: we're mentally ill. That is, I have a mental and emotional obsessiveness that became in my case a physical compulsion to drink like a fish. As a young, single, attorney I drank a lot and when I was not drinking a lot, I was thinking about drinking a lot.

I heard lots of stories at AA meetings in the years since May, 1986; many of them related to "supply problems" getting and keeping enough alcohol on hand. In my case I had no supply problems, I could always buy enough alcohol: instead I had a disposal problem. I drank so much that I was socially embarrassed, dealing with the empty cans and bottles.

Once I understood the mental obsession element of alcoholism; I got it. I accepted that that was what I had. I drank, I thought about drinking, I thought about getting over the consequences of my drinking, and I thought about when will I next be able to drink the way I want to drink. Even today, as I struggle with my status as a Bad Lawyer it is the mental stickiness that bogs me down. My obsession over the mistakes and wrong turns keep me awake at night.

God, relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will!

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