I stayed up all night writing love letters to a young lady with whom I was smitten. I sipped beer through the night as I wrote. In my mind, I was drinking a little and writing a lot. In my mind. In the early morning I got into my car and drove onto highway 101 in Marin north to her house. I dropped off my love letters, and then proceeded to drive home. Getting off an exit, my car began to "fishtail" that is, swerve left and right from the rear while moving forward. I could not stop it. I was going slowly, was I not? In my mind. I drove right through the 4 lane cross street and up a curb onto a grassy area. I finally came to a stop. What to do? Drive home of course. I backed the car onto the pavement and proceeded to drive home, with some loud sound coming from beneath the car. When I got to my driveway, I realized that I had driven on highway 101 with three tires and a metal rim. I had completely lost a tire! What to do? I went to bed and bell asleep. Normal right? When I finally woke up, my friends asked me if I had seen the condition of my car. They seemed concerned, more about me than the car. What is the problem? The problem was that I had lowered my standards faster than I had lowered my behavior. So my life seemed normal to me. I was sober. The car swerved in spite of my careful driving, so my problem was I needed to get the car repaired. I was not in need of repair. Some time later, much later, when sanity entered my life, I realized that I had been driving while alcohol impaired, and writing love letters to a women who barely knew me. I did not see it at the time because little by little I had lowered my standards to match my worsening behavior. As someone said, "you only hit bottom when your behavior spirals down faster than your standards."
More on this tomorrow.