Roger Ebert Reader on Addiction

Roger Ebert

Ted Pillow has pulled together a collection of Roger Ebert quotes about addiction. I loved Ebert and this is a great read. Here’s a taste:

“Alcoholics or drug addicts feel wrong when they don’t feel right. Eventually they feel very wrong, and must feel right, and at that point their lives spiral down into some sort of final chapter—recovery if they’re lucky, hopelessness and death if they’re not.24 Drunks always think that if they could fix all the things that are wrong, then they could stop drinking. It never occurs to them to stop drinking first.25

The practicing alcoholic is familiar with a gnawing feeling in the pit of the stomach—the guilt at letting other people down, the remorse at letting himself down. Criticism in any form is likely to be met with anger, because nothing you can tell him will make him feel worse than the things he tells himself.26

Every drunk considers himself a special case, unique, an exception to the rules. Odd, since for the practicing alcoholic, daily life is mostly unchanging, an attempt to negotiate daily responsibilities while drinking enough but not too much. When this attempt fails, as it often does, it results in events that the drunk thinks make him colorful. True variety comes only with sobriety.27