Monday, July 20, 2009

Itches and Scratches.

From the ODAT, page 202:

"Wanting to know why the alcoholic drinks or, when sober, why he does what he does, is "an itch for which there is no scratch."

That makes me laugh every time I read it.

I have a close relationship with that particular itch, it tormented me for the first 8 or so years of my marriage to the drinking alcoholic. I wanted to know why. I believed that if I knew why, (recite this along with me, I know you can) I'd be able to accept it more easily. Except that's not true, so all I'm doing when I ask that question, or set that condition, is putting a barrier between me and my recovery.

Other itches for which I have no scratch are:

Why can I remember some program tools when I'm stressed, but not others?

Why do I need to get some lessons repeatedly, before I can accept the truth they carry?

Why do people choose behavior that they know will bring an unwanted consequence?

Why do I continue to buy articles of clothing that need altering, when I know I'm never going to get around to doing it, so they just hang in my closet, unworn?

Why do dogs (and cats, when we had cats, they did this same thing) come though the dog/cat door into the house, look around, and then immediately go right back outside again? What were they looking for?

What's your itch for which there is no scratch?


  1. What can't I remember what I went upstairs to get until I am already back downstairs?

    This was great! I too always wanted to understand why until I came to the conclusion that even if I knew why it still wouldn't change a single thing!

  2. I don't know right now about an itch and no scratch, but I do have a thought about your first itch/no scratch.
    You wrote:
    "Why can I remember some program tools when I'm stressed, but not others?
    The immediate thought I had is thank God, no matter what, I remember the most important tool I have - I drop to my knees and pray.
    Then I remember the second most important tool - call my sponsor.
    Loved this post,

  3. My itch is to keep my cool when under attack. And to remember to say, You may be right. My ego tends to want to defend a position and that is just stupid when dealing with an alcoholic.