Ramblings of a Former Madman

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You’re So Screwed: All you need to know about the Four Horsemen of Alcoholism

The Four Horsemen of Alcoholism.

They’re the equine-riding demons that devour your mind, will and emotions (and your soul a little later). This is not a voluntary ride. You were conscripted for service the moment you crossed your personal invisible threshold into King Alcohol’s Kingdom. Your last days of heavy drinking before death.

They're the equine-riding demons that devour your mind, will and emotions (and your soul). Click To Tweet

Not sure if you or your loved one has crossed that threshold? Here’s an easy test:

  1. Have the old pleasures of the past when you were drinking evaporated into just memories? Though obsessed with recapturing them, you only encounter heart breaking failure? Or;
  2. Is your alcoholic life now best characterized as a tendency to withdraw from people and society and your obsession’s primary objective to drink until oblivion is reached?

If you answered “yes” to either of the two simple questions above, you have irreversibly crossed the invisible threshold. Congratulations! You will never again experience any aspect of life, without the constant companionship of the Horsemen. They’re friends for life! Until you die.

Now you’ll truly understand that the names of the Four Horsemen are not equivalent with the human emotions of terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair. These become your human condition. The state of your whole being, mind, body and soul; an encounter with the Four Horsemen is a whole body experience. The horses ram their snouts at full speed up your ass and trample on, embracing you from the inside out.

Each of the Horsemen remain within you, their icy presence clenching your guts until you’re forcibly united. You are all four of them. Who you were becomes no longer recognizable. Worse, (and more horrifying) you can’t even escape into oblivion; it’s gone, unattainable, permanently replaced with the Horsemen. 

Say hello to your new family: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair. Click To Tweet



For the sake of your life, I won’t mince words…This is exactly who you become and what you experienceafter you have crossed your invisible threshold. This isn’t a message for the “Other Folks”: the “Real Alkies” and the “Hard-core Alcoholics” that “you’re not as bad as.” This one’s for you!

I can’t make this any clearer: this is your ass in the saddle, you are going for the ride of your life.

A state of continual, horrifying panic, dread, fear and trepidation awaits you.

(Then you die.)



I know your first solution to this untenable state of being; you’re an alcoholic. Drinking more got you here, so drinking even more will get you out, right?

Ha-ha. Alcoholic logic is tragically hilarious, I should know. Well, the get-drunker plan didn’t work, so…

If you haven’t died yet here’s your second solution: Abstinence.

Of course! It’s been staring you in the face the whole time. Your will is indeed mighty.

In a dry moment, you’ll lie to yourself and everyone around you (it’s natural and you’ve been doing it for years): “I don’t really miss it. I feel better.” Who do you think you’re talking to? I rode that horse all the way, bleeding out in a shock-trauma hospital.

You drunk liar. Truth is, you’d give your left nut or tit for a half-dozen drinks right this second.

Let’s see how this plan works…



It’s not by coincidence they’re front and center first thing in the morning.

“…And the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen…*”

That’s when you’re at your weakest. It’s intentional. You’re struggling like hell not to drink, in a desperate state of Sobriety. The moment you awaken, you smell the monstrous steeds’ sickening breath, flick open your eyes, and see your companions again.

The Horsemen.

They finish their meal of your sobriety before your ass is out of bed. You haven’t even had time to flee and find a morning beer to suck down. You know how horses eat; chomping their huge horse teeth again and again, all the while devouring your soul. They don’t even take the time to enjoy it, the pigs.

Now you need a drink. The panic, dread and fear is more than you can bear.

Glug, glug. So much for plan number two. You’re out of options.

If you haven’t gotten there yet this is where you’re headed. Yes, YOU.

“…He will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol, or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end. *” 



I’ve painted a pretty glum picture of them. In fairness, they’re wildly, absurdly spectacular creatures! It’s like a living Stephen King movie: horrific feelings, creatures with hugely distorted body parts, piss-your-pants terrifying!  and almost free. (It cost you your life, but you’ve already sold that.)

I dig deeply into these Horsemen in my upcoming book, “I almost Murdered a Complete Stranger.” These blogs will be a hell of a prelude though. Let me know if you’ve come across these demons.. here on Facebook or here on Twitter. 

1. * References are drawn from, “Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 11: A Vision for You”,  fourth edition, Pg. 151

Ramblings of a Former Madman

Join my mailing list for satirical musings, gripping stories, indelicate but often hilarious commentary, and (questionable) life advice.

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