why i won’t go out with you

lonely, in pain and a brilliant mindalcohol3

Secrets, incredible acting and a magician’s ability to divert attention.  My ability to lie took so much time to develop and gain the confidence to do so, but eventually lying could not mask the pain anymore.  When I was drinking, I thought about alcohol all the time.  I wanted drugs all the time.  My drug of choice was always ‘more’ (I did not invent this phrase, but I believe it to be brilliant in the ways of an addict’s mind).  So many people walk around every day and the idea of a drink or a drug never even crosses their mind.  How different we are.  This feeling never completely goes away, I still have numerous moments where somehow the idea of drugs or alcohol enter my mind, but over time I have built up a defense system equipped with support.  Nevertheless, sometimes, undeniably, crazy thoughts can pop into my head.  Now I mean fucking crazy thoughts.  Please remember, as an addict I have a brilliant mind.  I am somehow smart enough to know I couldn’t have a drink even if I wanted to.  When I drank, I was sloppy and obvious and it was undeniable.  So I’d never get away with it.  Hear that?  “Get away with it.”  That’s my first consequence on the chart.  Get away with it how?  Not go to jail?  Not die?  How insane it can be to be this way.  I recall these type of thoughts:  “So I drank a fifth of vodka alone in a night, so what?  I didn’t do anything stupid this time.  No one even knew, all good.”

-Yes I did this and yes, I thought it was “cool”.  It is not cool to drink a fifth of vodka, especially alone.

That is the point here.  My mind works differently.  Liver failure, DUI, jail time, killing someone, killing myself.  So many people look at those consequences and decide to avoid the things that could allow these items to happen.  Some of these items don’t even enter certain people’s minds.  Why would they?  Well the honest to God’s truth is that NONE of them EVER stopped me from drinking.  Some nights I prayed one or the other would not happen to me out of fear, but I still kept going.  The instant that first drop of alcohol hit my lips and then my stomach, the feeling was pure bliss, I thought.

The very second I felt that alcohol, that fire hit my belly, I was gone.  I was happy (sure I was).  Start the race.  My new goal until I passed out was to find and pour as much of that liquor down my throat as I could.  I do not have the best ears in the world, but I could hear a bartender call last call from a mile away.  Last call at a bar for me involved three completely necessary tasks.  Task 1: Get to the bar quickly and order myself two drinks, usually each a double (unless on the off chance they had cut me off, which happened a few times see addendum A – Finding a friend to get a drink for me).  Task 2: Figure out the plan to drink more after that bar, even if it meant at home alone.  Task 3 (optional): Hopefully find someone to take a shot with (on top of the two doubles I had ordered).  If you wanted to see me frustrated and quietly angry, you should have seen me on days, where Task 2 had no prospects and my wife insisted I come home and go to bed.  This meant drinking time was over (see addendum B – Convincing the wife to have a drink when we got home.)  Yet this was all my normal world and it made sense somehow.

 

i am insane

This blog is my place to speak my truth.  I don’t speak for alcoholics or addicts.  I find these pieces allow me to stay honest and are just another piece that helps me not drink today.  I have had some amazing people support me and talk to me after a piece and I am eternally grateful for that response.  I love to hear from people on either side of the fence and welcome a discussion.  Pardon my language here, but those who have never experienced addiction have no fucking clue what it is like.  I make jokes that I still do tons of things alcoholically, like eating a full sleeve of cookies or exercising as much as possible for a few weeks.  These things are true.  However, that is not true addiction.  Addiction is being late to an important meeting because you have to stop home and get high.  Addiction is using money you need for dinner but using it for drugs instead and consciously making that decision and feeling as though it was the right one.

I was poor as fuck in college, but I was still stoned every day and blackout drunk often.  Waking up in strange places not knowing why you are there is a feeling you keep with you.  A rooftop comes to mind.  And it’s ok to smile or laugh about that but also realize that there was pain and problems with something like that.  Laughing about some of the stupid stuff I did is also helpful.  But as much as I hated the idea, eventually, the party had to end…

 

the end of the party

This is the part where they put the disclaimer up ‘Viewer Discretion Advised’.  I do not presume that April 2010 was my rock bottom.  I PRAY that it was, but in this world of addiction, filling my head with grandiose ideas of never drinking again is a very unhealthy and, at times, overwhelming way to feel.

My body wants more and more and more of everything.  I did not handle traveling home after vacation very well.  On vacation, I went all out, all the time.  I blacked out and do not remember entire evenings.  I puked so much I literally could puke no more.  Even alcohol poisoning, or as close as one can get, two nights in a row, in Vegas and vomiting blood everywhere didn’t even make me think for one second that I should cool it on the drinking.  After the first night of walking the line between passing out on a bathroom floor and being takin to the hospital, I went with my fiancé to breakfast.  Well, I could not even eat.  All I could do was drink straight vodka out of a water bottle while holding back the spits with a hotel hand towel.  Even then, there was ZERO thought of quitting or that I had a problem.  The only thought was of getting enough vodka back in my system that I could function and be normal.  That is the truth of the matter.  I really believed that if I could just drink a full water bottle of vodka at 11am on an empty stomach, that I would feel normal again and thus, it was ok.  Many hours later I could be seen walking through Old Vegas with a full wine bottle in hand.  You might be thinking that after drinking for another 20 hours and coming severely close, again, to death, this must be the story of the end.  Unfortunately, that story happened two years before I quit drinking.  I was hung over for a month though.  Seriously.  One month, yet I did not give it up.

Finally, when we lost Dave in January of 2010, I could no longer stop the train racing towards the cliff.  The last normal for me was secret drinks at work, snorting anxiety medication just because and smoking weed as if it were a second job.  But mostly, my normal was unhappiness.  I did not genuinely smile much during those few months.  I am brilliant so I made the best appearance of “I’m getting through it all.”  But deep inside, I wasn’t.  In my thoughts, I was too cowardly to kill myself, but I secretly hoped the booze and medication might eventually do it, especially if I used them to excess.  And I am talking a level of excess I had yet to achieve to this point because I had some genuine fear of death.  But take away that fear of death and mix it with an alcoholic’s downward spiral and you’ve got a recipe for one serious disaster.  I don’t mind meeting friends at a bar occasionally, I like a good party for a few hours, I’ll even entertain my best friends sometimes until midnight or so if I’m feeling generous.  But for me the party has ended and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I love a cup of coffee and a conversation any day over watching people trip over themselves or try to tell me, in slurred speech, that they are proud of me.  Avoiding a given event or party isn’t about the fear of relapse, it is about the desire to not go back and visit the prisons I once inhabited.

I was lucky.  My disaster was pretty big.  It was very hard.  But I survived it and I am here today and writing about it and you are reading it and still talking to me.  You must understand how insanely impossible this reality would have been to comprehend back then.  It could not happen, yet it did.  If you wanna talk about addiction, lets talk.  If you wanna know more, I’ll buy you a coffee and tell you more.  If you hate this blog, well, luckily there are other options out there.  But most importantly, I just want to say to anyone reading, thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

the alcoholic monologue

there’s never a good time to realize that you’re f*cked upSay-when

There’s REALLY never a good time to tell people you love that you’re f*cked up.  But there does come a point when it becomes easier to do it.  Then, if you’re lucky, it becomes such a part of you that you tell anyone at any time, and I truly mean you are lucky if you make it to this point, a lot of people never do.

“Oh you have an uncle who is an alcoholic?  That’s really super interesting.  Has that been fun for you?  What’s he like?  Maybe I know him from our club of insane people.  Thanks for trying to relate to me!”

Ok, so we actually DO have a club, but some people don’t quite get that joke.  I’m not sure they should either.  But you don’t have to know me.  You don’t have to relate to me and you don’t have to pretend to understand what it is like.  There might be an outward appearance of slapstick humor and quick one liners about the whole thing, but that’s just because the truth of the situation is sad and painful and hurts people.  It’s not fair in this instance to speak anymore in the plural form because while there is plenty of humor here, I don’t want to speak for anyone else.  I was able to stop drinking years ago, but not everyone is so lucky.

 

“i should quit drinking too, I drink too much”

If you tell people you are an alcoholic, get ready for this one.  Well how do you like to get drunk?  More importantly, how do you like to drink?  “It’s drinking time, boys!”  “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” (is there a dumber f*cking phrase in the English language?)  You want to research and answer the drinking questions on yourself?  Go right ahead.  But you telling me you need to quit or cut back or whatever it is, that’s like me walking up to Ted Bundy and saying, “I sure can hurt people sometimes too, perhaps I should cut back.”  Maybe you smile or laugh at that analogy.  Well, I’m not.  (Ok I am AND I giggled when I realized the pun in there about cut back too.  When you think about that it also clearly speaks to my insanity in giggling at a pun inside an analogy comparing my own hurtful ways to one of the worst mass murderers in history.)  Anyway, that sh*t is true though.  You “drink too much” is a problem?  Well then figure it out, pal, but I have my own questions for you.  Lets call this next section:

 

am I am alcoholic questionnaire – using real life examples – answer true or false

  1. When I drink, I drink to excess on purpose and force people to stay up until 7a and listen to the score of the Shawshank Redemption while I cry and talk about life.
  2. My drinking causes issues at work, usually because I have a hard time by 11A talking normally to clients because I have polished off the bottle of red wine I bought at 8A on the way to work.
  3. I do stupid things when I drink, specifically during blackouts, such as paying a DJ $20 to sing your favorite song before the bar closes, even though it is not a karaoke bar or DJ, then falling backwards off the table you were dancing on and hitting your head.

that sh*t is funny……

The stories I tell are ones of good times and crazy moments.  I’m f*cked up, but who wants to hear about someone pissing in their own bed at the age of 30?  Well that DID happen, but it’s funnier when you tell the story about pissing the bed at age 22, the “bed” is a bunk bed, you’re on the top bunk and your buddy is on the bottom bunk.  Then the despicable become laughable, yet, the reality of the situation is that they are both actually just sad.  At a birthday party the joke gets more outrageous as each gift is opened and it is another bottle of vodka.  Everyone enjoys the gag and it is actually rather comical that at my birthday party I got 9 bottles of vodka.  The comedy seems to vanish quicker than the week and a half it took me to finish them all, except 1, which made it up to the last day I used it.

Let me be clear that I am not trying to create some sort of environment here that requires sympathy or pity.  I don’t want that at all.  I’ve seen plenty of “those looks”.  I’m just saying there is the surface and there is something underneath.

 

but when you put it that way, it’s not that funny

I may need to get real here.  I don’t even know if anyone will read this, but maybe someone does.  Even more so, maybe someone who actually questions his or her drinking reads it and I have to at least speak to that person.  I am that person.  I will always be that person.  I am different and I do things differently than other people.  But one day things did change for me.  This is no happy story, my friend.  I didn’t slam a drink down on the bar and say “I have had enough.”  My first moment came with a blood soaked shirt, a psychiatrist and a lot of tears on the faces of the people I love the most.  And that shit ain’t f*cking funny at all.

So if you want to relate, then let’s relate.  Do you know a plumber?  (If not, just play along.)  I don’t know any plumbers personally, but if I did and I happen to be speaking to another plumber, I’d probably say “Oh, my so and so is a plumber.”  Not knowing any plumbers personally I can’t say for certain, but if I did and had this conversation and made this comment I would imagine that plumber would have no more to say to me after the comment in particular than he did before I made the comment.  This is such a funny human trait that I am guilty of myself.  But when we speaking to another human being we do not know we look for relatable material to pass the time while we converse.  For some reason, we naturally relate by telling each other we know someone who does what they do or knows what they know or whatever.  Yet most of the time knowing that person gives us absolutely no more material to discuss with this stranger.  To be clear, I believe support and compassion are two of the greatest things on earth.  I just find us humans funny sometimes how we try to find the ways to do that.  So let me start the conversation by stating that I am an alcoholic, I’m a drug addict.

 

i have a great life idea!

“It sure is a pretty day outside today,” says no drug addict who isn’t high.  You see, I am a drug addict.  I like to use drugs to get me high.  I use the term drug referring to alcohol as well as other substances.  One I get those substances in my body I can focus on you.  THEN I can tell you it is a nice day out.  If I am high, I can sit here and tell you the f*cking opera is worth the money.  I don’t care about it.

I wouldn’t say I decided at a very young age to grow up and f*ck everything up with alcohol and drugs.  I would not say that.  My son had to fill out a sheet for pre-school about what I want to be when I grow up.  He picked a Ninja Turtle.  I didn’t read all of the class’s entries, but I didn’t see “town drunk”, “pothead” or “deadbeat drug addict” for anyone’s answer.  I guess I should have since I could have possibly at least been the one kid in class to fulfill his self-appointed destiny.  Main problem is, I wouldn’t have cared anyway.  This brings me to my last point……

 

you still haven’t told us what it’s like

There is a certain kind of pain reserved in life when it comes to aspects of love.  Have you ever loved someone so much before but you couldn’t tell them?  Perhaps they were in love with someone else, perhaps YOU were also in love with someone else at the same time, if you believe that to be possible.  For the point of this section, I’ll ask you to try and follow even if you have not.  When you love someone that much but cannot tell them, ever, it hurts real badly.  You want to be around them SO much and SO often, but you can’t and you need to be careful because if you let on too strongly they may become afraid and retreat.  You’re in a terrible, friend-zone-ish place that you will struggle with every single day and not be able to tell one person about it, because you will be shunned, you will be made to feel like your feelings are wrong or selfish.  But you know you love this person.  There is something about them that makes you smile at the very thought of their being.  You fantasize about a different dimension where you are able to be happy together.  You know that there are a handful of factors that may swoop in and take this person from you at any point in time.  This person is everything you ever thought happiness could be and you can’t understand why fate would play the cruelest joke in the world on you and put them in your life in a capacity where you can never be with them yet you must be around them constantly.  You also thank fate for giving you at least this.  Your insanity grows more and more each day as you struggle with whether or not to come clean……

 

this post is about a girl?  it’s about a crush?

No.  Well, if you want me to make the worst, most awful joke ever, it’s sort of about Mary Jane or Cindy Smirnoff I guess.  But my point was that’s what it’s like to be a drug addict.  At least for me.  It was a constant struggle of getting enough but not too much so people could tell.  You wish you could live without fear of judgement if people knew.  You can’t understand why you were given this terrible affliction, but you can’t imagine living without it and you know you are one discovery away from it being possibly taken away forever.  You dream and desire to be high when you’re not and when you are high, it’s rarely enough and may God be with you if the drugs stop working because there is no worse place on this planet than that.

 

i think I’m sad now…..

You’re not sad.  Don’t be sad.  Remember the jokes, remember the funny.  Embrace your faults, embrace yourself for who you are.  I was a craptastic, selfish, rude, a**hole addicted to alcohol and drugs and look at me now, I cut out the alcohol and drugs!  Life IS sad.  But not always, I hope.  But the sad is what can also bring us to happy sometimes.  You don’t know me because you’re a drug addict like me, but you can still get to know me.  Just remember that when we meet, and I tell you I am an alcoholic, don’t tell me about your cousin, feel free to ask me what it’s like being an alcoholic.  Then maybe we can actually get to know each other and have a real conversation.