There were so many opportunities for a last drunk. The first time I remember being black out drunk was in Ibiza in 2010. I woke up and had no idea where I was, how I got there or where my friends were. I forgot that I was even in Spain. No wait, the first time I blacked out was at a Christmas party in Amsterdam. I remember falling asleep on the kitchen floor and waking up on a bus. I didn’t know how I got on it or where I was going. People spoke in a language I didn’t understand. Nothing was familiar.
One time I got so wasted that I hallucinated that I was at the salon fighting with a coworker and ended up hitting my friend. We were at a New Year’s Eve party.
One time I had spent 18 hours on a binge, only for something to make me mad and I left in a rage, but not before finishing the vodka. I remember driving with the pedal all the way to the floor on the MacArthur causeway during early morning rush hour traffic. I could only see out of one eye. I soiled my self and my car. I tell everyone it was vomit. I bathed in a toilet in a hotel. I passed out on the beach, woke up sun burned, and did it all again the next day.
I passed out in my car in my parents driveway.
I blacked out on my first date with my husband and apparently puked in his kitchen sink.
One time I lost my car for 3 days, broke into someone’s house looking for drugs and came home at 4am because I could not find my keys. They were in my back pocket.
These stories are endless for me. There are plenty of occasions that were not extreme. Those are the ones that kept me fooled that I didn’t really have a problem. I could drink normal. I’d have a glass of wine or a beer and stop. I wouldn’t do anything shameful. These instances were enough to make me think I was okay.
My last drunk was January 29, 2016. It was a day after an epic Gatsby party I threw at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum. I felt the shame of the last 4 months of not doing my job to plan this completely unnecessary and expensive event and it was all for vanity. I was sad, I bought two bottles of wine and came home to drink with my husband. He was sleeping so I drank alone in our dining room corner and cried. At some point I left to go get more and got lost. For hours. I didn’t know where I was, I had to send my husband my pin location to find me. The next day, I wanted to drink more and was surprised to realize I drank both bottles, by myself, the night before, prior to getting in my car and driving. WHAT?!
It was at this point I thought I might have a problem and decided to take a two week sabbatical from work, so I could drink and think. I faced losing everything. I was suicidal. My marriage was on the rocks. The company I was working to build was falling apart and my life was unmanageable. It took about two weeks for me to find the courage to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I took two more days for me to pick up the white chip of Surrender. I drank the next day. Finally, on February 19, 2016 I picked up my last white chip. I don’t know how I did it to be honest.
In the program, we take it one day at a time…sometimes one hour at a time. In the weeks and months to follow, the smallest tasks were so overwhelming that they would bring me to tears. My sponsor would tell me to focus on the next right thing. One thing at a time. Brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, put the lid on the toothpaste, wipe the counter. It became molecular at moments. I didn’t know how to do anything sober. The first time I had to fold clothes sober, must have taken me what seemed like hours. How was I going to get through mundane tasks without a buzz? This was so foreign to me.
A few months after I got sober, my husband and I went on a cruise. There isn’t much to do on the cruise besides drink and gamble and we didn’t do either. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I read in our room, slept a lot and watched everyone else drink. Because I was seeing clearly for the first time in a decade, I could watch the point where drinking cause the couples on their honeymoon to get irritated and fight. For the rest of the trip, those couples didn’t seem to like each other very much. I knew that all too well and it solidified my decision that alcohol is poison and I didn’t want those effects anymore.
A few more months went by and the cumulative effort of my actions started to yield results. My marriage started to get better, my business was picking up and I was starting to believe I would one day like the person I am. In hindsight, I know I mostly drank because I didn’t like myself. I drank so that others would see me, accept me, or maybe that I would forget that they were even there.
To accomplish anything in life demands rigorous honesty. This is something I knew nothing about. I always found loopholes, bent rules, hid things. Now I check myself, I have parameters in place that require me to be accountable: such as working with a fitness coach or writing down the current state of my finances. This is the only way I have been able to make any forward movement.
Step 1 requires me to recognize that I am powerless and my life was unmanageable.
Step 2 requires me to believe in a God that will restore me to sanity.
Step 3 requires me to let go of my will and to turn my plans over to God.
Today, God is in complete control of my life. I have to make hard decisions but they are honest ones. Today, I don’t need to escape my life anymore. Today, I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. It all started by taking it One Day At A Time.