It’s weird being the only person not drinking at my own birthday dinner with family…
Do you remember the first time you got drunk and how it made you feel?
I cannot remember my first taste of alcohol, but I have hazy memories of taking a sip of my dad’s beer or of a relative’s glass of wine as a youngster. These weren’t sips taken on the sly, they were offered to me.
The first time I got drunk was at my friend Jen’s house. I was 15 or 16, and it was during one of our sleepovers. Jen’s parents were much older, and we always got away with so much at her house. We would hang out in her room listening to music, smoking cigarettes and pot. Sometimes we would have little parties with other friends in the apartment that was attached to her garage. After Jen’s older sister moved out, that area was ours. There was even a hot tub in there! Party central. I never dropped acid, but I remember several friends doing so one New Year’s Eve. My friend Tonya was having a bad trip, and she was sitting on the floor, banging her head against the wall. No wonder I never did acid…that image will always be with me.
Oh yeah, the drinking. Jen’s parent’s had a liquor cabinet full of goodies that seemed to be only for show. One night it was just me and her, and she had a bottle of Wild Turkey from that cabinet waiting for us in her room. So we did shots of Wild Turkey with cherry Kool-Aid chasers that night. I don’t remember how many shots I had, but I do remember how it made me feel: warm, giggly, happy. We spent the rest of that night smoking cigarettes, laughing, and listening to music. Every time after that, I always hoped that Jen would have another bottle in her room so I could get that amazing feeling back.
The rest of my high school career went the same way. All my gatherings with friends revolved around the hope that there would be booze at some point. One time with another group of buddies, we helped ourselves to mouthfuls of booze straight from the bottle as we did a quick raid on the liquor cabinet before The Parents home. Denine was pissed and did not partake, as she was worried that her parents would notice. Kara and I didn’t care, because all we wanted was that quick buzz. I rarely snuck booze at home, because of the fear of my mom and her boyfriend noticing the diminishing amounts of booze from their bottles. One night my senior year I said fuck it, slammed shots of vodka until I threw up and passed out, later adding some water to the bottle to make up for what had been drunk.
Was it any wonder that my freshman year of college was so great? I could never get over all the girls in my dorm who called their mothers every night crying from homesickness. I missed my cat and my older brother like hell, but I had free reign to get blasted whenever I wanted! Even better, as a woman I could always get alcohol underage, no problem. Didn’t matter where I was at, I could find a guy to buy me a drink. Easy-peasy.
Since this post is already all over the place, I’m going to switch gears even more. I have the double bonus of having alcoholism run in both sides of the family. My paternal grandfather never drank because his dad was an asshole drunk, and he knew better than to go down that road. My dad quit drinking when I was 10, after a DUI. He later thanked the cop that stopped him for saving his life. He quit on his own, and since then has always referred to himself as a recovering alcoholic. I only recently came to the conclusion that my dad is not an alcoholic. Dad was a big partier and I am thankful that he quit when he did. However, he can still have the occasional beer at a ballgame now. Often he won’t even finish it, he just has the taste for a beer and stops drinking it before getting buzzed. I’ve always been in awe of this. A recovering alcoholic who can still drink every now and then? Who can actually control his drinking? I will never tell my dad that he isn’t an alcoholic, though I now know that a true alcoholic cannot go down the road that he did. His ability to do this skewed my own perception of drinking before I completed my IOP last year. Now I know that I can never safely drink again, and I am so thankful to have that realization.
And this conclude’s today’s “Random Thoughts with Sober & Awkward”. Hope you’re all having a good week.
So the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee is on my ass this week. I’m letting my thoughts and insecurities get the best of me, and I’ve been pretty down the past couple days. I’m looking forward to seeing my counselor tomorrow, as I have a few things on my mind that I need to discuss with her.
One of the reasons I drank was to quiet the voice in my head that told me that I was never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. With a drink or two (or ten), I could relax my body and my mind. Now I’m just…naked and exposed. Sober and awkward! Feelings coming out all over the place. I’m talking about them more, and I am seeing progress. However, I’ve always lacked self-confidence and I am really struggling with that and learning to really love and accept myself.
I’ve begun meditating, and I am picking up on my exercise again. Sometimes I feel like I am spending so much time fixing/improving myself that I’m not really getting out there and living! Does that make sense? Obviously this is all something I need to figure out on my own, but if any of you have some guidance to give, it would be greatly appreciated.
My emotions have been all over the place lately. I felt wonderful this morning and afternoon. Tonight, after bursting into tears, I realized that, duh! It’s almost that time of the month. And again, there’s so much on my plate. I really do feel that I am doing the best I can in my situation.
One of the reasons for being in tears is that I am still grieving the loss of my girl Grace. I miss her most at night. Despite my other (wonderful) dog and my two kitties, the house still seems so quiet and empty without her. I miss her snoring from the love seat, the way her tail would wag (thump, thump, thump on the couch) and how she would “run” in her sleep. Her sighs. Her wet, velvety nose nudging me for her bedtime snack. Her perpetually sweet-smelling head. The way she would lean into me for pets when I got home from work.
It’s been two months, and while it has gotten easier, sometimes I’ll think of her or look for her in the house by habit and the pain takes my breath away. The bond between people and dogs is fascinating, isn’t it? Grace Kelly, I hope we get to meet again someday.
Wow! It feels so good to be closing in on that one year mark. I love this post about how length of sobriety doesn’t matter, but rather “the width” does (that kind of makes me want to giggle – sometimes I feel like a 12 year old boy in disguise). It makes perfect sense, but still, I’m enjoying counting down my first year of sobriety. It’s amazing how much has happened in the past ten months, how I’ve grown. I’m relishing every day, because I never knew I had it in me to do this, to get this far.
This morning I went to a new-to-me meeting. It’s a big book discussion, and it’s a really small group. I haven’t been going to any big book meetings regularly, so I’m going to try to go every Wednesday. My regular meetings fall mainly on the weekend, so having one mid-week will be beneficial. Anyway, it was good. Since it was a small group I felt comfortable enough to talk. I’m still battling my shyness, but at least I’m putting myself out there. A couple others close to my age were also there for the first time. We chatted a bit after, and I’m hoping to run into them again.
I’m feeling really good today, though I am still struggling with my issues from my last post. I also had a court appearance this week, and that’s one more scary obstacle I’ve conquered. Hopefully the end will soon be in sight, and I can move on with my life. In the meantime, I am doing a lot of work on me. I’m exploring meditation, trying to get into the habit of praying, am keeping in touch with my sponsor, getting back into regular workouts, taking a lot of time just for me. I deserve it.
Isn’t it amazing what sunshine can do for the soul? For mood? It’s “warmed up” to the 30s today, but wow! I am high on the promise of spring. It’s been such a rough winter, and the never ending crap weather does not help with my depression. Add on all the stuff I have going on, and it’s been a roughie for me. I feel like I’m just throwing depressed babble out there, but really, I am doing the best I can to stay positive and keep my head up right now.
I just made the extremely difficult decision to cut someone out of my life. This is the person that has drug me through the emotional ringer for the past two weeks. They became my go-to confidant the past eight months after my car accident. We’ve been in almost constant contact since last June, and without him, I am floundering. There is a huge void now, and I know that only I can fill that void inside of me. I know he didn’t mean to hurt me, but he did and the pain is unbearable. I tried to keep in contact, but today I told him I can’t do it any longer. The anger is eating me alive. So we had a conversation, and since then, I’ve blocked and deleted him from various social networking sites. It hurts and I miss him like crazy, but it’s for the best.