I bought these Doc Martens the first time I was in London, March 2002. They’re wickedly uncomfortable, but I love them. There’s a blue and red stripe up at the top of the boot, some extra flair that my jeans cover up. And thanks to a night of heavy drinking in November 2012, the toes are scuffed all to hell.

Perhaps it makes them look a bit more weathered, but the scuffed toes tend to piss me off. I’m pissed that I fucked up my Docs, even more pissed that it’s because I was well (as the Brits say), pissed.

I was out celebrating the birthday of one of my best buddies that night. It began innocently, with sushi and a beer. I can’t remember where we all ended up or what happened. I just remember thinking once again that it was going to be a laid back night. Seems like those laid back nights always caused me the most grief! They often ended up being a catastrophe.

I have hazy memories of walking stumbling back to J’s house from a bar. It was her birthday, and while she was also a heavy drinker (and the birthday girl!), she was in charge of getting Drunky Drunkerton back to her house. Apparently throwing me into a cab wasn’t an option. Only a couple months earlier that happened at another birthday celebration and I ended up passed out in a park. Clearly I wasn’t to be trusted to get home safely on my own anymore once I reached the point of no return.

On the walk to J’s house, I was so drunk I kept falling down. It was freezing and I was done. I wanted only to sprawl out on the sidewalk and pass out. J kept dragging me back up, and I would stumble and fall on my face again. I woke up with some incredible bruises and some banged up Docs. I kept hearing J coax me back up: “Come on KC, we’re almost at my house. You can do this!” She was and still is so sweet to me.

It felt like I was attempting to cross the Appalachian Trail instead of a sidewalk. Our journey back took what seemed forever, but we finally made it. I crashed in bed with her, and never gave one thought to letting my ex know where I was. Probably because at that point, I didn’t know where I was and didn’t care.

That night reminds me of a party I was at before I turned 18. I ran around my friend’s house double fisting beer and wine the entire time. The night ended badly of course. At one point I was in the bathroom and two of my buddies were trying get me to stand up, coaxing me just like J had. I could see our reflection in the mirror, see them struggling to hold up my dead weight. 17 year old me and 32 year old me were exactly the same. It took until I was 33 to end the madness.

I wore my Docs yesterday for the first time since the spring, and tying those laces, seeing the scuffs brought all those memories back. At first it was shame and embarrassment, but the longer I wore them yesterday, the better I felt. I’m never going to be that falling down drunken disaster ever again. And that feels amazing.


15 thoughts on “Reminders

  1. Pissed in London – me too, too many times to count. But now I’m building a memory bank of sober times in London. Like you I’m just glad that I’ve stopped doing that anymore 🙂

  2. Great story, K. I think we all have some items / places, etc. that we have strong associations with in our old lives. I still cringe at certain things or places I pass. I can’t go back in time and fix them, but I am clear of most of the residue from it all. It’s about where I can go from here on in. And that’s what you’re doing…one scuffed doc at a time 🙂

    Nice to see you post again, my friend. Was thinking of you the other day.


  3. Ha. So many horrible thought of regret done to me that quickly turn into relief, because “that’s never going to happen again.” That’ll never be me again! Great post! And I l love the shoes!

  4. This was a great post. There’s something to be said for refusing to let shame continue to punish you for your past, and by continuing to wear these Docs, you’ve really done it!

  5. I agree with SherryD – Never Lose Those Shoes. At least they’re scars you can take off anytime you like. Great post.

  6. Wear those Doc Martens with pride. You know where you’ve come from and you know you will never go back there again. I had an “Drunky Drunkerton” alias before I quit drinking, at times I went under the name of Lady Elizabeth Drinkalot. No further explanations required, I reckon.

  7. So very proud of you hon.
    Returning to a place after a long time is always strange. Your steps might feel unsure for a bit but I am glad you are finding ‘new’ feet in old shoes.
    The optimist in me says not to worry about the ‘old places’, you have grown so much since last you were here, that everything will be different. You are calling the shots this time.
    Hugs and love,

    P.S. Those Docs rock. 🙂

  8. Wow, I can really relate to your story. I’m also 33 years of age and currently have 11 months of sobriety. I don’t miss the blackout drunk nights where even the drunkest had to take care of me. Yep. Completely out of control. Anyway, a great post and a most excellent reminder. I’ve just stumbled upon this community of sobriety blogs. I think I’ll be back often. Thanks for sharing.

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