Another college binge-drinking casualty…

All is well with my probation officer. We met up Wednesday morning, and talked about my probation-related anxiety. She was surprised at how rattled I was, especially since I am and have been doing all that I need to. She’s also tried to get me out of my probation early, but my judge said it’s a no-go. I just did an online calculation and I have 104 more days until this all goes away (at least from a legal standpoint). It’s been quite the ordeal, but I am grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned as a result of my actions.

I saw an article on Facebook earlier this week that crumpled my heart into a sad little ball. Have you heard about Erica Buschick? She was an 18 year old freshman at Miami University (in Ohio, my state), who died after a night of binge drinking. Her BAC was 0.347. A person in Ohio is considered legally intoxicated at 0.08. The night of my car accident, blood was taken at the first hospital I was at before I was life flighted. It was a 0.275. At a 0.25 BAC, “All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falls or other accidents.” At a 0.35 BAC “Coma is possible. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.” Info on BAC found here.

Wrap your brain around those numbers, and the fact that she was only 18. Because I just seem to love to feel my blood pressure rise, I read the comments on some of the articles about her death. Thankfully there were some level-headed ones too, which pointed out that many people forget how dangerous alcohol can be. This story struck a nerve with me, because I had a terrible night my freshman year in college that could have turned out the same way. In my case, I am lucky that my friends thought to turn me on my side, or I know that I would have asphyxiated on my vomit.


That’s me a couple months shy of 19 with my dorm neighbor Morgan, freshman year at college, holding the bottle that could have killed me like it was a prize. I was proud of that damn bottle! Or something like pride. I’m not really sure how to describe it.

Our incident with this bottle occurred the first weekend back to school in January after winter break. I remember thinking that I needed to stay in that weekend, to not get off to a crazy start partying like I did fall semester. I’m not sure how our impromptu party started, but Morgan came back from winter break with the booze. I ended up in her room that night, hanging out in a pair of boxers and a t-shirt, Hi-C juice boxes in tow to act as a chaser. A picture of me survives from that night, and I almost posted it. I’m sitting on the floor, my fist in the air, eye squinted shut with a huge smile, triumphantly wasted. A bunch of my dorm friends are standing around me, laughing at the drunk girl.  My roomie Julie also chose to stay in that night, but Morgan and I kept drunk calling her and singing Janis Joplin.

Morgan and I did shots of that bottle in rapid-fire succession until it was gone. I’d heard that we finished it in 45 minutes or so. We spilled a little bit of it at one point, and apparently I licked that vodka off the floor. Morgan eventually got thrown into one of the showers. I was out cold in her room, so a bunch of the girls picked me up and carried me next door to my dorm. Days later when I was finally able to to be up and shower, I discovered a giant bruise on my hip and thigh. That was from when the girls dropped me (carrying dead weight is hard and at 5’10 I’ve never been a slight, little person).

I lost that entire weekend, and I’m incredibly lucky that I didn’t lose my life as well. My roommate and dorm buddies were too scared to get our RA and ask for help for fear that they would get in trouble. I could have died from alcohol poisoning! Since they could not rouse me at all, they left me. Julie popped her head in from time to time, and at some point I started vomiting. She was forced to sleep in a different dorm on our floor all weekend because of the smell. I pretty much laid in my own puke for two whole days. At one point I was able to stumble and crawl down the hall to the bathroom. I ended up passing out in a stall, on the toilet.

After all that, here I am a few weeks later smiling in that photo. I could probably blog for weeks about college alcohol tales, but that’s boring. I’m not trying to glorify the past, but hearing the news about Erica brought all this back. Her fate so easily could have been mine. Of course I didn’t slow down my drinking after that. I was in college! In another Ohio university (like Erica was at) in the middle of nowhere with nothing else to do but drink (or so we thought). I tended to shy away from shots after that point, preferring to get to my needed-level of drunkenness to dance, converse and flirt with the opposite sex via beer, which didn’t make me quite as catatonic. I do feel however, that I could blog quite extensively about alcohol and sexual behavior…

My fellow blogging friends, did you have a horror night like this in college or in your 20s? Did it make you stop or did you continue on? I’m curious to hear what you have to say. And I will continue to extend my sympathies via prayer to Erica’s family and friends. Parents should not have to bury their children. Just a sad, sad situation.


15 thoughts on “Another college binge-drinking casualty…

  1. You described me many times over! Sleeping in my vomit, peeing on my sister’s bedroom floor…I never would’ve considered myself an alcoholic, because I was young. I was just a party animal. Bless that girl’s family. So sad. Tonight I’m going to my first drinking bonfire 🔥 get-together since quitting drinking. I don’t feel I’ve intentionally avoided them, but this just happens to be one I want to go to. And I’m a little nervous. And that makes me sad. I’m mostly scared my husband will drink, because although I never asked him to, he hasn’t had a drink since I quit drinking in 2014. I’m afraid of my thought process if he drinks.

    • I hope you brought some yummy things for yourself to take with you! I always have to have some special drinks with me that I don’t normally have when I go to family holiday parties or somewhere that booze will be. It’s my way of not feeling left out. Please let me know how it goes. I hope you don’t go to a bad place in your head if your hubby drinks!

      • Went great! Of course, my daughter blurted out, “she doesn’t drink” when they offered me a beer or wine. Then they didn’t drink and I felt bad. Husband declined the offer for a drink too. I had confided in him I was a little nervous before we left, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not. Anyway, on our way home now, sober and happy.

  2. I have had countless boozy escapades in my school days. None of them are particularly blog or even comment section-worthy. Just me getting loaded once again and getting poured into my house or barely making it home. Lots of stupid close calls with drinking and driving. I was one of those drunks who when after a few drinks, felt that driving was a great idea. When I was pulled over for my DUI, my BAC was .336. I recall the officers laughing / astonished at that as I lay in the drunk tank. I should have been dead. Even my lawyer said that when he saw the report. The funny thing is that when I had to watch the video of me being processed at the police station, I am barely slurring or slouching or anything. My tolerance was so great that I looked almost normal.

    Anyway, my heart goes out to people like that girl – people who made that one mistake and paid for it.


    • Wow, you are so lucky! That is crazy. I also had a penchant for drinking and driving. I’m amazed that I drove blacked out for years before my catastrophe happened. Some of my relatives that were with me the night of my accident were astonished at how drunk I was because they couldn’t tell. It’s like we acclimate to a higher and higher saturation point so it seems like we are normal when we are actually blotto. I can’t believe what your level was, and that you didn’t seem that bad. Insanity! Thank God we are on the other side.

  3. Many many times.
    As an engineering student I did a centurion (100 shots of beer in 100 minutes, no peeing). Messy.
    As a sophisticated late 20s I went to a wine tasting and drank so much wine I barfed all over the floor and slept there.

    As a 30s I had numerous passing out on the couch while the party raged.

    I was always a binger. Somewhere I also started sneaking booze before going out, etc. It wasn’t pretty.

    I could have died many times.

    One less thing to worry about?

  4. Yes! yes! yes! I, too, experienced the college, extremely frightening (in hindsight) drinking experiences. Throughout my childhood, my parents extolled the drinking antics they had in college which became a piece of my narrative. After a few clearly early “alcoholic” drinking episodes while young (11, 13), I couldn’t wait to get to college and begin drinking and gathering “hilarious” stories to tell my someday children. This, however, did not turn out to be my fate From the first, I had blackouts, woke up in strange places, vomited, suffered horrible hangovers, basically a whole lot of “not really that much fun”. I did slow down within six months, as my grades slid and my health suffered. However, the last day of my freshman year, what was suppose to be a end of the year dinner with friends–was me hanging out the car vomiting all over the road while my friends dined, and taken home, passing out in the communal shower (like you do), and then attempting to pack the next day to go home for the summer. I suspected I had an alcohol problem at 18 but it would be years and years until I finally accepted it.
    Also, I relate to your ongoing anxiety when you see your probation officer. My situation involves my profession and although I have and continue to do well, the process causes much anxiety. I am now six years plus in recovery and I have started therapy to deal with the ongoing issues surrounding that. All is well though. Sober and loving life.

  5. Yes.
    Me…age 38 In 2012 after the superbowl in New Orleans…I thought I had a free-pass to drink like a viking since my team won the super-bowl and I drank shot after shot… I blacked out and remember nothing. My children had to tell me that I passed out in a chair and they got me to the car and drove us back to the hotel where we were staying.

    My brother…On a starkly different note…my baby brother died 18 years ago from a combination of a heroin overdose and drinking…he asphyxiated…in his bedroom of our family home at age 21. He wasn’t a hard-core druggy…he got mixed up in partying with a very bad crowd and ended up dead, right under my mother’s and father’s noses. It basically destroyed my entire family.
    My heart goes out to Erica’s family.

  6. That’s incredible that they just left to for fear of getting into trouble. Way more education is needed when people first hit college. Way more. I’m glad you’re still with us and sharing your story.

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