Posted by Anonymous.
Before I can tell you about today, I need to tell you about last Tuesday. Last Tuesday was my first day of sobriety. But before I can tell you about Tuesday, I need to tell you about what happened before Tuesday.
Looking back, it's obvious that I've been an alcoholic, or an alcoholic in training, for a long, long time. My parents tell stories about me as a toddler or preschooler, stealing sips of beer. I remember drinking a glass of champagne or wine with dinner as a young child (maybe age six or seven) and liking it so much that I wanted a refill. I know that at age seven I preferred my mother's tropical cocktail (Planter's Punch) to my own Shirley Temple. I remember at around age 13, our family had a leftover keg in our garage from a block party, and I drank one or two glasses a day from it until it disappeared.
The first "official" time I got drunk I was 14. Fuzzy Navels and tequila shots. My friend, who had driven us to the party, wound up putting a very dizzy, barely conscious me into bed, obviously disappointed by what a crummy sleepover guest I'd turned out to be.
College? Plenty of binge drinking, followed by throwing up and blacking out. Bad behavior.
After college, more of the same.
I took a break for a few years, when I was pregnant and had small kids.
But once the kids got old enough to go away for sleepovers, more binge drinking. No more throwing up, but plenty of overindulgence followed by passing out and nasty morning-after hangovers.
Fast forward a few years. My husband's diagnosis of metabolic disorder gave us a great excuse to drink daily: red wine is a key part of the Mediterranean diet! My frequently-used jest was, "My doctor told me a glass of red wine a day is good for me. I say two glasses are twice as good!" In reality, however, two glasses? That was by six o'clock. We quickly got to a level of drinking that meant we recycled three or four boxes of wine per week. I was keeping up with his every drink, sometimes surpassing him, and he outweighs me by about 150 pounds.
I stopped going to sleep. Instead, I blacked out. Many mornings, I'd wake up naked, but not sure if we'd had sex. I had to ask my husband what we had done.
But certainly, I'd told myself, I wasn't an alcoholic. I didn't miss work because of drinking. I didn't start drinking until at least 5:00 p.m. (of course, sometimes I'd sit staring at the clock, with a glass ready, for ten or more minutes). I never got a DUI. I never went to jail. I never hit my kids.
But I started to get sloppy. Over the holidays, I drank too much and was obviously drunk at my in-laws' house. I embarrassed my husband. And the week after New Year's, my husband and I had a sincere conversation in which we determined that we drank entirely too much, and that we needed to cut down.
What happened? He cut down, even skipped nights, drinking one or two drinks at the most. I, however, started putting my wine in coffee cups, or, more disturbingly, waiting until everyone else had gone to bed before starting to drink, and getting drunk.
And that brings us to Monday night. The husband went to bed around 10:30 p.m. As soon as he was in bed, I went to the kitchen and turned on the faucet, as though I were filling up the tea kettle. Instead of tea, however, I made myself a glass of bourbon with one ice cube. (The water running disguised the sound of me pouring the liquor into the glass, as well as the clink of the ice cube.) I took my drink to the living room and played computer games, sipping on the drink as I played. Soon enough, it was empty. By this time, he was fully asleep, so I didn't need to disguise the noise when I poured the second drink. This one polished off the bottle, and for a moment, I considered funneling the bourbon back into the bottle. I quickly dismissed this impulse, however, and put the empty bottle into the recycling bin (in the back, so it wouldn't be easily seen). The second drink went down faster than the first. And here's where it gets confusing.
I must have gone outside to smoke a cigarette. I had my coat on. I fell. I don't know if I tripped or if I passed out on my feet, but I went down face first onto the patio. I don't remember falling. I don't know how long I lay there before I got up. I remember seeing blood on my right hand. That's all I remember.
I somehow got my coat off, and got undressed, and put myself to bed. I wasn't quiet about it, though, and my husband woke up. He says it was around 3 a.m. He told me the rest of it. I fell down on the floor on the way to bed, then got up and fell down again. He asked me what was going on, and my answer was "floor." He got up and saw what I would see the next morning: my face was covered with blood, with my upper lip bearing the majority of the injury. My glasses were scratched, my nose looked broken (it wasn't), and I'd broken a tooth.
Next morning, I woke up, aware that something was very wrong. I took inventory of my injuries with fingers and tongue. My front teeth were there. Good. But the next tooth, oh no. Was broken in half. My lip was numb, but everything else hurt. A lot.
My husband came into the room and discovered that I was awake. I'll never forget the look on his face, and the sob in his voice, when he asked me, "What have you done to yourself?" I tried to answer, to make up a story, but he already knew the answer. He wanted to take me to the hospital. I refused. He tried to clean up my face a little. And then he helped me get to the bathroom, where I took a long look at myself in the mirror, then collapsed onto the vanity. He helped me clean up more, then put me back in bed, where I was freezing and needed blanket after blanket. (I guess I was in shock or something.)
He ran me a hot bath, picked out some clothes, and took better care of me than I deserved.
While I was in the bath, he poured out the only liquor remaining in the house (1/3 of a bottle of vodka).
I spent the day resting, occasionally sleeping, crying a lot, and I asked for help. I called a friend who'd been sober for years, and asked her to take me to a meeting.
And that's day one. Today is day six. I've been to five AA meetings. I have not taken a drink since that night. I hope I never do again. I came very close to death that night. My blood is on the patio, only inches from four ceramic and terra cotta flower pots. I shudder to think how the whole thing would have gone if I'd fallen a few inches to the right.
I lied to my husband. My integrity? Non-existent. My self-respect? Right there with it.
I've got nowhere to go but up. I want to live in reality. I want to have integrity. I want to deserve my family's trust. I don't want to die because of alcohol.