It was suggested to me yesterday that I should give my story on the end of my drinking. I haven’t really put it out there much because I feel I am a hypocrite. You see, I did quit “compulsive” drinking. I came to understand that although I used alcohol as a self medicating tool since I was 13, it was a compulsive problem not an alcoholic one.
I had drank so long prior to my accident that I became that raging, sloppy, self pitying, disgusting drunk at every party or at the end of every day. I went to work with hangovers that I endured because I had learned the duration I had to wait until I was able to feel human. I had my go to recovery fluids like OJ followed by a few hours of sodas but never coffee. I would get sick at the thought of it. I drove drunk often. One time backwards in my husband’s F250 down a dark road with him jumping on the side step banging on the window telling me to stop!!! That time he drug me by my hair back to the truck to go home out of frustration because I ran when I knocked him off the truck with a tree branch and had gotten far enough that I thought I could get away on foot. The worst times were blacking out and feeling dread when I woke up not remembering leaving a location… did I hit a mailbox, an animal, a child? I would always check my car to inspect for damages just to give myself peace of mind.
One time I got so drunk at a bar, a large woman apparently slammed my head into the doorway because I pissed her off, and I didn’t even know it. Didn’t even go down. Stumbled a bit then kept walking to my friends car who told me later when I asked her why I had a acorn sized knot on the side of my head.
Then there were the other horrors of black out. I woke up every morning wondering who I needed to apologize too. Who did I call, text or email? Did I embarrass my husband at that get together? Did I lose a friend? Did I act inappropriately with another man?
Or the time I got so drunk at my husband’s work party because I had bet a guy I could drink him under the table. my husband had to take care of our 3 month old son and 21 month old daughter because drinking a large plastic cup of tequila all at once is apparently a bad idea. When it hit me, I had been unable to function, let alone be aware that I threw up on myself among other things.
I would drown myself whenever things felt hard (all the time then) in a bottle of vodka or bottles of wine at home at night and hole up in front of my computer listening to sad music.
My husband and children got versed in hiding bottles from me once I got to a certain drunk point. I in turn also hid them on my own so they couldn’t take them away. Which I couldn’t recall where I put them later anyway.
The turning point is when I got drunk in July 2012 and my husband tried to stop me from drinking more. I snuck my purse, ran out the front door I jumped in my car, locked the doors as he came running out after me. I proceeded to Rite Aid, got a bottle of Seagram 7, a bottle of 7 Up and began to drink out of each bottle (to create a mixed drink as I drove). I planned in my self pity of not being able to have control of what I wanted to do, drive to Fort Bragg and off a cliff. I just needed to be drunk enough to do it.
I by the grace of God managed to make it to the hwy leading to Fort Bragg without hitting anyone or anything. But as I drove down the winding road, I went in and out of black out. I drove my car into something (I am thinking a pole or something firmly planted, it’s not mentioned in the report as I was caught up the road in the ditch) I remember a woman’s voice sometime after I abruptly came to my first stop shouting “are you ok?”. I panicked. I began to back out and attempt to drive a car that was no longer fit for the road. But I floored it and got I don’t know how far before I ran into the aforementioned ditch. A good Samaritan pulled over and sat with me on the back of his truck bed keeping me distracted until the police came. I at .24 was too drunk to use the breathalyzer so they had to take me to the hospital for a blood test. I ended up kicking the window out of the police car on the way (which I had to pay for) and apparently made everyone’s lives at the hospital a living hell.
What clicked for me that night was not the accident. Not the DUI. Not the money it cost me. It was the family I still see in my head that I swear I hit. The faces change but it is always a parent and children. It left me with such a pain as if I had actually killed them. I can’t explain it. I still expect 5 years later that someone is going to find out I actually did.
So my final thoughts on this… I am not an alcoholic. I am a compulsive drinker. A year after the conviction, I allowed myself my first glass of wine again. I do occasionally have 1 drink with my husband. Never at social settings such as gatherings or restaurants. I have on occasion had 1 by myself and left it at that when I craved the 2nd. I can’t ever drink if I feel I need one.
This is why I am a hypocrite. I am doing something just like not taking my medication that is not recommended. But I don’t need to be told not to drink and drive, don’t need to be told not to let myself get out of control. That imagined family changed my life forever.
I have no wisdom for anyone trying to quit, who has quit or seeing the need to start thinking about quitting. My path is different. Had I not been mentally scared from my actions I would probably still be doing them. Same as with speed and other risk taking behaviors. Different scares, but every one I put down from a dose of reality. I can’t believe how much of my life I have spent testing God’s patience until He said enough!
I’m just glad He woke me up. I believe wholeheartedly that He is who showed me the truth of what I was doing for every thing I couldn’t see on my own. So …what I can say is that I am grateful for the Horrors as awful as they are to think about. They are the barrier between me and self destruction.
SEE THE BEAUTY
My favorite place to be. On a boat speeding down a lake at sunset. A freedom indeed.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT