Drunk on D

I admit, since moving to Texas, I’ve struggled with my depression like never before.  One would think that things would be getting better….I no longer have to work in cubicle hell, I’m able to stay home and homeschool our daughter, like hubs and I always talked about.  I can devote hours and hours to things I care about, like my drawings, and the garden I planted.  Yet I find myself so deeply depressed some days, I can barely get out of bed.  The good news is, at 6 1/2 years old, my daughter is old enough to feed herself with the fruit and vegetables we always have around, and she entertains herself with reading, playing with legos, computer games, etc. The bad news is, she’s 6 1/2 years old….old enough to see my struggles and to know something is wrong.  It breaks my heart when she approaches me and gives me a comforting pat on the arm.  

My life took a seriously craptacular turn when *I* was six, and the events of that time and the years that followed left me with a seriously weak foundation from which I’ve done nothing significant with my life.  I’m filled with self-loathing and regret.  One of my biggest motivations, one of my ONLY motivations right now, is to help my daughter build a better foundation for her future than the one I had.

Towards that end, I’m on yet another new medication, but I’ve really come to believe something I read some months ago.  Depression could be less about a “chemical imbalance” and more honestly just our body’s reaction to being fundamentally unhappy.  So many of us are unhappy, often about things we seriously have a right to be unhappy about, but we take these pills to numb that unhappiness and make life liveable.  Then we say things like “depression lies”.  Well, yeah, sometimes it does, but sometimes, isn’t it spot on?  Depression tells me, “you’re a failure”.  My husband argues with this, as would many who love me, but, really, haven’t I failed to meet most if not all of the goals I’ve set for myself over the years?  Yeah, I’ve done some neat, even terrific things. I went to Paris, by myself, not speaking the language, and had a fabulous time.  Still my favorite memories/actions.  I’ve managed to keep from drinking alcohol for coming up on nine years.  I’ve been cigarette/nicotine free for over ten years.  I’ve got a husband who loves me, and an adorable and smart daughter.  But there’s still something missing.  Something very big.  And it often sits on my chest like that elephant in the COPD commercials.  I’m “happy” when I work on my artwork, but otherwise, life seems a bust to me.  I’m fortunately still able to laugh on occasion, but most days I’m operating on auto-pilot.

Before I’ve described depression as living at the bottom of a 20 foot hole.  These days, I feel as though most days I’m about 5 to 10 feet down.  Some days, it’s 20 feet.  And, at least a couple of times a month, I feel like I’m two or three feet from China.  On those days/nights, I don’t sleep, at all, and stay in my ultra large bathroom, curled up on my chez lounge, crying into a pillow so as not to wake my husband.  Everything I think of leads to tears, and I feel like my brain is on fire from a chemical compound made of ultra-negativity and self-loathing.  It’s horrendous.  

The other night, during one of those “digging to China” moments, I pulled out my tablet and started to work on some self-portraits.  A couple of days later, I pulled out my tablet to draw, and happened upon my work from a few nights before.  I was startled by what I saw.  I hardly recognized myself, and barely recalled having drawn them.  It’s like I was intoxicated, and drunk dialed one of my ex-boyfriends.  Mortifying.

Image

Thankfully, I haven’t been that low in a week or so, but it’s disheartening to know it will probably happen again.  Maybe I need to keep the drawings going, as a way of tracking this.  Maybe try to draw myself when I’m NOT feeling that way.

I hate feeling drunk.

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Step outside for a minute

Not literally, unless you think it will help.  I mean, when you’re thinking of your own problems, or watching tv (specifically, advertisements)…step outside your own world for a moment, and think about someone else.  I try to do this from time to time, and it can be alarming.

Example.  The other day I was watching Almost Human (Fox better not cancel it!) online and up popped a commercial for the Kindle, with the selling point being that it can be read in sunlight.  Two skinny white chicks sitting next to the pool in a tropical locale, one struggling to read her iPad, the other happily reading her Kindle.  The first thing that popped into my mind is “first world problem”.  It can be sooo easy to forget how privileged we have it.  By “we” I mean members of the middle class and up.  This can mean Americans, Britons….anyone who’s biggest concern on any given day may be that they can’t read their $500+ tablet in sunlight.  We can become so insulated, it’s easy to forget there are those out there without electricity, let alone without a tablet to read on.  Maybe they can’t read.  Watch enough advertising and it can be easy to forget that there are non-whites in the world.

One of the things I find helpful, but that I do far too infrequently, is to try to pull my head out of my ass long enough to empathize with those who have less than I do.  Not just materially less, but physically, mentally, even spiritually less.  I’m not trying to sound like an egotistical ass, but I probably do.  For example, I was abused as a child, struggle with depression/bipolar, loathe myself physically, and am not living the life I want to live.  Yadda yadda yadda.  I was given a harsh reminder of how good I have it the other day when I learned that Josh’s sister has breast cancer.  At the age of 36, she had to have a mastectomy.  Her mother abandoned her and her brothers when she was a baby, her father was killed in a worksite accident not long after, so her unbalanced, drug addict mother returned and took in her inheritance and her brothers, one of whom would commit suicide when she was 18.  She’s struggled her entire life with drugs and abusive men, and now has to fight cancer.  But, no worries, since she has little education and no money, the prospects for her beating this are great!

Her life makes my life look like a Hallmark film, and I need to be more grateful.

But I’m sure if I buy her a get well gift, like a Kindle she can read as she lounges by the pool, all will be well.

Whitney Houston, we have a problem

I can’t really say I was a fan, per say.  I’ve never bought one of her albums or really gotten into her songs, though I know many of them.  In fact, “I Have Nothing” has been an earworm in my head since I heard of her death.  I did appreciate, however, the beauty and strength of her voice, and know that many people in her life loved her very much and are devastated by the loss.

That being said, troubled people die prematurely all the time, most of them without the talent, success, and money that celebrities enjoy.  I know, I’ve said before that what is viewed from the outside is merely superficial, and we can’t really know what’s going on in someone’s life to understand their suffering.  I only refer to these things because the average citizen doesn’t always have the means to seek treatment for their ailments.  And non-celebrities don’t get eulogized on national television when they succumb to their demons.

It can be argued that Whitney Houston’s death affects a larger group of people because her music affected a larger group of people.  But, come on, folks, she wasn’t working on the cure for cancer or anything.  The truth is, in our celebrity-obsessed culture, we weep at the premature death of a singer, but don’t even notice when hard-working, well-meaning doctors, scientists, nurses, engineers, teachers, etc. pass away.

Sadly, what needs to happen will never happen.  As a society, we need to ask ourselves why there are SO MANY people who are so unhappy they seek chemical relief.  Not just singers and actors, but cops and garbage men, crossing guards and dentists.  Only about 5% of alcoholics and drug addicts live on skid row.  95% have homes, careers, families.  I know when *I* quit drinking, I found it cathartic to tell people I was an alcoholic, for I had lived with a great deal of shame at the double life I was living.  I was living a lie, so telling people the truth about me was therapeutic, yet I’d often be told by the person I confided in, “Alcoholic?  You?  You’re not an alcoholic!” I didn’t fit the image of a homeless drunk drinking whiskey out of a paper bag, so I couldn’t possibly have a problem.

Too many people are expending too much energy trying to convince everyone they are okay.  The pressure gets to you.  And we as a society, though we can be sympathetic, love to see people fail, especially those as public as Whitney Houston.  We LOVE to feed on the corpse of a dying person/career, then we LOVE to “forgive” the person who claws their way back.  Everyone watched Robert Downey Jr. torpedo his career, go in and out of rehab, and jail, and we ate it up.  As an addict myself, I know the fact that he’s been sober for something like 10 years, well, I cheer that, certainly, and it makes me appreciate his talent all the more.  I’m rooting for him.  When Charlie Sheen went off the rails, people couldn’t turn away from the car crash.  People made jokes about it, yet what we were watching was a mental breakdown.  The man was showing signs of being very, very sick.

We don’t connect with each other.  We don’t show love for each other.  We instead compete with each other, try to best each other.  We like to watch other people fail or act crazy, because it makes us feel better about ourselves.  How else does one explain the success of reality television?  Think anyone would watch any of the Housewives, or Jersey Shore, or The Bad Girls’ Club if healthy, loving, supportive people were on them?  If there were no back-stabbing, narcissistic, addictive behavior to feel superior to?

So I’ll take a cue from Ghandi.  I’ll try to be the change I want to see in the world.  To those who have commented on my posts, either in person or on this blog, I thank you for finding my words valuable enough to reach out to me.  I thank you for listening when I needed to give voice to my pain. It’s truly been helpful to me to be able to share these thoughts and feelings with an ever-widening audience.  I still have to work on being open and loving *in person*, but, baby steps.

Whitney Houston died far too young.  I feel such pity for her daughter, and hope she makes it through this difficult time.  But there are so many people who struggle with many of the same issues.  We rely on chemicals to make us feel good about ourselves and try to convince others we’re okay when we could expend that energy making ourselves stronger.

We don’t love each other enough, and we don’t truly love ourselves enough. And that’s the biggest tragedy.

The birth of a cynic

One of the things I aspire to is to peel away the hard shell I’ve formed. This is the first part in the story of how that shell was formed.

I can vaguely recall a time when I honestly believed people were basically good. That time has long since passed. I also very clearly remember truly believing 99% of what people told me because, after all, I wouldn’t lie to people, so why would they lie to me?

There are three people who changed my view and turned me into the distrustful cynic I am now. Josh’s mother, Lee, my boss at the TV station in Oklahoma, Chuck, and a former co-worker of mine, whom I’ll call Almond Joy…flaky and nuts. I met them in that order.

In 1994 I was 24 years-old and living in that mecca of entertainment, Enid, Oklahoma. I answered an ad for a video camera operator and editor, and went to work for Lee. We shot commercials for local businesses and created video yearbooks for some of the local schools. She got me involved with the local cable access station. We produced lots of programming for them and spent a great deal of time in their studios. Lee and I hit it off immediately, and I was sympathetic to her story. She spoke of her now-deceased ex-husband, and how he had stolen her three children from her when they were babies, whisked away in the middle of the night. They were raised to hate her, she said, and had been told she was dead. It was only her determination and love as a mother that reunited them upon her ex-husband’s death, but her children were ungrateful and hateful to her now. At least, that’s the story she told.

I can’t remember how long I bought into it, but I do remember when it started to fall apart. I met her kids. They were 20, 19, and 17. I was taken aback at first, for they were nothing like she had described. I thought nothing of it at first. But as I got to know them, I heard their life story from their point of view, and it was different than the yarn spun by Lee. It’s not unusual for people to remember the same events differently, so I started paying closer attention.

I started to notice a pattern. Lee and I would be out somewhere and something of note would happen, then we’d return to the studio to edit, and I’d listen to her retell the story to one of our friends. Only she’d “embellish”. She’d revise the story with facts that didn’t happen, or make herself the center of the story when she had not been, either by making herself more heroic or more sympathetic, depending on the audience. She would relate these fabrications right in front of me, even though I had been a witness to the event, without the slightest bit of shame, or even acknowledgement that she was lying through her teeth. I came to realize, she did that a lot. She was my first pathological liar. He ex-husband had not stolen her kids from her, she had abandoned them when they were in diapers. They had not been told she was dead, she was living in Florida, having gone there after having convinced a small health clinic that she was a doctor. The kids still had the name badges she had made for herself that had her name with “MD” behind them. They still had a copy of the letter she had sent the clinic. She was living her carefree life, sailing off the waters of Florida, when her ex-husband died in a construction accident on the job. Suddenly, the kids needed her. And she needed to be their guardian in order to spend the insurance benefits they received. She took their money and bought a 27 foot sloop, a sailboat she docked in Kaw lake, outside Ponca City, Oklahoma. She moved those three kids and herself onto that boat, and that’s where they lived, I don’t recall for how long. She worked the odd job now and then, but largely the family lived off the insurance.

Years later, part of Josh’s treatment involved drawing pictures of the events in his life that led him down the path he was on. He was to draw his life as it was, and his life as it should have been. He drew a picture of his father’s funeral, and of he and his siblings riding along in his mother’s SUV, the windows rolled up and the car filled with her pot smoke. His drawings of what his life should have been was dramatically different. As I got to know the kids, Josh and I started to fall for each other. By that time, I had realized I needed to withdraw from Lee’s life as much as possible. Nothing she said could be trusted. Even decades later, I’m still discovering her lies. By the time Josh committed suicide, she and I hardly saw each other. She only saw Josh every month or so. That day, we all gathered at her house. She was sitting in the center of the room, crying without tears. She lamented on and on about losing her baby boy, and turned to her daughter, her youngest, and proclaimed, “you will have to take his place in my life”. The more she went on and on, as though she were June Cleaver who now had to bury the Beaver, I lost it. I lunged at her, shouting, “You only saw him once a month!” My mother, who had been visiting that weekend and was there when I got the call, had to hold me back from hitting her. She and Lee’s husband, Ronnie, escorted me to another room to calm down. Ronnie was very sweet and did his best to comfort me, a fact which infuriated Lee all the more. This was her moment to shine, and he and everyone else better damn well pay attention to her. I left her house that day, not to see her again for a year.

I couldn’t bring myself to go to Josh’s funeral, especially after learning that she’d ask the family drug dealer to be a pallbearer. Whether you believe in god or karma, he/it was at work that day, for the drug dealer’s car broke down, and he was unable to carry Josh’s casket. My good friend Christine went in my place, a sweet, thoughtful Jehovah’s Witness I had come to know and love.

I had been laid off work two days before his death, so it was decided I’d go back to San Antonio to recover. When Lee found out, she left a note on my door, proclaiming me a traitor and that I was abandoning her. She referenced herself 16 times in that letter. She referenced Josh twice.

It was later I found out the events of Josh’s last night. He arrived with his mother at his brother’s house, wreaking of marijuana. Because, you know, pot is the best medicine for a teenage schizophrenic checking out of a mental health/substance abuse facility. Mother knows best. His mother proclaimed him a burden, and left him there. He left no note, so I can only assume he saw no hope. I realize now that he was doomed, no matter what. All he’d ever known in his life was loss, drugs, and dysfunction. Though he lived with his brother and paternal grandmother (the “normal” ones), the rest of his life was filled with alcoholics and drug addicts, and people that didn’t truly care for him. I, myself, was on the edge, exhausted and heartbroken from months of dealing with his addiction and mental health issues.

In Texas, I found some relief, up until the night I got drunk and swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. Amazingly, I survived, though I was very sick all weekend. That Monday, the mailman brought with him a letter from Lee. My mother, who at that point thought I had simply gotten very, very drunk, had asked my brother to stay with me that day, to keep an eye on me. He was the one who opened the letter. He didn’t let me read it, though he did show me the bottom of the last page, where Lee and her family had signed the letter, their affirmation of their hatred for me. Note to narcissistic pathological liars: when forging your families’ names on a letter, be sure to spell their names correctly. Months later I read the letter myself, and it was full of the easily verifiable lies I had become accustomed to from her. Christine hated me. “Stacey” hated me. The most insulting one was that the sole reason Josh killed himself was because he wanted to break up with me and I wouldn’t let him. Far more insulting to Josh than to me.

When I moved back to Oklahoma, I worked with Josh’s brother to make a PSA about Josh and drugs. It ran on the tv station I worked for. Lee called me up at work to scream at me, again proclaiming that everyone in her family now hated me, and how dare I make that PSA. Her lies were deflated a bit when I explained that I had the full blessing of other members of her family, including the ones who had given me the pictures used in the PSA. She started driving past my house at all hours, as noted by the sheriff’s deputies I lived next door to. By that time, the curtain was in complete tatters. I no longer believed in the Wizard, and came to realize that Lee had a reputation in this town of 45,000. That she had aliases, and had been telling whoppers since childhood, even managing to fool a local reporter once into thinking she was training for the Olympics as a runner. Years later, when she heard from her daughter-in-law (my good friend, yet one of the people Lee tried to convince me hated me) that I was moving to California, she, quite shockingly, stated, “Good. She’ll be successful there, she deserves happiness”. Stacy and I both knew all Lee had done to me, and were blown away by this new standard of self-deception. Lee actually believed we were still friends.

I’m still friends with Josh’s brother. We chat on Facebook now and again. He’s tried calling me a few times. I love him and want nothing but the best for him, but I feel it necessary to keep him at arms length. I fear letting him too far into my life will invite the crazy back. I pray he’s got a healthy relationship with his mother now (read: a non-existent one).

Lee was my first lesson in betrayal. The first person to teach me the lesson that not all people are honest. Or even sane, for that matter. You would think that lesson would have been enough. It wasn’t.

8,000+ characters about addiction

The day before Hurricane Katrina hit, I turned to my husband and confessed that I had been slowing killing myself with alcohol, and that I finally knew I’d never have anything I wanted in life as long as I kept drinking.  He asked me if I was ready to quit, and I was.  Three weeks later, he confessed that he wasn’t all that convinced I actually was an alcoholic.  That’s when I realized…he hadn’t noticed all the nights I got up in the middle of the night to vomit, and he hadn’t realized the number of times I’d started blacking out each week.  I was up to three.  I’d wake up on the couch, knowing I had gotten mad at him for something, but not for the life of me remembering what.

My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic.  He died alone in a squalid apartment set over a liquor store in Oklahoma a short while before my older brother was born.  My step-father, who’s been married to my mother since I was four, is an alcoholic.  Still very much practicing.  Oddly enough, I hadn’t noticed his drinking until I was about 14.  That’s the year my brother ran away from home, one of his complaints being that my step-father drank too much.  In the counseling session I was forced to go to with my parents, the counselor asked me what I thought of my brother’s accusation.  I stated I thought it was bogus….that I hadn’t hardly noticed his drinking.  In a rare moment of honesty, my step-father stated quietly, “you haven’t been paying attention”.

After that day, I started paying attention, and noticed the pattern.  Come home from work, drink.  Have a party, drink.  Go out with friends, drink. Wake up, drink. That’s just how my family wound down.

I, myself, started as a teenager.  I vaguely recall coming home at 13 and taking swigs of Glenlivet in an effort to get buzzed.  It didn’t work.  I hated the taste.  When I was 17, my step-father would pick up wine coolers for me, hand me one in the car and “race me” to see if I’d finish the first one before he had driven us home.  It was a game.  When I went away to college, he suggested I develop a taste for Everclear, since with it’s potency, I could consume less, save money, and still get buzzed.

For the record, I received absolutely no advice about sex (I was still a virgin), money, my studies….but how to get a cheap drunk…I was covered.

I didn’t start drinking heavily until I moved in with my college sweetheart/would-be ex-husband, Jeff.  It was mostly beer, a 12 pack of which I could knock out in a day in a half, if not less.  I didn’t really hit the hard stuff until I graduated from college and moved to Oklahoma, alone, Jeff having moved back in with his parents, signalling the beginning of the end of our relationship.  Jim Beam, the preferred bourbon of my mother and step-father, would become my roommate, along with an amazing amount of diet Coke.  My drinking wasn’t yet affecting my job or relationships, but I was well on my way.

After Jeff and I parted, I met Josh.  We fell very much in love, and it was unlike anything I’d had before.  Very sweet but passionate.  And we had that thing where we just “got” each other.  But it wasn’t too long into the relationship, when HIS demons reared their ugly heads.  His family’s drug of choice was, well, just about anything other than booze.  Ecstasy, LSD, marijuana…all were commonplace amongst he and his friends, even his mother.  I met him through his mother when I went to work for her making videos for the local schools.  I was extremely naïve about just about everything at the time, though I did think it was odd that when her kids would come over after having a bad day, their mother’s solution was, “have a bong hit, honey”.  The alarm bells should have gone off then, but I was smitten.  By the time Josh tried to enter rehab, the drugs had fried his brain to the point of schizophrenia.  After a month in a mental hospital in Norman,Oklahoma, he *should* have gone into rehab, but our co-dependency took over, and he moved back in with me. Al-anon meetings helped a little.  His moving out helped more.

He struggled with his anti-psychotic medication.  The first time he met my parents, he spoke of seeing a live chicken running around under my coffee table.  Great first impression.  Of the people in his life, only his brother, sister-in-law and paternal grandmother were sober people.  His mother got him high, so he’d jump on the furniture.  His step-father gave him drugs, then he’d be screeching about aliens trying to program him through the television.  The bravest I’d been in my life up to that point was the day I stared down the family drug dealer, Josh’s step-father’s best friend, and chastised him for selling Josh a bag of weed.  I knew that Josh was ultimately responsible for whether or not he got high, but to have so many people close to him NOT supporting him in his sobriety was just killing me.

Josh, in his saner moments, would sometimes comment on my drinking.  I didn’t see the connection.  I still don’t, actually, not because I’m not an addict, but because at that time it hadn’t become a preoccupation.

After Josh put a cigarette out on his forehead, I convinced him to give the anti-psychotic meds another chance.  He went to see the doctor, who wanted him hospitalized immediately.  “Check yourself in or I’ll do it”.  I wish the doctor had committed him.

Later that night, he called me and asked me to pick him up.  I told him he needed to stay there to get the help he needed.  He called his mother.  She picked him up and got him high on the way to his brother’s house.  That night, in front of his brother and family, Josh’s mother made him promise to stop being a burden to everyone.  The next morning he awoke, had a bowl of cereal, smoked a cigarette, then found his brother’s car keys, opened his brother’s car trunk, pulled out a shotgun his brother had attempted to hide there, sat under a tree, wrapped his lips around the barrel, and made good on his promise.

I had begun studying the bible a few months prior to Josh’s suicide.  A few months after, while recovering from Josh’s death at my mother’s house in Texas, I came to a fork in the road.  I walked away from my bible studies, and chose the path lined with empty Jim Beam bottles.

I stayed on that path for the next 10 years.  I gained 75 pounds.  I lost it.  I moved back to Oklahoma, then back to Texas, then to California. Then I hurt my back.  I gained all the weight back.  I started drinking tequila and waking up on the floor of my living room, bottle in hand.  I didn’t go on a single date.

Finally I met the man that would become my husband.  Shortly after we got married, the San Antonio Spurs won the 2005 NBA championship.  I had gotten so drunk that night, I barely remembered it.  The next day I was so hung over I went into work late.  All my co-workers, who had teased me for years about being the lone Spurs fan in a sea of Laker “fans” (read: when they win), had expected me to be so hyped and happy.  My head hurt too much.

Parenthetically, I had not been able to bask in the 2003 championship either, not because of a hangover, but because my beloved cat had died in my arms a few hours after the win.  By the time they won in 2007, I was pregnant with my daughter, and a basketball contest seemed far less important to me.

We got married in May 2004.  We had not realized that my husband had ADHD.  Like you wouldn’t believe ADHD.  His mother had been told as much when he was a child, but had not done anything about it.  He just thought he was incredibly forgetful and stupid, but I knew something was wrong with him.  He was much too smart to be that dumb.  He went in for testing, and started getting treatment for it.  I joke that if marriage is a path you walk together, that first year he kept forgetting where the path was and I was too drunk to find it.

Katrina hit in late August of 2005.  I called up my family and announced I was an alcoholic that weekend.

After deciding to quit, I sought out help.  I knew I didn’t want to do AA.  I know they’ve helped many, many people, but it didn’t seem like it was for me.  But I worked with someone who I knew was in AA and had been sober for a long time, so I’d go down to his office and we’d chat.  He was incredibly sweet and helpful.  I also reached out to my step-mother, who’d been sober for over 20 years.    I’ve been sober 6 ½ years now, and am really coming to appreciate something both my co-worker and step-mother told me.  It doesn’t necessarily get easier the longer you’ve been sober.  Yes, the physical cravings have subsided, but not the psychological ones.

I hate parties, but used to get through them by drinking.  I realized this a month after quitting when I had a full-blown panic attack in the middle of an office party of 300 people.  If you believe the folks on Madison Avenue, it is not physically possible to have a good time with friends unless you have a libation in your hand.  Hot day?  Have a cold beer.  Not me.  Tense at work?  The office manager is hosting a happy hour at the bar across the street, wanna come?  I wish.

I miss the high soooo much.  But that’s the rub.  It’s been long enough since I’ve had a drink that I miss the high, but don’t vividly remember the vomit, the blacking out, the crying, drunken fits I’d have when I’d destroy something in my home because, inevitably, in my intoxicated state I’d be unable to operate it (at least two cd players gone, thank you). I have to remind myself of the time I got so drunk I drove my car off the road onto a railroad track and had to have my front passenger tire replaced the next day.  Or when I was so drunk and lonely, I decided I’d knock on my neighbor’s door, someone I didn’t even know, to see if he’d have sex with me.  Thankfully, he wasn’t home.

I’ve noticed some people I follow on Twitter commenting about their sobriety lately.  This got me thinking about reaching out.  While I haven’t been truly, truly tempted, I did mention to my husband, semi-jokingly, that I’d like to start drinking again, only he can monitor me.  Yeah, because addicts aren’t liars and I wouldn’t EVER be deceptive about how much I had to drink.

By the time I quit drinking, I had gotten up to almost a fifth of bourbon A NIGHT.  I know I don’t want to go back there.  When I first quit, I’d often have dreams about having fallen off the wagon and wake up feeling terrible.  I’m starting to have them again.

Though I never did AA, I do appreciate the notion of taking things one day at a time.  To think of not having a drink for the next 30 years is murder.

I just need to not drink tonight.