Bottom…. hopefully… at last…
I think that maybe I hit bottom last night. Today, the last Monday of 2013 and I have to work remotely because I drank too much last night but not just last night, the night before and the night before that too, actually all 9 days that I was off over the holiday season I got drunk, every single stinking night. I have been wanting to hit bottom, a bottom before you hit that bottom that a lot of unfortunate drunks hit, you know the ones I’m talking about; DWI’s, losing jobs, ending up homeless. I’m sure that still a ways off for me because despite my drinking I still function. However when I think of last night I make myself sick. My posting this is an important first step to correcting this problem I have, a problem that’s been growing over the years and at some point will devour me.
I don’t want to do this but I have to do this, I have to say to myself enough is enough and I think that time is now. With each drunken episode I make a bigger fool of myself and with Facebook believe me when I say BIGGER FOOL (See “FACEBOOK! Argggghhhh!!!!“). My biggest problem is that I am on these drugs to fend of anxiety (See “High Anxiety“) and boy do they work, they make me want to socialize more and get out and meet people and with that comes drinking. I think in the last year since I’ve been taking this medication my drinking has escalated. Now I’ve known for quite sometime I am on a bad path and over the years I have read books on “how to quit drinking”, several of them. Every year I have a New Years resolution to only drink at events and that has worked for me because even when events did occur (and please don’t be like everyone that knows about my resolution and say the sun coming up or the mail being delivered is an event) I was so proud of how long I had gone without a drink that I would stay sober at the events. I have gone all the way to mid-April in past years. This year I had anticipated that I would go until February 15 because my partner and I are going on a cruise and I imagine that I would be (probably will be) drinking during that “event”.
My problem is that for the first time in my history of drinking I have let this problem start to interfere with my job and that is unacceptable, just as I am working remotely today (and yes, I am working, this posting is being done during my breaks so I am bouncing back and forth) it has impacted my ability to either be on time or even make it in on more than one occasion. The last 9 days I have been off but I have been inebriated to the point each night that if I had to go into work there would have been no way I could have made it. I promised myself last night that I would not drink but I did and that’s what scares me, if I can’t keep a promise to myself then what good am I anymore. If I can’t keep a promise to myself than how can I keep a promise to anyone else.
Sure right now I’m feeling sorry for myself. Last night I was one of those “the world hates me” and “I want to die” drunks and the embarrassing thing is I let the world know it on Facebook. My behavior lately has been bizarre thanks to my constant state of drunkenness and my hopes are/is that with this posting I will force myself to admit I have a problem and start to deal with it. Maybe by February 15 (if I make it) I will say I over-reacted. By then I will have been sober for 42 days (now 44 days because as you are my witness I am beginning my resolution today rather than New Years Day and even though I am meeting friends for dinner in downtown Baltimore that night this will be my first true “event” challenge). I used to have a rule (which pretty much still holds firm) that I don’t drink on work-nights however Sundays have always been my weakness because, well there just isn’t anything to do and I get bored so I drink. I really have to find something to distract me. There is my LGBT social group and we hold monthly Happy Hours and Dinners (generally both on work-nights) and I usually drink at those too but even though I would go home feeling good (buzzed…loopy…even somewhat drunk) I never let it affect my job.
Now you might say “why are you telling us all this” and I have an answer…actually 2 answers. First, they say that one of the first steps in realizing and correcting you have a problem is to admit. For the last few years and mainly because of my months of sobriety during my resolution period I have convinced myself that there is no problem. Second because I’m afraid if I don’t admit to this publicly I will slip back to my old ways because its so easy to forget after a day or two how you felt the day after a binge. Now I know for a fact that I am going until February 15 without drinking and if I can’t make it then I need to start considering professional help to deal with this. I can’t promise that I won’t drink on my cruise although I am contemplating going to that extreme to deal with this especially because of how I behaved last night. If you read “Just Burn the Damn Couch!” you can see how I am convincing myself by my actions at a party that there is no problem when surely that is an example of my bizarre actions of late. Up until today I shook that night off as just being a fun night but in retrospect I realize that people just don’t do what I did.
Today I feel physically ill from my drinking last night, I also feel mentally ill. This needs to stop and this is my first public step to correct this problem. I plan to send this link to specific friends, those that I care about and those that I’m sure know that I have a problem. When they get this I hope they won’t respond “I could have told you that you have a problem” rather please just know that I am acknowledging there is a problem and I will do my best going forward to correct it…
April 17, 2017 – My feelings have changed somewhat since I originally posted this in 2013. I admit that I drink too much on my weekends and the part about letting my drinking affect my job has definitely changed. I have not missed a day since I posted this due to drinking. I don’t drink at all anymore on work nights and limit by drinking to weekends and off nights. Actually right now I’m still in my 2017 period of sobriety. Every year I swear off drinking until a certain point in my life, generally and event or activity where and when I know I will want to drink. So this year that isn’t until May of 2017. I have about 3 weeks left before I’m allowed to start drinking again and at this point I’m not driven to drink just because the event is occurring (Vacation). I am looking forward to having a drink but I’m not craving it. Its like the smoking I quite some 25 (+/-) years ago, I stopped and never started again. I miss smoking and I loved it when I did it but I just reached a point in my life when I thought “Enough is enough”. I thought I had reached that point when I posted this original blog post back in 2013 but apparently I hadn’t. I might still yet discover that I will reach this point, sometimes I do feel like it. I was worried this year because I thought maybe I had crossed that line where I would no longer be able to stop but apparently I have stopped. By definition I may be an alcoholic (a binge drinker) (See: Am I a Drunk? or 100 Days!) but I’ve decided that for right now I’m going to proceed with the label of alcoholic and simply use the title of “Problem Drinker” or “Binge Drinker”. It seems that when you are an Alcoholic one of the most import parts of being an Alcoholic is wearing the scarlet letter so I’ve decided that I will confess to my crime of drinking too much when I am ready and not just because I can answer “yes” to one of 6 questions.