Tomorrow (5/10/2017) will be 11 months since the last time I was completely intoxicated. At that time I was still pretty deep in my denial of having a drinking problem. Clearly I had a boundary problem, but I didn’t have a drinking problem.
I was with a couple of friends at our usual bar. It was 10am on a Friday. I hadn’t planned on getting drunk that day. I was just going to have a few and go home. I should’ve known better than to think that was how my day was actually going to go. After several hours into drinking I received a text from my Dad, I can still remember word for word what it said, “Are you home yet? Mother is worried.” I responded with “no, still at the bar”. There I was well into my cups at the bar while my mom laid in a hospital bed, recovering from a pretty extensive surgery she had just days before, worrying about me. I believe the word, you as a reader, are looking for is selfish. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it hit pretty hard the next morning.
I was completely filled with shame when I woke the next day, trying to recall driving home the night before. The pieces of the night that I could recall were the pieces that filled me with shame. I had let myself down, again. Why the hell could I not hold this damn boundary? There were several little things I did that night that I told myself I wouldn’t do. Nothing huge, but promises I made to myself and broke.
I reached a point where I told myself if I can’t hold a boundary I set for drinking then I just won’t drink! So I didn’t, until October 28, 2016. About 4.5 months without drinking and I was fine with it, psht, no way I had a drinking problem…right?
October 28, 2016 was the night my coworkers and I had gotten together to celebrate my getting a new job and to say farewell knowing we wouldn’t see each other very often anymore. On this night I decided I wasn’t going to drink. I was going to stick with my raspberry lemonade and enjoy the night. Then I decided I would just have one with everyone. How could I not? These guys had become like family. Then the waiter brought me two more after the first one. I didn’t even order them, he just brought them to me. I didn’t want to be rude, so I drank them. When he brought the 3rd one I told myself that was my last one. It was after I finished the 3rd one that I realized I was drinking too fast and needed to slow down. I was NOT getting drunk and driving home again. I did slow down, I had 2-3 more beers after that and I milked them. Then I switched back to raspberry lemonade and didn’t drive home for a few hours after I stopped drinking. WOOHOO, success, right?
I didn’t drive home drunk. I caught myself, slowed down, stopped drinking, and hung-out for another few hours before driving. Where did I go wrong then? Why was this not a success, I controlled my drinking?
- I set a boundary to not drink at all
- I set a new boundary to only drink one
- I set a boundary to stop at 3
- I drank a few more after beer 3
Then I realized I didn’t have a boundary problem with drinking, I had a drinking problem with drinking. That was the last time I drank (10/28/2016)
For months now I’ve been acknowledging both the last time I got intoxicated and the last time I drank. It’s time I let go of keeping track of the last time I was intoxicated. I hadn’t come to a place of being honest with myself at that point. I was still in denial and I drank again after that, I may not have gotten shit faced, but I drank, period.
As of 5/10/2017, I’ve been sober for 6 months and 13 days.
If you want to find out who your true friends are, quit drinking. I’m building an amazing circle of sober friends though. I’m truly happy with where my life is now and where it is going. I also plan to attend my first AA meeting this weekend. A little nervous, but I know it’ll be ok, I know I will be ok.