Reckonings: “Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows.” (BB, Chapter 3)
I’ll never forget a moment that occurred while talking to my sister on the phone. It was day time. I was drunk and I remember saying to her something to the effect of:
“I’m an alcoholic and I don’t care.”
I’m quite certain that is the only time I ever called myself an alcoholic and actually believed it. Up until the end of 2016, every other time was me just saying it because that’s what I knew everyone wanted to hear and/or expected me to say. In my heart of hearts, I knew I was but I just could NOT accept it.
“My name is Pixie and I’m an alcoholic.” And in my head I’d say next , “not really but I’ll pretend to be so you leave me alone.”
I was no stranger to AA, however. See, with every sizable consequence that could have been way worse, I’d go to a meeting or 2 just to compare myself to “real alcys” and prove to myself that I wasn’t AS bad as them. They say to look for the similarities and not the differences. Not this stubbon ass. Alllllll I cared about were finding the differences and if there were similarities, I still deemed them way worse off than me. The most common comparison I made was to my uncle. Alcohol literally ruined and essentially took his life. Surely if that’s what alcoholism looks like, then I am definitely not an alcoholic…right?
What I didn’t realize for a long time is that I was exactly like him, I just hadn’t gotten there yet.
My fierce pride and obsession to drink was so strong, it took several interventions to finally get me to agree to seek treatment (albeit, kicking and screaming.) And not the type of interventions you see in those reality shows where there’s a professional interventionist and letters being read by a big group of people. (Yes, I compared myself to those people too.) Just a handful of concerned loved ones telling me I needed to fix the drinking problem before it got worse.
Fact: alcoholism is a progressive disease. It always gets worse the longer one stays in their addiction. And mine did. Aside from an intervention I did on myself in 2011, I was intervened on 3 other times. I was hanging out with one of my exes, drunk on the rooftop in the middle of a work day just minutes before the first one happened. The final two interventions occurred 6 years later on a weekend – one on Saturday and the other the very next day. I was in legal trouble and wasn’t supposed to be drinking anymore. But I just could.not.stop and I’d get sick thrills out of hiding it when I could. So having that attractive image in your mind, try to get a a clearer visual as I relive it for you here:
#1: Saturday – The previous night, I went to see a movie with one of my besties*, aka one of my peas in my pod (PEA) or my ride or dies (ROD.) I was 3-4 drinks in before meeting up with her and she could totally tell. We had a bite to eat and then went to see a romance movie. I passed out and missed all but 5 minutes of the flick.** PEA had to wake me up and I drove home…without my phone. I don’t know how I made it home safely or how H didn’t smell the booze on my breath in the morning. We went to an early breakfast and I couldn’t believe I was pulling it off.
By now I had realized my phone was at the theater so I retrieved it on my way to my parents house where I was meeting my other bestie at the time, ROD, to go for a hike. Shortly after my arrival, H called my parents’ house requesting a sit down. PEA had texted him to make sure I had gotten home safe because I didn’t text her when I got home.
I can’t remember my exact demeanor but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t freaking out. In fact, I know I was relatively calm because as soon as I met eyes with my former ROD, it was almost as if I didn’t have to tell her. She knew. I knew. We both knew. Yep, I had been caught red handed and it was right then that I laughed my last laugh for a good long while when ROD looked at me and said “I’m going to call you RED from here on out.”
Hence the birth of a new nickname and boy did I take it seriously. So much that on the way home, I was sent into the grocery store to get I don’t even know what, and I had the balls to buy 2 more mini-boxed wines and smuggle them inside my purse for the next day. Nevermind the fact that I had literally JUST promised my husband and parents that I would never do that again.
#2: Sunday – H went into the office, as he did often early in his career. I figured I had enough time to drink one and sober up before he got home. But then he called and told me to get to an AA meeting. My car was at my parents house so I asked a dear friend for a ride and she gladly obliged.*** I went to a meeting buzzed, came home and continued to drink a little more. Next thing I know, H is home and he smells it. He leaves to get our parents and so what did I do? I left too.
It was about 2 hours and an ultimatum later and I was back in my living room telling H and our parents how much I hated my life. It was decided that I was to stay at my parents house that night and get evaluated for rehab the following morning. Can you imagine what that must have looked like?
Have you ever experienced….
…..taking a dog for a walk when they don’t feel like it?
…..trying to give a cat a bath when it’s in their natural instinct to clean themselves?
…..dressing a toddler who is does not want to stay put?
Yeah, it kinda went down like that.