I love getting wasted.
I love the way being completely shit-faced makes me feel, and the instant relief I get just having a glass or bottle in my hand — even before it hits my lips. I enjoy the burning sensation of that first sip as it makes its way down into my belly, and the way my back sometimes pings with a dull ache. It’s uncomfortable – for sure – but it’s also an indication that I will feel less of everything at any moment.
I have a drinking problem.
Maybe that’s not fair. I drink really well, and when I do, I convince myself that there are no problems alcohol can’t solve. This simple, yet complicated fact became clear after many failed, but totally well intentioned, attempts drink like a “normal” person.
I started later in the day… or maybe earlier.
I didn’t use that tiny straw.
I learned to pace myself and/or drank more water between drinks.
I switched to beer or wine or cut out vodka altogether.
I stopped going to __________ or hanging out with ___________.
Apparently, “normal” people don’t have a couple of beers during a Sunday afternoon football party, and get disappointed when there’s no after party. They don’t start drinking an hour before “a few drinks,” because “social” drinking is way more enjoyable when you’re already buzzed.
If only I had hated being drunk, I might have had a less torturous view of sobriety. I went to therapy, and cried about my life. I talked about my past, and the obvious reasons I was a flawed human being. I blamed my mother for her lack of discipline, my stepfather for his lack of self-control, and my father for being too strict. I blamed my daughter for making me a “teen mom,” and the heaps of extra pressure no seventeen year old should ever have to face.
I blamed my daughter’s father for expecting me to be anything other than a broken toy.
I struggled with sobriety and the idea that the problem might be alcohol, because it definitely wasn’t.
My problem was Life, and alcohol was my solution. Being wasted was awesome. It was all the other stuff that came along with it that I couldn’t handle.
Recovery has not affected my love of drinking. I’m quite certain if it were possible to pull off constant inebriation, without the ugly consequences that followed, I would never have stopped.
If my drinking had not reached the point where the pain of drunken nights out-weighed the intense fear of sober ones, I would not have considered sobriety a viable option.
My sobriety date is May 2, 2000. I did not wake up that morning and commit to never drinking again. I did not decide that day I no longer loved being drunk.
My sobriety date is not the day I decided I didn’t love alcohol anymore or the relief it provided. It was the day I admitted that the relationship wasn’t working. Much like the decision to escape an abuser, it was the day I decided no more.
It’s the day I said out loud, “I have no idea how to stop this,” and asked someone to help me. Life did not get easier the day I stopped drinking. In fact, for a while I was sure it was worse. Mostly because I had to feel and take responsibility for some really ugly truths about my less than stellar choices. Getting sober was not easy or fun. It was very simply the only option I had when drinking wasn’t either. If I had not gone into treatment, I’m not sure I would have been able to learn about and cope with the routines and triggers that continuously found me with a drink in my hand.
If you’re struggling with an addiction, waiting for the day you no longer love being wasted to seek help, please understand that is not a requirement.
Although I haven’t had a drink in a great many years, I still love getting wasted. I just haven’t in a really long time — even when I’ve really wanted to.
Sobriety hasn’t eradicated my desire for relief whenever the stress and pain of life hits. It has simply allowed me opportunities for growth and the willingness to find healthier, more productive ways to handle them.