Alcoholic Reminiscing

It’s difficult relating to other women about relationships and men because I’ve it’s always been complicated with me. I always had crushes that were never returned or revealed. When I started drinking it was 1990 and we all hung out in groups. I’ve said before the group I hung out with was not filled with your boy next door types. They were all older and the majority had done some kind of prison/jail time but not all of them. There were not many women around on a day to day basis except me.

Everyone gathered at J’s apartment. People were in and out constantly and the music was always loud. So loud that he had his phone rigged to flashing lights so he would know someone was calling. I was there so often that J would tell me to answer the phone and the door after giving me a list of who he didn’t want to see or talk to. He usually had a revolving door of roommates I answered for too.

One was John. I loved John. He was 6′ tall and thin with blond hair that went down almost to his waist. I remember walking to the store with him one day, I fell behind and a group of guys drove by and started whistling at him. They couldn’t tell it was a guy. lol He was warm, funny, and when he hugged me it was always like he would never see me again. He would pick me up too which I thought was impressive considering my size. He didn’t like it when the other guys said stuff about me in front me. He was one of the few that would tell them to stop. We were good friends for years until I messed it up.

He always had girls around him. He was in a band, taught guitar, and sold guitars so he was popular. He also drank too much, liked coke and crack too much too. At first he had a crush on my best friend but I thought of him as a friend so it didn’t matter. A few years later my feelings had changed. Unlike most men I’ve met he actually sat me down in a room and said “You know I love you. I love you so much but not in the way you want me to”. If more people were just honest my life might’ve been a little easier.

Two alcoholics who have been drinking together for years are eventually going to do something stupid. I initiated it and felt incredibly guilty when I remembered the next day. I stayed away from J’s for a little while. There were consequences to our actions that I felt were mostly my fault so I didn’t tell him. J with the big mouth decided to tell him. John was pissed. I didn’t know this and went to the apartment and started drinking with J like I usually did. When John arrived I was already drunk. He wouldn’t talk to me or look at me. The song “Black” by Pearl Jam came on and when I heard “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s life” I pretty much lost it. I tried not to show emotion in front of them for years. I learned early on they smell weakness and prey on it. This time John lifted me from the table and took me to an empty room where he just held me and rocked me back and forth.

He said he wasn’t really angry he was sad. It wan’t the decision he wanted me to have to make alone. He’s also the only man that has ever told me the only reason he regretted being with me was because we were drunk and I didn’t deserve that I deserved to be treated special because he loved me.

We continued to be friends. A few weeks later he hooked up with a stripper. I had a hard time being around them and drank more. She had me beat. She drank so much she would wet the bed every time she stayed over. But there was always another to take her place. There were a lot of strippers that came and went and I didn’t like any of them. I tried at first but they never looked past the fat girl hanging out with the guys. Some of them didn’t like that I was always around. I was rude to 1 or 2 by saying “you’re not that great I’ve slept with your boyfriend too he’s not that picky”. I know not a great thing to say. Whenever I felt bad about myself or backed into a corner I lashed out and if cheap hard liquor was involved forget it. The cheaper the vodka the meaner I would be.

My story took a turn for the worse didn’t it? John has been with the same woman for years now and doesn’t drink as much. I haven’t seen him in about 17 years. I’ll always remember the good things about him. Even though I was drunk I can still have those memories of things I’ve never had sober.

THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX

I apologize if you thought you were going to read some Erotica or learn something new about sex. You might learn something new but it will have more to do with a darker side of the subject. What happens when you have a Mental Illness that isn’t diagnosed and you self medicate with drugs or alcohol. You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with sex, actually a lot more than you think.

I started drinking at 16/17 and also started having sex. I was probably a late bloomer for that time period, it was around 1991. The first time I had sex I was drunk and sex was like that for me for the next 20 years.

I drank because something was missing inside of me. I had a hard time talking to people and never felt like I belonged anywhere, not even with my own family. I had a constant ache in my chest like a hole was there. I always had butterflies in my stomach and felt like I was going to throw up whenever I had to be around people. School was torture. I hid as best as I could but that was hard to do considering I was taller and heavier than the rest of the girls in my school. I always felt that I was the ugliest, less intelligent, and shouldn’t be there.

When I discovered alcohol all of those feelings went away. I did have times before I started drinking where at home I would talk too much, too fast. I would also stay up for days reading in my room or watching movies. This was hard to control at school. Somehow I did. I know that I smoked pot at school sometimes and I think I did other drugs too.

While manic there was nothing more exciting than getting ready to go out. I could also drink more while manic. I was always trying to prove points. I would pick up the best looking guy and sleep with him as if this proved I was worth something. Sometimes it was just part of the chase. The people I hung out with then compared me to a guy in the way I acted with men. I chose to act that way after being hurt too many times. If I leave first than you can’t hurt me. This didn’t always work.

Promiscuity is a well known symptom of Bipolar Disorder. Not many people talk about it. I do because it was a big part of some of the things I can’t forget or remember.

When you are an alcoholic and Bipolar (but don’t know it) it can be a recipe for some scary situations. I would wake up and not know if I had sex or not. I wouldn’t know if I had said yes or not or who the person was. This happened more times than I would like to admit.

When I stopped drinking I also stopped having sex. That’s correct. It has been quite a few years. When people see this they assume that I am a troll or hideous. Today I wanted to plaster Twitter with pictures of myself to show that I’m not. But that would be proving points again that I don’t need to do anymore.

The fact is part of me is scared. The other problem is I don’t socialize very much and I hate to admit it but I’m picky! I like a sense of humor, kind eyes with something behind them, usually dark hair, the person doesn’t have to be a male model but I have to be attracted to them in some way. We have to share some common interests. It’s a lot to ask for. I don’t like dating sites. I still have it in my head that I’m going to meet this person at a bar (not drinking) or a concert.

The reason for this is that your maturity level kind of stops when you start drinking. I still have the thoughts of a 16/17 year old girl. Which if you think about it makes sense.

So it’s okay to be celibate. It doesn’t mean no one wants you. It’s a choice for a period of time until you feel ready. 14191969_10210844810143170_6249931150507043504_n

ALCOHOLISM IS GREAT!

I took my first drink because I was afraid to talk to people. I wanted to be sociable. I wanted people to like me. I soon became argumentative and obnoxious. Slurring my speech didn’t help either.

I drank because it made me feel happy and numb. Until it didn’t anymore and I found myself on top of someone’s roof, bleeding from my arms, taking bottles of pills.

I drank to keep the friends I had. They wound up as enemies and one almost killed me.

I drank to make the butterflies in my stomach go away and would end up with the shakes by 5:00 p.m. the next day.

I drank for liquid courage and was scared when I started to vomit blood and couldn’t remember large portions of the night before.

I drank and I drank because drinking is great.

You lose your money, dignity, self worth, job, friends, family, health, but who needs those things?

Turns out I did. More than I could ever know.

If stopping were easy we wouldn’t have movies and books about it. You might mess up a few times along the way. It’s a journey not a destination. It’s also a disease that can come back at anytime. It’s why I think of myself as in Remission so IF I HAPPEN TO FALL I CAN GET BACK UP.

There’s no place for GUILT or SHAME. These feelings that other’s will put on you will be your downfall. They are not the ones going through this, you are. Do what’s best for you!

If you’re being forced into not drinking it will never work. Ask the 3 Judges that forced me. I did my time and went right back to drinking. Never gave it a second thought.

Until you’re ready, you won’t. alcoholism_quote_2

 

THE STRUGGLE OVER TREATING ALCOHOLISM (We’re Failing)

My feelings on Alcoholism and the treatment of Alcoholism is very different from most people. I realize that everyone has to do what works for them. I don’t pass judgement on anyone for their choice in how they maintain sobriety.

Recently I read a quick article about a 35 year old woman who died from liver failure due to alcohol related issues. She had made herself into somewhat of a Celebrity by gaining the most followers on Myspace when it was popular. Vanity Fair did an article on her, she started her own clothing line, rock stars followed her account, and she was the first Kim Kardashian.

I couldn’t find anything about her past or family. I do think it says something that a person would post such a large amount of selfies to draw followers and attention. I think even though she had 800,000 followers she was probably still lonely.

No one wakes up one day and says “I think I’ll start drinking and continue until I ruin everyone and everything around me”. I know I didn’t. I just wanted the overload of pain and feeling like I never belonged to go away even if it was only for a short time.

When some people do realize they have a problem and want to get help many programs are focused on the wrong things. I get it, I made mistakes, I hurt people, I should make amends and take responsibility. But I should also think back to that first drink and what was going on at the time that I felt like I needed to keep drinking. What feeling did alcohol provide that I couldn’t provide myself?

That was the biggest issue. Yes, it’s great to know that you’re not the only one who’s done stupid things and hearing other people’s stories works for a short time. You can only share your stories so many times. If I had to hear “I was a piss your pants barroom broad” one more time I was going to piss my pants out of boredom. Every time I achieved some sobriety with a program I would slip, feel ashamed, and give up.

This last time was different. I had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and given some insight about self-medicating.

I took that first drink to “fit in”. I continued to drink to make everything I didn’t want to feel or experience go away. It worked for years but created more things I wanted to forget, traumatic experiences and affected my health.

Several years before I stopped drinking I was told that my Liver was enlarged. I ignored it and kept drinking. I also lost a significant amount white and grey matter. No one knows for sure how much is due to alcohol abuse. Some of the alcohol I consumed daily was rotgut. I wouldn’t be surprised. I also have some issues with my Pancreas. I think Alcoholism needs to be looked at differently when being treated. I believe you’re not just treating an Alcohol Addiction you’re also treating other underlying issues.

STATISTICS

  • Alcohol is the 4th leading preventable cause of death
  • An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes a year
  • Around 5.1 million Adults 18+ have a problem with alcohol
  • Around 623,000 adolescents 12-17 have a problem with alcohol
  • 45.8% of Liver Disease deaths involve alcohol

 

 

 

A DIFFERENT TAKE ON BEAUTY (From Ugly Duckling To Confused Swan)

I was born in 1973, born five minutes after me was my fraternal twin sister. There is a picture of us only a few weeks old where it appears she is trying to punch me in the face. That should’ve been a good indicator of things to come.

Although we were not identical, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins still were confused about who was who. When we were born we weighed a little under 5 pounds each and stayed in the hospital until we gained enough weight to leave. Except one of us never stopped gaining. Starting at an early age that’s how relatives would tell us apart. They didn’t care if I heard them or not. “D is the fat one and Deb is the skinny one” is what I constantly had to listen to. As I became older I would scream in my head “Are you f*cking stupid? One of us is blond and the other is a red head! If you don’t know the difference after 15 years than don’t bother!”. There were honestly times I wanted to physically hurt one of them. I would be playing with cousins and one would get hurt. I would automatically get blamed because I was “big” and must have “squished” one of them.

I tried to be invisible. It was easier that way. If I drew attention to myself that would be asking for punishment, humiliation, or ridicule. I wore baggy clothes and hid my face behind my hair for many years.

I always had a love for make up, hair products, perfume, clothes, but I was limited in what I could do. There was little clothing available at that time for 16 year old girls who were a size 18. Most clothing was marketed for much older women or what little I thought was nice was extremely expensive.

By the time I was a Senior in High School my Bipolar Episodes (Not Diagnosed Yet) were in full swing. I would have feelings of wanting to belong so badly I thought the world would end. I wanted a guy to actually see me for once. I wanted to be wanted. Smoke and Mirrors became my best friends.

Not many are born knowing how to apply make up correctly or blow dry hair just right. I had to learn in order to wear my “mask” of confidence that was boosted with alcohol. When I was all made up and had a new outfit on I actually felt a little good about myself. Add the alcohol in and I was hot. That can only last so long. 20 years to be exact.

When I was diagnosed as Bipolar and stopped drinking I also stopped socializing. I did start to lose some weight. The Doctor told me I would at first because of the medication and because I have Celiac Disease. A year went by and I was down almost 130 pounds. My family was worried. Well most of them. I now weighed less than my twin sister and she wasn’t taking it well.

I wasn’t doing well either. I had this new body in the mirror, a completely different face, I had changed my hair color as well. I wasn’t sure how to dress for this body. My sister refused to go clothes shopping with me. I would sit in a dressing room quietly crying because I was confused about whether I was wearing a shirt or a dress. Did I have a camel toe or was it suppose to fit that way? Some of the clothing should’ve come with directions. I finally had to ask women in the dressing rooms to help me. I was embarrassed. I was angry that after all the years of bullying and pain my sister would hold this against me.

When I received a compliment I didn’t know what to do with it. When someone found out I had lost a lot of weight I felt like I had to tell them it wasn’t through diet and exercise because it would be wrong to let them think that.

When I started to notice dents in my temples and indentations in my cheeks I became concerned. My Hematologist told me I had “Muscle Wasting Disease” which happens with Autoimmune Disorders. What we didn’t know was that my Kidneys had been Failing. I wouldn’t find out until it was almost too late.

Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, Obesity, and even being too thin all carry Stigma. The things I’ve hadthonf73axv said and done to me because of one or the other I still can’t forget. I used “Beauty Tools” to try to hide the real me even when I lost weight. I never leave the house without a mask. But sometimes they serve a purpose.

While in Cosmetology School and working in Salons I would do hair for women who couldn’t afford it. Women who hadn’t had their hair done in years or ever. I can’t tell you how many had tears rolling down their faces when I was finished. As they stood up their posture would be different than when they first came in. Their eyes brighter and their smiles confident. I know it’s only hair but sometimes it’s the human interaction and having a chance to relax and feel good about yourself that can make a difference. It’s those times I enjoyed the most.

 

IS A SOBRIETY DATE IMPORTANT?

I recently received a message from a Rehab on Twitter. It was the same Rehab that took a blog post of mine and put it on their Twitter page without asking. When I played the video I became annoyed and angry. I don’t agree with most of what this Rehab is about. I want to help people if I can but not through a third party that I don’t share the same opinions with.

The woman in video discussed the topic of a “sobriety date”. This is what she said.

“It’s important to celebrate your sobriety date, count out the days, make it a big deal, and I feel if you don’t think a sobriety date is important it’s probably because you don’t have one”.

I personally found the whole thing condescending.

“Sobriety Date” is term used in 12 step programs. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol reported that 75% of people with an alcohol dependency manage to get and stay sober without any kind of program at all. There are specific reasons for this.

  • Focusing on your successes and not dwelling on failures
  • All improvements count even small ones
  • Not passively going along with someone else’s approach
  • Having a support system
  • Learning the reason behind your drinking
  • Learning you have a serious health problem
  • Learning you have a mental health problem

I will be the first to admit that I have no clue what my sober date is. I can take a guess at the year and possibly be right. My best friend usually has to tell me.

In my twenties I was court ordered to a Rehab. They did 2 days of testing to see where I was physically, mentally, and how my cognitive skills were. (Again no one picked up on the Bipolar)

The Doctor came in and said “Your liver is enlarged and you have the brain of an 82 year old alcoholic man”. Then he left. What was I supposed to do with that information? What did he even mean? Who says that and leaves?

I’ll explain a few things. Celiac Disease causes problems your cognitive skills. Years of heavy drinking does too. Bipolar Disorder also causes cognitive problems. So do medications.

I have memories that are clear and vivid but I couldn’t tell you the exact day or year they happened. I have problems with my speech which is either related to the above or Conversion Disorder.

I will tell you that I am sober. I will tell you that I am alive. I will tell you that I don’t need a sober date to keep me that way.

What I don’t need is anyone trying to guilt or shame me for my choices that have worked for me.

My way might not be for everyone but I have been able to do it for about 9 years. My father has been able to do it for over 30 years. That’s enough for me.dollarphotoclub_99693865-500x300

ALCOHOLISM, MODERATION, ABSTINENCE, AND WHAT’S POSSIBLE

There are a number of people leaving AA and other programs meant to help with addiction to seek a “Holy Grail” of sorts. It’s the belief that if you follow a new and different way you will be able to drink in moderation successfully.

What is “Moderate Drinking”?

The scientific community has been doing extensive research concerning this subject and came up with the following definition.

Moderate drinking consists of no more than 3 to 4 “standard” drinks per drinking episode. No more than 9 drinks per week for women and 12-14 per week for men.

A “standard drink” is equal to the following:

  • a 12 oz. beer with 5% alcohol
  • a 5 oz. glass of wine with 12.5% alcohol
  • a 1.5 oz. of 80 proof liquor 40% alcohol

Moderate drinking also takes into account how FAST you drink and keeping your blood alcohol level below .055. (.08 is the DUI/DWI limit in the U.S.)

Supposedly Moderate Drinkers do not drink to get drunk. It states that some heavy drinkers who have had problems related to their drinking can learn how to “moderate” their drinking. Drinkers who have the most success believe that alcoholism is a bad habit and not a disease.

There is a “Chances of Success Test” you can take on the website for free. (moderatedrinking.com)

I did take the test but answered the questions as if I were NOT in remission/sober. They at least gave an honest answer. My results recommended that I abstain from all alcohol use. So much for moderation.

THE NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGIC SURVEY ON ALCOHOL AND RELATED CONDITIONS

They have been researching and analyzing data for years. Their recent conclusions? Most “alcoholism” looks less like Leaving Las Vegas and more like your average frat party attendee or work colleague. They also came up with “22” as the average age of onset for alcoholism.

43,000 people were questioned and studied based on the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence. The DSM-IV uses preoccupation with drinking, impaired control over drinking, compulsive drinking, drinking despite physical or psychological harm, tolerance and/or withdrawal symptoms.

There have been some recent findings that are puzzling. I’m not sure how I feel about them. But I will give them anyway.

About 70% of affected persons have a single episode of less than 4 years. The remainder experience an average of 5 episodes. It seems there are two forms of alcohol dependence: time-limited and chronic.

They also found that 20 years after onset of alcohol dependency about 3/4 of individuals are in full recovery. More than half of those who have fully recovered drink at low-risk levels without any problems.

Around 75% of people who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help including any type of program.

MY VIEWPOINT AS AN ALCOHOLIC 

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. I think you still have to go back to that number one question “Why did I start drinking?”. I think if you don’t you will most likely find yourself in the same situation. Is it possible to manage your drinking? Maybe. Is it worth it to try? I don’t know. I do know that I hurt many people with my drinking. I lost friends because of my drinking and lost friends because I stopped drinking.

I will be honest and say that on my last vacation my Aunt bought me these little Pear/Green Apple wine spritzers. I didn’t look at the can and thought it was soda. I was halfway through when I felt full. I wasn’t eating at the time. I just felt an “ick” feeling. I couldn’t drink anymore of it. I wondered why because I can usually drink a lot of soda. That’s when I looked at the can. I didn’t say anything to her because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. The only reason I could only drink a little bit of it is because I’m on Topamax. Topamax is one of my mood stabilizers but they also use it for people who drink. Would I have kept drinking if I hadn’t been on that medication? Most likely.

I am one those people who has tried several times in the 20 years I drank to stop drinking with a program or group. It never worked for me. Finding out why I drank and finally being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder is what worked for me. And I do not count my 6 sips of spritzer that I was too stupid to realize was wine spritzer. I still have over 8 years of remission. Hey, I never drank wine in my life. I only drank beer and hard liquor. I remember when we had 100 proof Firewater we would put in the freezer. When you did shots it came out like cold sludge. How did my stomach survive?

I’ve known people that have gone back to drinking after 15-20 years of sobriety. They were dead within a year. Does that mean it would be like that for everyone? I don’t know. I can only say how it would be for me. I have to keep going until I close every bar and drink every last drink in the building before I’m done. So I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.alcoholism-1