DRINKING: Why I Miss It And Why I Stay Sober

I like to remember when I was drinking sometimes. Once in awhile I miss it. The important thing is to remember the good times and the bad times. I have a habit of only reflecting on the good times. I also have to remind myself why I stay sober. My reasons won’t be the same as someone else’s reasons and that’s fine as long as it works for me.

I loved the excited feeling I would get inside as I prepared each day to drink. It was a ritual. I had to do my hair and make up and pick an outfit to wear. Even though I was over 200 pounds these things still mattered to me. I make myself sound disgusting but I guess I had a pretty face and there were men who were attracted to me.

When I drank there was a physical change in me. I stood up straight and held my head up looking people in the eye with a confidence only alcohol could give me. At times this did cause trouble. Other times it worked to my advantage. I never would’ve met as many bands as I have if I hadn’t been drinking. I never had to pay for a meet and greet, my best friend and I would somehow end up meeting them. I was the charming one and she was the beautiful one.

I regret the fact I don’t remember some of the people I’ve met. How could I forget an entire car ride and conversation that lasted over an hour? I didn’t blackout often but we had been in the pit during the concert so it’s possible I hit my head. Guys hated it when we went in the pit so I would make W. go in with me just to piss them off. Drinking with me was like a box of chocolates, you never knew who you were going to get.

Alcohol almost always acted like a stimulant with me until I reached a certain point. I just never knew when that point would be so I would drink until I got there. I wanted to feel normal inside, I wanted the pain I couldn’t name to go away, I wanted to be able to talk to people and not feel like I didn’t belong all the time. And alcohol did that for me.

Alcohol also made me say things I wouldn’t normally say, do things I wouldn’t normally do, spend time with people I wouldn’t normally spend time with. Did I love meeting Lars Ulrich, Zakk Wylde, Sebastian Bach, Stephen Pearcy, Pantera and being at The Rainbow? Yup. But some meetings didn’t go so well and all I can say is I’m glad they were as drunk as I was.

Never being in a relationship wasn’t exactly fun either. The police knowing my name in three towns was bad too. Pepper spray is never fun, twice is just cruel (both by accident I was caught in the crossfire). A DUI is something to be ashamed of not to mention what I put my family through.

I’m sober now because I know why I drank. It became clear when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It didn’t take me long to stop drinking after that. As I learned more about why I drank it made things a little easier. Treating addiction has to go hand in hand with mental health treatment or you are not going to get far. I know this firsthand.

If I drank now my body couldn’t handle it. My brain would think I could drink like I used to but I only have one kidney now. I have thought about it recently because my medications are not being absorbed and I feel like I did when I was younger. I have my dad to think about. If he wasn’t here I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have some kind of light fruity drink. Which I never ever would’ve had years ago but now it’s the only thing that sounds appealing. Kind of strange.

I’m tired, alone, trapped, isolated, filled with grief but for who? Maybe everyone and myself the life I could’ve had and now never will. The 20 years I wasted or my mom who I still miss ever single day or my best friend who I never see or my twin who would rather commit me than have a conversation with me.

I always told W. if things got bad I was going to Vegas and pulling a Nicolas Cage. She always laughed and said “No you won’t”. This last time I said it and she started crying. She said she wouldn’t blame me and she knew how bad it’s been for me but she loved me. First time ever someone said the right thing.

So I’ll stay sober and try to help my Dad celebrate his 74th Birthday tomorrow. Do they sell cakes shaped like pigeons?

EXCRUCIATING! Watching Q & A’s On Social Media and Feeling Invisible.

From time to time I will watch a Live Question and Answer session on a Social Media platform. I don’t do it often because I find myself become irritated, sad, and then feeling more isolated than I already do.

When the person answering the questions has answered the SAME EXACT QUESTIONS AT LEAST 5 TIMES PREVIOUSLY and literally asks that no one else ask the same questions again, it’s more than annoying.

BUT not as frustrating as when I finally work up courage to write something and it’s always ignored or sent back to me. I don’t know if that’s just how it works because I try not to do it often. Why? Because I then start to do the infamous snowballing.

Questions start swirling in my overactive brain. Has everyone blocked me and I just don’t know about it? Do they think I am a security threat because it links to blog about Bipolar Disorder? Oh, wait! Everyone they follow has dark hair and I’m a red head, maybe they don’t like red heads? Everyone they follow that’s female is pretty. Maybe I’m not considered pretty enough to follow like a velvet rope system but for Social Media. Did I offend the person and not realize it? Should I apologize? Maybe I should consider breast implants or some Botox.

Then I think “I really miss drinking when I didn’t give a shit what anyone thought no matter who they were.” When I even told a famous singer to go F*ck himself because he grabbed me on his tour bus and wouldn’t let me go. I could see the track marks on his arm and he smelled like he hadn’t showered in months. Back then the alcohol made me not overthink everything. Granted it also helped my erratic behavior, impulsiveness, and sometimes I wasn’t rational enough to know when a situation had gone too far.

This spineless, doubting, invisibility, is killing me. I just want to know I exist sometimes. My entire life I blamed so much on my weight. Now that the weight is gone I actually hide more than I ever did. Now that I can actually dress up and feel like I fit in I do nothing.

The only thing stopping me is me. Fear that it will be the same. Rejection. I can’t go through everything I’ve already been through again. So what now?am-i-invisible-1024x683

PURGE YOUR SOUL

I had my appointment with my Psychiatrist yesterday. He spent more time with me than usual because another patient had cancelled. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. He really thinks doing this blog helps and that my family does not help. He appeared genuinely shocked that my twin sister isn’t more involved. He thought she lived in another state these past few years. I laughed a little too loudly at that one.

I’m still in a memory purge zone so that’s what I’m going to do.

My bestfriend W who has been my only close friend now for 30 years never judged me, or said anything about my drinking. It may have been because she was usually drinking too. She could have 4 or 5 beers and stop where I wouldn’t. I had to have 15 to 20. I did everything in excess. Shopping, drinking, and eating. The Queen of Excess. It would blow her mind the amount of alcohol I would put away in a few hours. Sometimes it frightened her. I didn’t think anything of it until a guy Sean who was an alcoholic said “You know that you crack a beer, light a cigarette, crack a beer, light a cigarette, look down at the ashtray and your empties man.” I looked down. There were 7 empties and 7 smoked cigarettes. We had been there 50 minutes. I was guzzling like I was in a contest. I chose to place this thought in the back of my mind.

W started to date a guy Will. I wasn’t fond of Will. She had met him at J’s apartment. I personally thought she could do better. She was in a 4 year college, she was beautiful, smart and funny. But she thought he was cute and she loved a guy who could make her 1338828079261974laugh. He did have a good job. I wasn’t crazy about how controlling he was with her. We started to see less and less of them at J’s. I still talked to her on the phone all the time. I started to hear rumors at J’s that Will had hit W once or twice. I cut back on going to J’s and started going to Will’s apartment so I could see W.

At first things were ok. Will was actually funny. Half the time I was laughing at him. He reminded me of a shorter version of Jerry Seinfeld with a mullet. One night he drank too much and was smoking pot. He fell asleep on the couch while W and I watched a movie. He dropped the lit joint down the leg of his shorts so it went into the crotch. He started jumping up and down screaming. To me it was hysterical. I didn’t laugh in front of him. W and I waited until later. I also went out with them a few times. I noticed every time W left me alone with Will he started whining about her or saying stuff about her that I wasn’t going to listen to for long without punching him. She knew he did this when drinking and just wrote it off. I wasn’t as quick to let it go.

There were 2 incidences that played a hand in my decision to stay away from them until W decided to leave.

The first incident was at a Fight concert. Fight was Rob Halford’s  band when he left Judas Priest. It was an extremely small venue. W and Will were going and I was to meet them there. When I saw W she looked horrible. She was pale and the thinnest I’ve ever seen her. She immediately pulled me into the ladies room. “Daner I have to leave him but I don’t know how. The other night I ran from the house in my nightgown and jumped in his brother’s car. He shot out the back window. I drove to the police station. I didn’t want him arrested, I was confused and we had been drinking. When I got home all of my stuff was on fire on the front lawn.”. I was more than angry. You can say and do what you want to me but NEVER TO MY FAMILY. W was closer to me than my sister. I asked her to tell me the truth if he had ever hit her. She was looking at the floor and said “Yes” quietly while she cried. W was normally someone who didn’t show emotion, who never let a guy get to her. I told her she wasn’t leaving with him that she was coming home with me. She looked frightened. I told her I would handle Will and to stay in the bathroom. Yes I was drunk. I found Will doing his usual holding up the wall eyes rolling to the back of his head drunkenness. I always found this level of inebriation revolting. I know it’s the pot calling the kettle black. I know for a fact that no matter how much I’ve ever drank in the past I have never been like that. Loud-definitely, Annoying- definitely, Repeater- definitely but not eyes rolling , falling down, spilling my drink on everyone, drunk.

When I stood in front of Will and he finally recognized who I was he immediately started to blame W. He said stuff about her that was so crude and out of line and in a public place that I was stunned. Other people could hear him because it was intermission. He was yelling that it was like “F*cking a dead fish with her, she doesn’t love me, she doesn’t love anyone, she’s a whore, she was f*cking everyone when I first met her at J’s” after 2 minutes of this I accidentally punched him in the face. He slid down the wall and was passed out either from alcohol or something.

The problem was when I went to get W and told her what had happened she was upset. She went to see how he was. You can probably guess what happened. She went back home with him.

I never understood why she stayed with him. A few months went by and everything had blown over. We had been invited to my sister’s house she shared with her college friends for a party. (Big shocker here!!!! It would be the first and last time) W was good friends with one of my sister’s roommates so she really wanted to go. We were both a little worried about Will.

Everyone was having fun. It actually lasted for half the night which was a lot longer than I had ever thought it would. Then I heard my sister yelling. You never want to make my sister angry. If people thought I was bad when I was drinking my sister was bad sober or drinking.

When I went to see what was going on she was yelling at Will and W was begging her to let “it” go. I yelled at my sister “What the hell is going on?” she said that Will had slapped W and bent her arm behind her back. She wanted him out of her house. He was refusing to leave. Will could be nasty when he was just the right amount of drunk. I told my sister I would handle it. She then turned her anger on me. “This is what happens when you bring your scumbag friends around” so then I started arguing with her. I then turned around to tell Will to shut the f*ck up. Will replied “I’m not going to listen to some fat baby killing whore” this may have been when the red veil came over my eyes. The next thing I know we’re both outside and I have him by the throat against a car. W wasn’t happy about any of it. I told her “This is it W. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t listen to him talk about you and now he brings up personal stuff about me in public? Until you leave him I can’t do this”.

It was a few more years before we spoke again. She was with Will for 7 years. The last 2 years she made him the victim and treated him almost as bad as he had treated her. None of it makes it right. As soon as I heard her voice I felt something inside me break open. We talked for 3 hours and promised ourselves that nothing like this would happen again.

Those 7 years with Will were really W’s first relationship. It left her a cold person when it came to men. She never was one for “feelings” to begin with. I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve seen her cry. Almost all of those times had to do with me. None had to do with a relationship. I’m not the only one who has some issues I’ve realized. She’s extremely moody, obsessive compulsive about odd things like her lawn and certain areas of her house, and the way she is with men. Her brother has Mental Health issues but refuses to see anyone and their parents refuse to acknowledge it. W does see it. It wouldn’t be so far fetched that she would have something going on.

I do realize that as an alcoholic in remission I see alcoholism in everyone. I do realize as a Bipolar person that I see Mental Health issues in everyone. This doesn’t necessarily make me wrong. Does it?

Rough Patch

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. And the ones that Mother gives you, don’t do anything at all.

I’m in the middle of a rough patch. I’m not sure what to do. If I go in to a Hospital it won’t help and I’ll have a big bill. I will sit there for 72 hours while several different people ask me how I’m feeling, give me my medications, and give me Benadryl to sleep. I will see a Doctor maybe 1 time. He’ll repeat the question of how I’m feeling and never be seen again. They will tell me to follow up with my usual Doctor. 55cb1709e5e84e324ac12388cd821b8f

I really just want to move to Florida. At least when I was down there my Aunt called me on her lunch break and when she got out of work. She made sure I was ok and didn’t feel lonely. When I had to stay with her for a few days she seemed happier with me there. She’s like my mom. My mom was happiest when she felt useful. When her children were grown and my dad was obsessed with his hobbies is when she started to deteriorate. My Aunt’s children hadn’t called her the entire time I was there. When her daughter stopped by the day before I was to leave my Aunt asked why she hadn’t heard from her. My cousin said she figured because I was there they didn’t need to call her.

I have to say I was a little pissed at that. My Aunt’s children and my Aunt’s siblings that live in Florida have no problem calling her when they when want something. She isn’t a young woman. She’s 69 years old and has had Gastric Bypass. There were complications with Gastric Bypass and over the years she’s had to have a few surgeries and has gained some of the weight back. She’s still one of the most active people I know. She shouldn’t be doing most of the things they ask of her.

She has cleaned out entire apartments, painted the walls, decorated, put up wallpaper, and shelving. She has pulled out old mildewed carpeting and ripped up floors. Some of these things are just outrageous. I personally don’t think any 69 year old person who has been working all of their lives should have to continue working a full time job just to make ends meet. She has raised a family, made sure she kept a perfect home for a husband that didn’t appreciate her, and took care of his ill mother. On top of that working herself.

I watch my father struggle to pay property taxes and other bills. I pay the cable, phone, Internet, and Electric. I also put money in towards the water bill. It’s high because of the 300 birds outside. They have their own water system and have to be watered at least twice a day in the winter and three times a day in the summer. They also have their own electricity which includes heat lamps so I’m paying for that. My siblings think I have it easy living at home. If they knew what my father would be spending on the birds outside if I wasn’t paying they would have a fit. I also buy toilet paper, paper towels, and all cleaning products. It isn’t easy. I haven’t kept receipts because it’s my dad and I live there too. I just have a feeling that all of this might be questioned in the future.

These are also some of the reasons I have not taken the steps to move out. Besides the fact that I’m chickenshit and I don’t want to be alone. I’m kind of alone now anyway. I’m also being startled and yelled at when he does realize I’m here. I can’t win. It’s all so confusing. I have no one to talk to that won’t immediately ask about my medications or tell me I need a better Therapist or a different kind of Therapy. I don’t want to bother my Aunt.

Sometimes I talk myself into believing I’ve misread an entire situation or conversation. That I was never right to begin with. I’m starting to do that with my Florida vacation and my Aunt. I start to think that I probably did annoy her and I was a nuisance. I start to think she was only being polite and doing it for my mom. I start to think she couldn’t wait to get rid of me. I tried to talk less this trip. There were “jokes” made about the amount of talking I did the last time I was there. It was a few months after I had ECT and they had overshot their mark sending me into a manic phase that lasted quite a long time.

This trip I made sure if I was going to be in a group of the same people as the last time I would take half a Klonopin so I wouldn’t talk as much. I thought it kind of worked. But what do I know? I doubt everything these days. Love, trust, hope, existence. I wish I felt like I did after the one round of ECT. As bad as it was I felt confident, invincible and almost happy. It lasted almost 8 months. That is the longest I’ve ever felt anything close to happy in my entire life.

I even drove to a zoo that was 3 hours from my house. I had to go over a huge bridge which I’m not fond of at all. I was going because this zoo had a special breeding program for endangered wolves. They had built a special environment that mimicked the wolf’s in it’s natural habitat. It was beautiful. When I first got to the zoo it was a little crowded but for once I didn’t feel nervous. I was there for a purpose. I was a little disappointed when I arrived at the Wolf exhibit. There was a loud family of five there and the wolves were up on the rocks. There was no way they were coming down with all the noise and loud colors. Not to mention the strong perfume of the mom. I waited and waited. An hour went by before they left. I was so happy when they did I though my heart would burst.

I walked up to the fence as close as I could get but as far from where the family had stood. I stood with my shoulders slumped, eyes looking at the ground, head bowed. I was quiet as I could be. One by one they came off the rock. The Black one who was the Pack leader’s right hand man came up to the fence first. The rest followed on his signal. They all circled in front of me then sat down in the leaves. I cried tears of happiness, grief, and tears of everything I had lost and everything I would never have. In the end it was still one of the happiest moments of my life.

 

DRINKING II:CREATING A MONSTER

It’s everywhere you go isn’t it? Alcohol. Everyone on the planet seems to be able to handle a drink or two except you. How many times have you bargained with yourself while out with friends? I used to tell my best friend W that I was “only” going to have 2 beers and 2 shots and then she needed to cut me off. She would always say “OK”. She was taller but I outweighed her by a 100 pounds at the time and could get mean when I drank. She knew this, I knew this. We both knew she wasn’t going to stop me. She would try to make sure I didn’t hurt myself but that’s all she could do.

I can’t tell how many people tried to blame her for my problems over the years. Why didn’t she stop me? Why didn’t she tell my family? It wasn’t her job. And she was the ONLY ONE WHO SAW THE PAIN INSIDE OF ME. No one else did. She knew pretty much all of the things I had been through the last 20 years. She loves me and cares about me but it’s difficult to know someone is destroying themselves but to also know the agony they carry inside.

The first 10 years of my alcoholism were brutal. It isn’t easy hanging around mostly men that are ex-cons and either alcoholics, drug addicts or both. The first guy I was ever with was 6’3″, tan complexion (he was French and Italian), and had 2 teardrop tattoos under his eye. I was 17 and an idiot. He had spent 6 years inside a Florida prison. Yes he was very attractive, no he had no job or money. The first time we were together he played a Metallica song and lit Black candles. I should’ve run immediately. He taught me a lot though. How to get out of a dumpster on my own, how to punch a guy in the jaw and knock out his tooth (him), how to give a false alibi, and how to deal with extreme humiliation. Not to mention he had an ex-wife and a toddler who I paid child support for once or twice.

He wasn’t even the worst of them. But most of you know that story. They were hard years. I drank everyday. I would be driving home at 3 a.m. puking into my sweatshirt. Then wake up at 6 a.m. to be at work for 7 a.m. During this time period my behavior grew worse while I was drinking and I would cut myself or swallow a bottle of pills. Off to the hospital you go! They don’t fix you or help you, they babysit you. After several more years of this my brain decided “You’re not very good at this killing yourself thing so instead your going to date (f*ck) every asshole you meet in the hope he’ll do it for you”. That almost worked on several occasions. Some I don’t remember. Some I thought I could handle and fight back a little bit. I didn’t know how vulnerable I had become. I didn’t realize how empty I was.

I have to say that I had good parents and I love both of them very much. I was born with something wrong inside of me. I felt it at an early age. The loneliness in a room filled with people, an aching feeling in my chest I couldn’t name, a feeling like I didn’t belong here. When I say “here” I mean on this Planet. I’m a twin and I often felt that I was a mistake. My mother didn’t know she was having twins. I still feel I wasn’t meant to be here.

My mother’s death and getting a DUI helped me to seek the resources I needed. I knew there was something more going on than drinking. With the family history of Mental Illness and Alcoholism how could there not be? It took a year to get a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Then I was sent to other specialists because my cognitive skills were questionable. I had just spent the last 20 years pickling my brain I’m not sure what they expected. My liver was also enlarged and towards the end of my drinking I was vomiting blood. One idiot who did the cognitive testing said to me “Congratulations. You have the brain of an 82 alcoholic man.” Why a man? I had no idea. Which he just proved.

The DUI was something I was pissed at. I hadn’t been driving the car. It was stalled in the middle of the road from earlier, the keys weren’t in the ignition, and me being me was trying to push it while it was still in Park. I know driving while under the influence is wrong. That’s why the car was stuck there. I had gotten to the end of W’s street, decided I was too drunk to drive, went to do a U-Turn when the car stalled. The Officer on the scene was not helpful. I’m not saying he should’ve been nice. It was right after my mom had passed away, I was crying outside the vehicle when he pulled up. He patted me down. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t carrying anything in my bra or vagina in one of the richest areas in my state. Took my shoes, coat, and blazer from me so all I had on was a sheer tank top and black jeans. Took the tiny pillow and the toilet paper out of their one cell and sat down to watch me all night. No female officers, no other male officers, just him to watch me pee and shiver in my see through tank top.

When the judge read the report and my lawyer pointed out that I hadn’t been driving, the keys were not in the ignition, and the officer had given me an PARKING TICKET ON TOP OF EVERYTHING he immediately dismissed it. The state had me sign a waiver saying I wouldn’t sue. How can you give someone a Parking Ticket and DUI at the same time? You can’t Park and Drive. The judge didn’t like some of the other things he had heard either.

The one thing the Judge was concerned about was my Breathalyzer Test. I blew a .30 a few hours after the arrest. The judge knew that these were not the numbers of someone who has an occasional drink. He told my lawyer to get me help or therapy because if he saw me again it wouldn’t be the same outcome. I didn’t go to a program. I cut ties with the people I drank with. I only spoke to W on the phone or we went for lunch or the mall. Mostly I stayed home or spent time with my dad and sister.

The Bipolar Diagnosis is harder. There is no cure. You can’t just ignore one thing to make it better. I never know how I will be until I wake up. I still have that aching hole in my soul that never gets better. I am always in a constant state of grief and sorrow. Losing my mom made it worse. When I would get like this she would hold my face in her hands and tell me she loved me. No one does that now. No one touches me at all now.

This is why the Doctors worry anesthesia. When I’m under all that pain is gone and maybe I even see my mom. Who knows? All I know is that my brain doesn’t want to leave where it is. And yet I have to continue to go under anesthesia every 4 to 5 months for the rest of my life. Sometimes I look forward to it. I don’t know where I belong and I don’t where I’ll go if something happens to my dad. I’ve talked myself into depression. lol It’s what I’m good at.100_0463 (4)

This is a drinking picture. I post it so you know. I was 270 pounds at the time I am 135 now. I also no longer have the blond hair. After that beer I’ll probably have 6 shots of Jager or Patron and a few more beers.

GIMME A DRINK

I have always had anxiety for as long as I can remember. There isn’t a time I can remember where I didn’t have that butterflies in my stomach feeling. A lump in my throat or the feeling you get before taking an important test or getting on a giant roller coaster. It’s no way for anyone to live let alone an adolescent. I remember dry heaving before school everyday. When this started I don’t remember. I know I was doing it by the 6th grade.

Elementary school wasn’t too bad. I was still thin and cute. I could do gymnastics and my hair was straight and light blond. Then it all changed. My hair became curly and frizzy. I grew large breasts overnight and gained weight. I was also taller than the other girls going into Junior High. I wore thick glasses by this time and the beginnings of puberty wreaked havoc on my skin. I’m not painting a pretty picture am I ? That’s because it wasn’t. I know this because I was always the last one picked in gym class, I was called names, I had stuff thrown at me, animal noises made at me, and even other student’s parents thought it was appropriate to discuss me while I was standing right there.

What did I do? I took it. My twin sister wasn’t having the same experience as I was. When we were in school they1wendy-2 separated twins. Twins were not allowed to have any classes together. Did she know what was going on? To some extent. She didn’t completely escape it. She was also taller with bigger breasts but she was pretty and much thinner than I was. She also had the capability to make friends. I know she defended me on occasion. It wasn’t often. Mostly it was in High School and only if the person really crossed a line. Even though I was bigger our classmates were more frightened of her. I don’t know what she did for that to happen.

There’s a picture my sister likes to pull out for a good laugh. It’s a school picture of me in the 9th grade. I have curly blond hair, very thick glasses, a hot pink and white striped shirt on, hot pink beads around my neck, and a lovely fever blister on my lip. She thinks it’s hysterical. My twin is like my dad, photogenic. Neither one of them can take a bad picture.

I thought I had won the friend lottery when I met W. We found the same things funny, we hated the same things and the same people. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t popular. She was tall, thin with strawberry blond hair and green eyes. She was one of the prettiest girls in the school. I never could understand it. I could never understand why she chose to be friends with me. Sometimes I still wonder. We’ve had a few bumps in the road, mostly because of me but she’s still here.

W and I also loved the same music and guys with long hair. It was the late 80’s early 90’s. We were both also terrified to talk to boys/men. I remember one time W left me sitting at a bowling alley alone while she ran home to swig the pink stuff for your stomach. She was so nervous because a guy she had a crush on walked in she thought she would be sick. lol It was weird, for her I could muster up some courage. My brother had played baseball with the guy and told me how much he loved the band Boston. When W came back I went to the Jukebox and played every Boston song in there. Now this wasn’t the smartest man on the planet but he was attractive. He just kept saying “Holy shit! Why are all the Boston songs playing?”. I was laughing. He recognized me from going in there with my brother and came over. I admitted to playing the Boston songs. For some reason I could talk to him because it wasn’t for me. And I was sober at this time. Weird.

Sobriety didn’t last long after that. When you always feel no one wants you where they are, a birthday party, wedding, your own shared birthday party, it’s difficult. I was always looking for the escape hatch. Then one day W called to tell me she was picking me up with 2 of the most popular guys in not only our town but the surrounding 3 towns. I vomited and jumped in the shower. I sat in the backseat with my favorite one. He was a legend to me. He looked almost exactly like Slash from Guns n Roses but sexier. His name was even great. I won’t put it here because he has since passed away and he was well known. I’ll just say his name was the same as a fat happy religious statue.

He offered me a swig from a bottle that smelled like mint and looked like water. My only experience so far with alcohol was sips of my dad’s beer. I figured it smelled minty and looked like water how bad could it be? Mind you I was 16 at the time. I took a healthy drink from the bottle and by the look on my face he knew I hadn’t had it before. He said “You puke that up I’ll make you eat it”. I forced myself to swallow it down and keep it down. Rumplemintz I’ll never touch it again. That I can definitely say never to.

I proceeded to get drunk and bought the guy $50 in CDs, then we went to a party somewhere in a bad neighborhood I think in Providence or Pawtucket I don’t remember. I know I fooled around with the guy and somehow he got another $20, things took a turn for the worse at the end of the night when he put my earrings in a cup of beer. Yup I knew how to pick them right from the beginning.

That was the beginning. Even though the guy was an ass I found that I could stand up for myself, I felt confident, I didn’t care if people wanted me around or not. Liquid courage.

Someone once said “You know you’re an alcoholic when you stop getting hangovers”. Not true. I always had horrendous hangovers. I had a reason. I had Celiac Disease and didn’t know it. I was poisoning myself every time I drank and on some occasions I was also suffering from alcohol poisoning. You can’t have a breathalyzer result of .30 three hours after being taken in and not have done some damage. I shocked quite a few people with that one and they wanted to throw the book at me. I’m lucky someone thought I was worth saving.

Picture is W and her boyfriend. She exists.

DENIS LEARY AND BINGE WATCHING

I have been a Denis Leary fan since first seeing him on MTV’s Remote Control. In case you’re wondering I’m 43 and female. My comedic taste is that of an 8 year old boy or 21 year old guy. I try to keep it concealed. My best friend of over 25 years is probably the only one who laughs at the same things I do. It’s even stranger watching a younger version of Christie Brinkley do it. Specifically if I make her snort laugh.

Back to Mr. Leary. I recently binge watched all the episodes of Rescue Me. I think there might have been 93 of them. That’s a lot of Leary. I’m an alcoholic in what I like to call Remission. I am not drinking now, I do not plan on drinking now, I do not plan on drinking in the future. I am not stupid enough to say I will never ever drink again. I’ve seen people that have been in a program for over 20 years start drinking again. I’ve seen them start and end their lives that way. I’ll discuss this topic further at another time.

I think Rescue Me was one of the most underrated shows in the history of television. The writing was filled with wit and warped humor one minute, grief and redemption the next. The show tackled many subjects that other shows were not. They did it in a way your average Joe could relate to. Family, Alcoholism, Work, Sexuality, Grief, Divorce, I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting some topics but that’s my fault. I would often find myself with tears on my face not realizing I had been crying.

I could relate to the alcoholism, family, AA situations, grief and pain. I couldn’t relate to his character being loved by a significant other or having children. But I could still imagine what it would feel like. 20 years of drinking causes people to give up on you and to not trust you.

Binge watching television shows like this has almost taken the place of drinking. I’ve always watched movies and tv. I also used to read at least one book a day. Since I went into kidney failure I haven’t been able to read. I can’t focus on the story, it doesn’t move fast enough or my brain doesn’t. My vision has slowly become worse. Someday I’ll try again.

I do have to be careful when I’m binge watching certain shows. I’m easily influenced by certain characters without even knowing it. Case in point, The Sopranos.

A couple of years ago I had been binge watching The Sopranos. I guess my attitude had changed to the point where my sister (of course) had asked my dad if he noticed. He had noticed that my language was more colorful which was rare for me and the way I carried myself was different.

My sister thought about it and remembered me saying I had been watching The Sopranos. She invited me to her house for lunch, sat me down and said “Cut the shit Tony.”. I started laughing. She was serious. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been acting like Tony Soprano without the killing people part. We had just been at the mall where a woman fell into a rack of clothes with a baby strapped to her back. I kept walking and my sister stopped to help. A few days before I had given a dog CPR. My sister pointed out how Tony had more emotion for little ducks than humans and that’s how I was. She wasn’t wrong but this wasn’t anything new. It was just more obvious. She jokingly called me Tony for awhile.

Yesterday I had to go for pre-admissions testing for the surgery to change the stents that keep my one kidney working. I guess there was an issue with the anesthesia last time. The nurse was asking ridiculous questions so I was giving her ridiculous answers. She was laughing so hard at one point she had tears. Unfortunately this made her late for her next person. When the woman up front came in to tell her she was running late the nurse said “This one is a firecracker! Sarcastic, but I love it!”. She then told me I might not want to answer the questions like that the day of surgery because Anesthesiologists have no sense of humor.

While walking to my car which was parked in Boston even though the Hospital is in Fall River I realized who I was acting like. Denis Leary. I was sarcastic and somewhat cocky. All I needed was a cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth and I would’ve been all set. PLEASE I am in no way saying that I am as funny as Mr. Leary. I’m saying how easily influenced I am by other people’s persona’s and moods. A movie or television show done correctly stays with me and changes me in some small way. Whether this is good or bad doesn’t matter. What matters is that there are still entertainers and writers capable of doing this.

So keep doing what you do Mr. Leary even if I am banned from every operating room in New England. It’s the Bipolar or the Conversion Disorder or whatever they want to come up with next because without people like you to entertain me and keep my mind busy I probably wouldn’t be here.

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RESCUE ME: Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin on RESCUE ME airing Tuesday, July 13 on FX. CR: Jeff Neira / FX