I try to thwart these sticky thoughts by remembering the night that changed everything. It all happened in Vegas.... (doesn't it always?)
"Ahhh!" I screamed as I ran toward my sister in the hectic Las Vegas airport. While throwing my arms around her and kissing her cheek I remember feeling a rush. I would like to say said rush was the result of seeing my sister, but that wouldn't be entirely truthful. I remember thinking that I absolutely could not wait one more second to get utterly shitfaced with her.
With her it would be acceptable to get drunk! (Unlike my new pattern of drinking a bottle of wine all alone at home.) I hadn't seen her in forever, I never get to go out because I'm too damn busy, and we were in Vegas for Pete's sake! Party on, baby!
I was disgustingly optimistic about the whole night. I felt gloriously and deleriously invincible. Four glasses of wine, five beers, one Smirnoff Ice, and two tequila shots later I was NOT so invincible. In fact, my mortality turned and stared me straight in eye, all the while giving me the finger.
I am only able to report what I am told happened by my sister, as I blacked out on the way back to our hotel room. Her recap goes something like this:
1) multiple stumbles and falls in the hall resulting in three broken nails, a skimmed up knuckle, and sore wrist
2) somehow managed to change, fell into bed
3) began puking all over myself
4) was herded into bathroom where an hour long episode of puking, crying, and sloppy repenting ensued
5) somehow managed to shower
6) fell into bed to wake at 9 AM with worst hangover in the history of the world
The next day was spent shuffling around in full old lady fashion, being obsessed with finding a dark, quiet place to sit (not the easiest of tasks in Vegas by the way), and verbally abusing the poor boy at Panda Express by saying, "Who do I have to fuck around here to get some chinese food?!" - sorry Panda employee -
It was that day I vowed never to drink again. At first I made that vow simply because I would simultaniously convulse and cringe at the mere thought of ever ingesting alcohol again; and believed it would forever be that way. It was when that feeling wore off that things started getting serious.
About a week after that fateful trip to Vegas I really began to soul search. Was it normal to nearly die because I was just so "wrapped up in the moment"? And what about my weekly wine binges? Were bottles of wine all to myself okay if I wasn't missing work, behind on bills, or ripping my family apart? I do work really hard and am almost too responsible. Didn't I deserve the wine on the weekends and the beers with dinner (and sometimes brunch)? Wasn't everyone else practically drooling all over themselves in anticipation of getting a drink or two (or five) after work?
I decided to see what would happen if I quit drinking for the sake of being sober, and not just because of my awful experience. I talked to knowledgeable friends, I did research online, I took multiple quizzes, I talked to my counselor. The final result: I am indeed an alcoholic.
Thanks to the great city of Las Vegas this is where I am in my journey.
I have been sober for one month.
I have lengthy, sensual fantasies about wine.
I write about it.
For now I have that strong, sucky, alcoholic arm of the octopus that is life cozily tucked into bed. And, fortunately, when that arm comes swinging at me once again, I will be able to write about it; taking away some of its strength.
Laughs and snorts,