Let's talk about sobriety, being creative, and how the arms of the octopus that is life challenge us daily to become better people.


It All Happened In Vegas...

I have found myself fantasizing about wine. Actual fantasies! It's as if a bottle of wine were a lover I have been away from for, well, a month! I want his touch, his comfort, his understanding, his companionship. Mostly though, I want to finally get a good night's sleep after a wild, sexy romp. I am not quite sure if these fantasies are normal, or particularly healthy, but they are my reality.

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,


Life Is An Octopus

Alright. First, allow me to explain exactly how life is an octopus. A new, but so far very inspiring and lovely and crazy smart, funny friend of mine gave me the book Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott. Lamott gives advice and insight on writing and life in general. In a chapter on how to tell if your story is done, she uses the visual of putting an octopus to bed. The second you think you have all of the octopus's arms - plot, characters, setting - cozily tucked in you realize two of them have broken free and are wildly flinging about again. She first heard of this image from some friends in recovery while they were describing what overcoming their addictions was like. This perfectly encompasses what this blog will be all about! I will be talking about starting to write again and the struggles and successes that come with getting those good ol' creative juices flowing. Being newly sober, I am looking forward to discussing the sometimes nutso journey of staying sober. And finally I want to discuss how, well, life is an octopus! The second I feel I have his (or her!) sucky, strong arms all tucked in - money in the bank, better relationship with the parents, new found passion for life - another arm swings itself my way - surprise! I'm an alcoholic! - and risks untucking the whole damn thing! Fortunately for me, I find it quite difficult to take a squishy, ooey-gooey glob of a head with eight spastic arms too seriously.

Laughs and snorts,