Sometimes it helps me to stay sober if I hear other people’s horror stories. It’s my favorite part of AA. I can almost feel what they went through, and the fear alone of experiencing it keeps me sober.
Warning: there are cuss words involved.
So here’s the story of the night before I quit drinking:
I woke up around 4am dying of thirst, covered in drywall dust and there was a blowtorch and crowbar in the bed with me. My bedroom door was locked, I had no idea what had happened, how I got there, or where my husband was.
This wasn’t the first time I woke up this way. It was at least the 40th in the past few years, and not even the worst of it. The blowtorch and crowbar were new, and I remember thinking holy fuck I wish I could just die right now, I don’t even want to know this story.
Piece by piece it came back to me- it started with drinking while at work. I’ll just sneak one. One turned into 4-5. I invited company over and handed them a glass of wine immediately and drank one myself so it wouldn’t be unusual that my breath smelled like booze.
1 glass turned into a bottle, our guest left, I vaguely remember stumbling and saying stupid things at this point and then poof, lights out.
But there was evidence. The drunken monster my husband had come to fear reared its head- he threatened to leave and I threatened to call the cops on HIM for driving drunk (he’d had 2 glasses of wine)…I started using my phone to videotape our conversation (blacked out and too wobbly to even hold it upright)…I followed him around the house badgering him, trying to pick a fight with words I was barely forming. He locked himself in another room.
Then the phone is on the ground, I can hear myself walking away, then I’m back with a blowtorch and crowbar in hand.
I proceed to attempt breaking into the room. I try burning the wall (WTF!!)…I smash a hole the size of my head into the drywall with the crowbar while he’s pleading with me from the other side to please just stop. He’s crying.
This goes on for about 15 minutes. The wall is ruined, smashed and burned.
Something in my blackout shifts- I stop and just walk off to bed with tools in hand.
The next morning I find the video. I’m so utterly ashamed, disgusted, I feel a new level of reality about myself that I can barely stomach. I puke on the floor, I didn’t even feel it coming. I’ve become sloppy, destructive, I’m the worst person I’ve ever known.
I am an alcoholic. I need help. I’m going to die. I tried to burn our house down.
I wasn’t always crazy like this. I’m very together when I’m sober. I run 2 successful businesses, people admire me and want to be my friend. On the outside my life looked amazing, but inside I was trying to die, I wanted to die. I wanted everything to burn and alcohol was the fuel. It was the reason. I gave alcohol full control of my life, I put it first above anything else and it turned my life into a dumpster fire.
It’s been over a month sober now, which isn’t much, but I know I’m done. I kept that video to remind me why.
I’m happy to be alive. Life is actually really beautiful when alcohol isn’t whispering in your ear all of it’s sinister lies. Just have one, just one more, finish the bottle, be an asshole, ruin it, destroy that relationship, say those terrible things, ruin it, you hate everything, burn it down, kill yourself.
But I somehow made it out alive, I’m a survivor. Alcohol will not decide my fate any longer. That is MY choice. I’ve taken my power back and I’m going to hold onto it like my life depends on it- because it does.
Thanks for listening.