Ya know that feeling you get after a night of excessive partying where you wake up and even the roots of your hair hurt? Every sound you hear is amplified by a million, your stomach is doing things you didn’t know it could do and you feel like you’ve been drinking out of a sandbox because your throat and tongue are drier than the Arabian Desert? What about that feeling right when you realize you have absolutely no idea where you are, how you got there and WHY you’re even there?? For me, the ultimate was hearing about all the crazy madness I’d done the night before and not remembering a single thing. As hard as I would try, I just couldn’t fill that hole in my brain. It was like the nights craziness turned my brain to Swiss cheese and the holes were huge! I always used to think people were exaggerating, but as it turned out, they weren’t. I used to smile, laugh looked shocked all the while I’d be thinking, “There’s no way I’d do something like that or OMG! Are they kidding?????” I’d even get times where (although I wouldn’t show it) I’d feel completely embarrassed & even mortified at times at the chance that people weren’t kidding and I really did do the things people were saying I did.
- After each nights binge, I’d say things in sheer agony like, “I’ll never do that again!” By the time the sun started to go down and I’d struggled with feeling like death was knocking at my door all day, my thoughts of never doing it again went directly to, “I just need the hair of the dog that bit me, that’ll make me feel better, I just won’t drink as much!!!” An aloholic’s every thought is calculated around that next drink. We can’t focus or pay attention to detail on much else but we can come up with some amazing, believable imaginative plans to justify our drinking habits. Once I’d have that first drink in my hand, I was safe and all was right with the world again. While all this was going on, while people were constantly telling me how out of control I was, I NEVER saw any of it as it being an actual problem. When people would mention it to me, I’d automatically get defensive and say, “Don’t worry, I got this!” It just goes to show how much the booze had control of “me” and not the other way around. The truth was right in front of me and I was completely blind to it. I was actually convinced that I didn’t have a problem.
Alcoholism is a very sneaky, progressive and dangerous disease. If you are reading this and you and you can’t relate to any of the examples I’ve mentioned, then chances are you may not have a problem “yet” and you may want to rethink what you’re doing. If you CAN relate to more than a few things that you’ve read, chances are that you may be an alcoholic and get some help ASAP. At no point in time will you ever hear me say that recovery is an easy process. It takes work, willingness and an open mind. Not to mention faith and acceptance. I still have my bad days like everyone else, but I know I don’t have to drink over them any more. Today, my worst day is a million times better than my best drunk. No more black outs, hang-overs, embarrassing moments. No more peeing in my pants (yes, that had been known to happen on occasion) or causing pain to those who love me. No more self loathing, self hatred or shame. I feel amazing today. I now see life as a precious gift that shouldn’t be taken advantage of . Although I remember the madness (with the exception of when I blacked out,) but it’s all like a foggy nightmare that I’ve finally woke up from. Although I know it was my reality, today is feels like a dream from another lifetime. The difference between then and now are catastrophically different. I’m proud to say that today I’m NOT the same person that I was back then. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I’ve got a life time to go. My life has become manageable. I can honestly say that even with the hard times and speed bumps, today I’m happy, joyous and free.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist
June 13, 2014