Remembering My Last Drunk

Voice of Recovery from Addiction

 

 

REFLECTION ( July 17, 2014 ):

Four years ago today, I went through a life changing experience. I got completely, black out shit faced. Although I can not remember the exact details, I do know that I made a complete ass out of myself not only as a person, but as an entertainer. The last thing that I do remember clearly is someone handing me a shot. I was desperate to prove to everyone that I didn’t have a problem and I fought with myself to put it down……I lost that fight in epic proportions.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, it would be my last time alcohol would touch my lips.(God willing) I was standing on the edge of the cliff about to take the plunge when a friend saved my life by throwing me a proverbial life line., She raised my bottom by video taping my actions and forced me to face my demons the next morning. Although I did not recognize the person I saw on the video, I finally got to see the monster people had been telling me about for years. It was like watching Jekyll & Hyde meets Sybil. My hands and face were swollen from all the alcohol consumption, I couldn’t hold myself up in a sitting position and I got to see the extreme pain on my wife’s face. Pain that I was causing her.

Although tomorrow is my actual sobriety date, today is just as important for me to remember & acknowledge because it was the kick in the ass that I needed. If it weren’t for the actions that happened on this date, I would never have gotten sober and blessed with the life that I have today.  We should never remember our last “drink” because we relate a “drink” as something social, a happy thing.  We should always remember our last “drunk” and all that it entails. (or as much as we can remember) Think about the hang over, the dry mouth, the shitty way you feel inside. All the consequences & pain that come as a result of your actions the night before.

I consider myself to be lucky to have had the opportunity to actually see myself in that state. Oh believe me, I tried to get mad at the person who shot it, but I couldn’t. What I saw on that video tape made me mentally and physically ill. Because I was a blackout drunk, I could never remember anything the next day. My attitude was always, “If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen.” which always made it easy for me to justify my actions. Alcoholics are experts in justification and denial but there was no more justification for what I saw that afternoon.  I could no longer deny that I was out of control.  We’re taught that when we even start thinking about drinking or using in recovery, we should remember our last drunk and play the tape all the way through in our heads.  Don’t think about how good that drink is gonna taste, but think about the consequences that happen once we do.  Luckily for me, I actually have a tape to watch.  Seeing my destruction, the pain I was causing my wife and a person I did not recognize was just what I needed to pull my head out of my ass. I was surely a wake up call. When they showed me the video, I was only able to watch maybe ten minutes of it before I felt sick to my stomach.  I had to walk away.  I didn’t watch the whole video (which is 45 minutes long) until I was sober about six months. Even then it was difficult to sit through.

As embarrassing as this may be, I feel I should share this with you in order for you to realize how serious and damaging this was……

I was told that after they shut off the camera they put me in a chair to pass out. At some point I got up out of the chair, walked across the house (a friends house in Georgia) stood in a corner like a child in time out, and pissed myself.  When they tried to clean me up, I fought them to leave me alone. Does that sound out of control to you??  That’s where my alcoholism took me. That’s how bad it got.  I’m grateful that they allowed me some dignity and didn’t catch that particular part on video. Our drinking and using takes us to places we swear we’d never go, makes us do things we swear we’d never do. We convince ourselves that we have it under control. But we don’t. With every bottle we drink, every hit we take, we lose more and more.

People who met me after I got sober say things like, “I can’t see you like that or I can’t imageon you like that.” They think I’m exaggerating. Trust me I wish I was. I became not just an alcoholic, but a sloppy drunk. You’d think I’d want to forget all the unpleasantries of my actions but the truth is, it’s IMPORTANT to remember them.  I have to remember the person that I was in order for me not to become that person again. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God that my friend was smart enough to make that video. Truth is, she saved my life. When I think about drinking (and I do on occasion although not often) I play that video in my head and remember how bad things got. I remind myself that all it would take would be ONE drink to bring me right back to that place. ONE drink would unleash that inner demon that will always be inside me. We never regain control because we never had it to begin with. I don’t know why some people can drink normal and why some can’t but I know I’m NOT one of those people. Remembering my last drunk is what helps keep me sober today.

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