What you see on the about page is a very very condensed version of my story. I barely even touched the surface to what being an alcoholic has been like. This is the long version of my story.
My Drinking Began – High School
I took my first drink of alcohol when I was a Junior in high school. Nothing really came from that first drink…but holy Hannah did all heck break lose my senior year! I couldn’t control the drinking. It was something that pretty much all of the senior class did…every.single.weekend. And it was always fun to see who could drink the most. Who could puke first (by the way, throwing up always made room for more!). And it was even more fun to compare hangover stories.
I still remember the time a few friends and I skipped school to get drunk and proceeded to go into work that night drunk (of course the boss caught on and while we weren’t fired we had a stern talking to). I remember a lot of my party days from my senior year in high school. The blackouts didn’t start until college.
My Drinking Continues – College
Once I hit college the drinking got really bad. Not just the drinking but this is where the blackouts started. Drinking so much that I would blackout, wake up somewhere I had no clue where I was (or how I got there) or worse with some dude next to me.
It was during this year that I ‘matured’ in my drinking. It wasn’t just cheap Boone’s Farm or cheap beer anymore. Hard liquor came into play – Vodka mainly, Tequila, Jagermeister, Rum, 100 proof this and 100 proof that. It was all about running with the ‘big dogs’ and keeping up with the guys. Yep, I drank like a guy – keg stands, shot gunning beer, taking shots of this and that.
Getting My Stomach Pumped / Alcohol Poisoning
I vaguely remember the night this happened. I remember drinking a mixture of beer and vodka and that I just kept drinking more and more and more. Soon I was drinking straight Vodka because there was nothing to mix it with. The next thing I remember I was falling off the porch because (1) I was so trashed I probably couldn’t stand but (2) I was in so much pain – my stomach hurt so bad, my heart was racing, etc.
I don’t remember how I got to the hospital. Not sure if friends called the ambulance or someone was sober enough to drive me. But I vaguely remember waking up in the hospital. And all the charcoal stuff they pumped my stomach full of that induced vomiting. Even as drunk as I was, you suddenly ‘sober’ up when your stomach is having a bunch of nasty charcoal stuff pushed into it causing you to throw up.
The next morning I was released and I’ll never forget the 3-4 days after coming home from that experience. I continued to be sick off and on for the next several days. I couldn’t get out of bed unless it was to throw up or go to the bathroom. My body hurt so bad. It was a hangover times a thousand. There aren’t even any words to explain this experience. It was horrific. I said I was never drinking again…unfortunately as soon as I felt better I was out there doing it again.
My Drunk Driving Accident
It was July 4th night. I had just bought a brand new outfit to wear that day. After fireworks I went to a party (not that I needed it I was already drunk) and partied well into the early morning hours of July 5th. Eventually I was ready to leave. Someone that was supposed to make sure I got home safely gave me my car keys. I wanted to be with my boyfriend who coincidentally I had ditched earlier in the night because I was pissed he didn’t want to do what I wanted to do (fireworks and partying). But I was drunk and knew I had been wrong earlier in the night and needed to see him to make sure we were ok. (man I didn’t realize writing this would bring up so much emotion still – I’m sitting hear with tears in my eyes, my stomach in knots, remembering as if it was just yesterday)
So off I went…
About 10 minutes after being in the car I was driving down into a ditch on the left hand side of the road colliding with a big cement culvert (drain pipe thing). I remember losing consciousness for a few minutes (I think it was a few minutes), waking up hearing sirens and then tasting the blood and feeling it
drip pour from my forehead. I remember how it hurt to breathe. I remember getting suddenly pissed that I was bleeding on my new shirt and my new pants that I had just bought!
I remember the cop shining the flash light in the window. I remember (vaguely) him talking to me to keep me awake as I kept losing consciousness. I remember him telling me “young lady you are lucky to be alive”. I remember waking up in the hospital with my mom by my side.
I remember the pain. How it hurt to breathe. How my face felt like it had been hit with a cement brick (guess that’s what happens when your face collides with the steering wheel – I was not wearing a seat belt from what the cop said). I remember hearing bits and pieces of conversation going on around me.
But what I remember most is that when I needed my boyfriend most – when he got called about the accident – he hurt me the most by saying it was my own fault for getting into that accident and he didn’t have any sympathy for me. Yes, it was my own fault but damn it I needed him. I needed him to hold me and tell me things were going to be ok. And he couldn’t do that for me. That’s what hurt the most that night/morning.
Somehow I survived that accident (when I should have been dead – even the cop told my parents someone was watching out for me that night because I shouldn’t have lived through that) with only a broken nose, stitches to the forehead, internal bleeding – from bruising internal organs, and bruising of the chest/stomach/abdomen area. My vehicle buckled in the middle from the impact (the roof was literally almost sitting on my head from how buckled it was) but most amazing was the fact that the jack flew from the back and hit the driver seat just below my head, ripping the seat all the way to the floor – had it hit just a little hire it would have been my head not the seat).
It was a long year of probation and a couple months of recovery after that accident. Unfortunately even that didn’t stop the drinking (or driving drunk).
Losing a Job Because I was Too Drunk to Go In
I’ll never forget calling in to my job one Saturday afternoon because I had been drinking all morning at a sporting event and was too drunk to think about working. It seemed like the smart thing to do – I mean getting drunk was a lot more fun than going into work right? Nothing like running the family name through the mud because it was place that had employed lots of family members and everyone knew who I was.
Drinking at home several days a week by myself
I’ve never been one to drink alone. I’ve always been a social drinker. But suddenly I found myself getting drunk at home to take the edge off of ‘life’ and everything going on around me (and inside of me). I’ve never felt more alone in my life. At least when I was partying at the bar or after the bar parties and with friends it was ‘ok’ because everyone was doing it. I knew as the drinking alone at home continued (got worse) that I was in a really bad place. But that didn’t stop me. I was great at covering up how bad the drinking was. No one knew I was drinking at home because I wasn’t about to admit that to anyone!
And the drinking continues and until…
One morning a couple months ago (February 2012) I woke up after a night of heavy duty partying next to a man that shouldn’t have been in my bed, not remembering how the hell we got to my place or how the hell he got there with me. I’ll never forget laying there that morning ‘silently’ crying for a couple hours while this dude snored away next to me. I’ll never forget wondering how the hell my life (my drinking) had gotten so out of control and so unmanageable. I’ll never forget the shame, disgust, guilt that I felt that morning. I’ll never forget the light bulb moment when I realized I had a serious drinking problem and needed help.
Why was that moment my bottom?
I have no idea. You would think my bottom would have been the alcohol poisoning event or the car accident or losing a job but those weren’t. It was that chilly winter morning in February. I still drank several times after that but it wasn’t the same anymore. I had reached out for help and was waiting to get in to set up a treatment plan. Suddenly I knew that I had to fight for my life because no one else was going to do it for me.
And that brings me to now…
I’ve admitted I have a problem, I’ve reached out for help and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to battle this giant. I want to get sober, stay sober and live a better life than I have been. I don’t want to drink like I have been. I don’t want it controlling my life like it has all these years! I’m ready to do whatever I have to do to win this fight!