Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two Years and Counting...

OK, so today's an anniversary for me - two years sober.

St. Patrick's Day is an odd holiday for me as it marks the anniversary of the last time I drank (and got shit-faced and all sorts of other bad stuff). I remember waking up two years and knowing that the odds for me making it through my 30s alive would be greatly increased if I stopped drinking.

I've definitely been tempted now and again and I do also miss liqour. Especially whiskey and gin, my favorites. I also miss the warmth that booze can bring to get-togethers. It really is a good ice breaker and if I genuinely thought I was the sort of person who could regularly stop after a drink or two, I'd be drinking today.

And sometimes I would stop after 1 or 2. The problem was that it was a crap shoot and the results of not stopping were getting more and more out of control and offering less and less joy.

My relationship with Noel is a whole hell of a lot better without me coming home smashed all the time. I also spend a lot less time regretting things that I've done. I remember all those "morning after"s where all the shit I'd done would come back to me in fragments.

These days I've cut most caffeine out of my diet, so my idea of a "wild time" is to knock back an espresso or two. It messes with my sleep schedule but causes much less of a fuss overall.

I'm definitely happy with my decision. The recovery phase seems to be largely over, but it took a long time. Getting over a lifestyle ain't easy and it took me a while to learn how to feel joy and openess. Yoga was a huge part of my recovery and has become (obviously) a huge part of my life. Don't know where I'd be without it (definitely more bored and less happy).

OK, I'll leave you with a little glimpse into the past, a journal entry I wrote on my other private blog 3/27/2006 about the night. I've removed some personal info that was never meant to be seen by anyone, but didn't change or edit any of the words.

3/17/06 was a bad night for me, my knee still hurts. It was the last night I drank, I gave up drinking the next morning. Hauled home by the police, my knee fucked up and bleeding from falling down outdoor concrete stairs and I passed out in front of the Metal-matix building. It's been over a week, the knee is scabbing finally and I've done fine not drinking. Obviously what I am writing here, right now, isn't meant to be read until later and is never meant to be edited. It is weird not drinking, so much of my personality has been wrapped up in that one single action for almost 7 years now (though there was a year that I took off, so the time isn't cumulative). I didn't start drinking, really, until I was 25. Before that, in Bellingham, I'd have a couple at a show or go out with my buddy Rich and have a microbrew beer or two, but that was about it. I got shit-faced once at Marcia's party, she was this girl I worked at the record store with. I was performing that night and she made it a personal mission to get me drunk. I did, though there was no real blackout point. Over the last few years I've had plenty of blackout points, there's probably a month of cumulative time that I've lost to blackout. I'm sure some of that was spent passed out, but a lot of it wasn't. It's weird. Once I turned 25 it was really when I went to Ann Arbor, MI for Borders Office Coordinator training that I really started drinking. I decided gin and tonic was my drink of choice, I picked it for the comedy value and because gin had been the crack of the late 19th century.

Well, I started drinking heavy and putting the tab on the company's dime and spent most of my 3 days there smashed out of my skull. I felt like I was the "cool kid" and shortly thereafter I called Nick, who I'd sold a Foetus CD to, and we started going out to the goth/industrial clubs regularly and having our drinks, a whiskey sour for Nick and a gin and tonic for me.

I don't regret drinking at all, it took me out of other side of the fence thinking and got me looser, more able to cope with social situations and not stress.


Kelly said...

Awesome to read. Congratulations on sticking to it!

Bonny said...

I remember how it was. And I barely recognize you now - you're shiny and new. And you emanate a calm, insistent energy that was waiting to be channeled. Congratulations.