ABOUT CONSULTING WATCH! ARCHIVES CONTACT SUBSCRIBE

Don’t Get Drunk Fridays: Black Hockey Jesus’s Story

It’s no secret that I love me some Black Hockey Jesus. From the get go I was captivated by his whole vibe -he was doing something with his writing that I hadn’t seen before and I liked it. A lot. We started talking and I found out that he didn’t drink and Shazam! I knew what it was I liked about him so much. I’ve talked to him about a lot of stuff because he’s one of those people you just feel you can trust with your darkness. He’s been there and he understands. So, here you go. You’re welcome.

“The first time I got drunk was at Brian Brown’s house. I was 12. There were 6 of us, we played quarter bounce, and I remember hating the taste of beer. But I also remember the sensation of all the knots in my spine being slowly untied and liquid fingers massaging my brain. Oh fuck yeah. I just got the shivers. How you doing?

I drank too much, ate a Whopper & a bunch of fries, felt sick, found Tom Whitwam’s winter jacket on the floor and filled it with vomit. He was super pissed. Wouldn’t you be? Nasty. I stumbled to the bathroom and emptied the rest of my stomach. Yeah, there were onions. And then, when there was nothing left, I heaved and heaved, dryly, for 45 minutes. I don’t know how to spin this story for you. How to construe it as a “good time”.
But wobbling in front of the sink, I gazed at myself in the mirror. My eyes were wet and glassy and red and puffy. I looked somewhere between angry and arrogant. I leaned in close to my own reflection and slurred sincerely, devoutly, “You need to do this more often.” And I meant it.

*

I’m a magnet for people who want to know if they’re alcoholics. (And that’s cool. I’m not complaining.) The first thing I do is wave off all the talk about symptoms. I don’t care how much you drink, how often you drink, what you do when you drink, how much trouble you’ve been in, none of that shit. I shoot straight to page xxviii in the AA book. That’s where it says we only have ONE (1) symptom in common: “[we] cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving.” Nothing screws with people more than being able to drink one and walk away. Hell, I can drink one and walk away. But that’s not the issue. The issue is whether or not you deal with that bitchy little voice in your head, after you drink one, that keeps whining about more. That’s the symptom. If you have it, you’re fucked. But if you’ve got the guts to admit you’re fucked, there’s hope. Life’s crazy.

*

A lot of people in AA get all crazy about “how it works” and Steps and God or die die die. They’re frothy and smug and they try to boss you around with a bunch of emotional stories and stupid clichés. You can develop a lot of clout in AA just by being around a long time and it doesn’t even matter if you’re stupid. It might even help. However, these kinds of people are reasons in themselves to sit through AA meetings. They’re flipping hilarious. You can satisfy a lot of your cravings for reality television by sitting through AA meetings. But to be fair, seriously, that’s not the whole story.

I found all the coolest, greatest, best friends of my life in AA meetings. It’s an awesome place to meet freaks and weirdos. People like you. I grew up going to AA. And I’ve had all kinds of different ideas about God, the Steps, meetings, sponsors, prayer, the Big Book, service work, etc—and only ONE (1) thing has remained constant: I stay in touch with freaks and weirdos. Even when I didn’t know it, that’s where the Power was. You can call it whatever you want. Please do. I call it having friends who understand you and care about you and have your back with no strings attached.

*

The last time I got drunk, I was yanking on an orange power cord to see if it was strong enough to hang from in the garage. The stupid repair guy knocked on the door to fix our phone and it turned out to be Jerry, the stupid AA guy who worked for the phone company. I was at the end of a 3 year roll and slurred “I’m drunk, Jerry. So what’s next motherfucker?” He smiled his big stupid smile with his big stupid moustache and said “You tell me, brother.”

Jerry talked to me the rest of the morning and all afternoon on the steps in front of my house. I have no idea what we talked about. But I do know he was supposed to be fixing telephones and he spent the day on some steps with a slurry drunk.

The seasoned AA vet will chime in here with Jerry’s need to “give it away to keep it”, but I think we run the risk of losing some valuable insights when we rush to smother everything that happens with clichés. It’s true, no doubt. But I need to emphasize that it wasn’t absolutely necessary for Jerry to talk to me that day in order for him to stay sober. In fact, some people have “policies” about not talking to people when they’re drunk. Anyway, Jerry didn’t have to talk to me.

But he did. And that. That’s where the whole deal’s at.”

As always, if you want what we have come on over to the Booze Free Brigade. We’re here to help.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 5, 2010 5:17 pmDon't Get Drunk Friday52 comments  

52 Comments

  1. Lisa Rae @ smacksy said,

    I would like to let Black Hockey Jesus take the wheel.

    You said it all. Thank you.
    .-= Lisa Rae @ smacksy´s last blog ..Night, Night =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  2. William said,

    BHJ can weave a story. Freaks and weirdos is where the power is at. I will have to remember that.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  3. robin said,

    A stranger came up to me after my meeting on Wednesday, and said, “I noticed during S’s share that you put your head down and were deep in thought. Did something strike you?”

    I was so taken back that this stranger cared, I didn’t know what to say. But we got into a long discussion about it and I left feeling so refreshed. What a nice guy to go out of his way to talk to me, to inquire.

    Just like you said. What it’s all about.

    Thank you for your story and sharing it with us.
    .-= robin´s last blog ..show us your life: a typical day =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  4. muskrat said,

    I like this story and the voice behind it. I don’t like this sentence, though:

    “The issue is whether or not you deal with that bitchy little voice in your head, after you drink one, that keeps whining about more.”

    Isn’t everyone like that? No? What if I’m like that with BBQ ribs and chicken wings, too?

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

  5. leel said,

    great post. thanks for sharing, both of you. i feel the same way about the bhj, his writing, his honesty. ie: “if you’ve got the guts to admit you’re fucked, there’s hope. Life’s crazy.” I relate all to well, i imagine.

    sweet-ness…
    .-= leel´s last blog ..*Memetime =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

  6. Amber said,

    I am a freak and a weirdo and proud to consider you my friend, BHJ.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..2001-2004 =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  7. Out-Numbered said,

    I think I’m fucked. But at least I know it’s not just me. Need to get to a meeting one day. Nice piece brother…
    .-= Out-Numbered´s last blog ..This Is My Family… =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

  8. Jamie said,

    Great post.

    I have much respect for the freaks and wierdos of AA. Those freaks and wierdos, well, they saved my brother’s life.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..An Ohno. An Osmond and my commitment to try trashy TV =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    • BHJ said,

      That’s the bottom line, Jamie. I’ve had all kinds of growing pain struggles with AA (for almost 20 years now) but, in spite of its shortcomings, it helps a ton of people.
      .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  9. Natika said,

    BHJ…I’m fucked!
    The little voice keep reminding me.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  10. Zoeyjane said,

    That actually made me want to go to a meeting. And I’ve been (isolated, mostly-silently, uncelebratingly) successfully going it alone.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

  11. maggie, dammit said,

    I’m so glad I gave in to your magnetism way back when. I’m grateful you took the time with me, you stupid AA guy.

    Thank you.
    .-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..What it’s like now =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

  12. seekingclarav said,

    Well f. to the u.c.k. That was strangely uplifting. I loved it!
    .-= seekingclarav´s last blog ..Magnetic letters to God =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  13. Jane said,

    “They’re frothy and smug and they try to boss you around with a bunch of emotional stories and stupid clichés..”

    Yep, that’s why I didn’t stick around the first time.

    “I found all the coolest, greatest, best friends of my life in AA meetings. It’s an awesome place to meet freaks and weirdos.”

    Yep, that’s why I stick around now.

    BHJ, I have no idea what you look like, but based on your writing you must be pretty sexy. My husband has a writer-crush on you too.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    • Stefanie Wilder Taylor said,

      He’s cute, Jane. He’s really really cute.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 12:54 am

    • BHJ said,

      Humility? Honesty? Humility? Honesty?

      Fuck it, Jane, yeah, I’m sexy. Tell your husband “Hi” and god Stefanie [blush].
      .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 1:03 am

  14. Ellie said,

    That is, quite simply, the best thing about recovery I’ve ever read. I’m not going to fuck it up by saying anything more.

    -Ellie
    .-= Ellie´s last blog ..A Mason Jar Full of Mice Fixes Everything =-.

    | March 5, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    • BHJ said,

      Tell the Big Book people that. My buddy, Johnny L., got his story in the 4th Edition and they passed mine over. Too many fuck words.
      .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 1:05 am

      • Ellie said,

        The word ‘fuck’ is my personal litmus test for who I’m going to gel with and who I won’t…. the next one is ‘kittens’. As in, anyone whose eyes go dim when I say ‘fuck’, and light up when I say ‘kittens’, I’m moving on…

        Seriously – your post crytalized a bunch of stuff for me today. Thank you.
        .-= Ellie´s last blog ..A Mason Jar Full of Mice Fixes Everything =-.

        | March 6, 2010 @ 1:13 am

        • BHJ said,

          Cool. Glad to hear it. All that smack talk on my latest post on my own blog – it’s just 3rd Step ego deflation junk filtered through my own garble. I can’t not write about AA.
          .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

          | March 6, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  15. a work in progress said,

    de-lurking to say i’ve been reading bhj for a while now and have been totally and utterly moved by his writing in that mirror-of-your-soul’s-darkness kind of a way, and had never realised quite why…now i know.

    googoogaga googoogaga one of us, one of us…

    freaks and weirdos gravitate towards each other subconsciously too it would seem…

    it’s my 4th anniversary of sobriety on April 1. Great date for it, huh? Heh. i still have to have chats with the whiny voice disguised as the efficient secretary voice who reckons just one would be just fine.

    you know kate moss got in to trouble for using that classic line “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? well my version i’m kinda like that with highs and lows, No high is ever worth the low to me these days. Life is still no plateau, but i can live without that brand of peak/trough shit.

    off to lurk again now. :)

    | March 5, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

  16. Betsy said,

    I love Friday’s!! Great post…
    .-= Betsy´s last blog ..SEVEN =-.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 12:19 am

  17. Kara said,

    Shut the front door, BHJ is back and blogging?!?!?! Why didn’t I get a memo? Last thing I heard, he was closing shit down!! Anyway, thanks for the link.
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..It’s still funny =-.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 12:34 am

    • BHJ said,

      Ugh, it broke my heart to stop writing that blog. I wish I had a secret memo for everybody. SWT gets the word out… again.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 1:12 am

  18. Molly L. said,

    I wish I had realized what you realized when you realized it. I feel like I wasted some years and brain cells. AA is the ultimate melting pot of creeps and weirdos. But what I loooooooove is that everyone just spills all their guts and darkness all over the place. And then laughs and laughs. Genius.

    P.S. You are a fantastic writer.
    .-= Molly L. ´s last blog ..Photo =-.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 1:32 am

    • BHJ said,

      And AA’s cool for genuine diversity because addiction strikes anywhere. There’s a homeless guy on your left. A lawyer with big rings on your right. I swear AA makes me laugh.
      .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  19. Molly L. said,

    BHJ, you should do one of those quizzes, “Do YOU have a problem?” Would be hilar.
    .-= Molly L.´s last blog ..Photo =-.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 1:35 am

  20. Jae said,

    excellent post. thank you so much for sharing!!!
    .-= Jae´s last blog ..A Year Ago Today =-.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 3:53 am

  21. edenland said,

    This was fucking awesome. This year I will be ten years clean and sober. I still don’t believe in a lot of this world, but I believe in recovery and the power in the rooms at meetings. The power of freaks and weirdos, man. Saved my arse. I’m so grateful for the gift of desperation I had at that time.

    BHJ I love how you nonchalantly write about tugging on the cord. Stefanie, I LOVE reading about how you are going. I don’t think you truly know how many people you are helping by doing this.

    You guys are motherfucking legends.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 5:43 am

    • BHJ said,

      Thanks, Eden. And nonchalance is a trick my friend Skip taught me. You just lay it down and don’t feel for the Reader. Let the Reader have their own feelings.
      .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

      | March 6, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  22. Brooke said,

    I love your method for diagnosing people as fucked. Thank you for sharing your story BHJ.
    .-= Brooke´s last blog ..Women’s History Month – Michelle Obama =-.

    | March 6, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    • BHJ said,

      It’s not the most clinical diagnosis but when you think about it, the double whammy of being powerless over alcohol and not being able to manage your life – it’s pretty fucked. Those original AA guys could have been more concise: Step 1. We admitted we were fucked.
      .-= BHJ´s last blog ..UPDATE: The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime =-.

      | March 7, 2010 @ 2:49 am

  23. Cynthia said,

    If it wasn’t for the freaks and weirdos, there would never be any change in society, creation of art and reality television programming would cease to exist.

    I have also found my place among them and couldn’t be happier. Your words are a gift. Thanks for the connection.
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..Recovery and Guilt =-.

    | March 7, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  24. Marie said,

    Loved the post. I went to your blog site and really like your BHJ Fitness Regime – I think I’m going to give it a try. What does Black Hockey Jesus mean?

    Marie

    | March 7, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  25. Caroline said,

    This whole part here? Word.

    “That’s where it says we only have ONE (1) symptom in common: “[we] cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving.” Nothing screws with people more than being able to drink one and walk away. Hell, I can drink one and walk away. But that’s not the issue. The issue is whether or not you deal with that bitchy little voice in your head, after you drink one, that keeps whining about more. That’s the symptom. If you have it, you’re fucked. But if you’ve got the guts to admit you’re fucked, there’s hope.”
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Baby Steps =-.

    | March 8, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post

Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

peel n stick customized labels

use the code babyonbored and save 10%


Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic: And Other Opinions I Can't Back Up With Facts
Buy the Book:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

I'm Kind of a Big Deal
Read an Excerpt!
Buy the Book:
Amazon | B & N

It's Not Me It's You
Read an Excerpt!
Buy the Book:
Amazon | B & N

Naptime is the New Happy Hour
Read an Excerpt!

Buy the Book:
Amazon | B & N

Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay
Read an Excerpt!

Buy the Book:
Amazon | B & N