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Don’t Get Drunk Fridays: Lora S.

You’d never know looking at me that I’m a big old drunkity drunk. I mean, I LIKE to drink. But, I am always pretty put together, a have big old smile on my face and can usually make people crack up. I kinda got it going on. And I also have five suicide attempts under my belt, been legally dead and I have a DUI, where I threatened to bitch slap the cop… because I’m such a pretty drunk in black outs. Luckily, I can’t remember. Like I always say: what happens in blackouts stays in blackouts. Thank God for small miracles.

I was your atypical alcoholic from the get go. A) I’m a girl, hello. B) I was from a sweet little cookie cutter (read: boring) suburbia land and C) I went to rehab at the age of 17, long before the Hollywood crowd and long before it was “popular.” I just thought I was the Edward Scissorhands of California. I felt alien, a basic garden-variety freak. I thought everyone else got some manual on how to “do life good” and I didn’t. And I CERTAINLY didn’t understand those weird people that would sip a glass of wine and even gasp leave some in glass. (What the hell was wrong with them?)

But like I said, somehow, through some form of Divine Perfect Storm, I was defeated enough to accept the help that had been thrown in my face. Right time, right place, I guess. And I got sober at 17, with the help of AA and something else. For the first time, I could walk into a room and hear other people talk about feeling exactly how I had felt all my life: the loneliness, the utter frustration of why I couldn’t stop drinking, and finally feeling like I BELONGED. And my life blossomed. I graduated from college with honors; I traveled to exotic locations for work and for fun. I had the fabulous boyfriends with weird first names and dreamy accents. I got engaged and disengaged. I was living a great life.

But then something starting happening. I started getting lazy with my sobriety. It wasn’t that important anymore. I had it licked. I was sober over fifteen years but I didn’t continue to get any help. I didn’t need to go to meetings, or let people know how I was doing. I got caught up in a new relationship and made him my life. He happened to be a raging alcoholic, which was fabulously not awesome. I started drinking again and could NOT stop drinking for five more years. And if you think trying to stop drinking is hard the first time, try the second time. I went from being little miss sobriety to a woman who couldn’t stay sober three days in a row.

I knew my drinking was a liquid Russian roulette. I may be able get through a night with a few drinks and keep my cool, but just as easily I might go into a black-out and all bets are off. If I was controlling my drinking, I wasn’t happy. If I was “happy,” I was out of control.

But by far, my biggest problem was that I was always “fine.”

“I’m fine. I’m Fine.”

I was gonna “I was going to I’m fine myself to death. I was the one everyone else came to with their problems, which was great for me, because it gave me purpose. It made me feel like people had a reason to like me. But heaven for-friggin-bid someone help me. That’s just crazy talk. I was always… hmmm, wouldn’t say obsessed, because I wasn’t aware…. I would say automatically “ON.” The Entertainer. The Psychiatrist. The Nurturer. The Comic. The one that needed to be perfect.

But I wasn’t and I’m not. And even when I was pretty close to it, it was exhausting and I deserved a reward, dammit. My reward, my nurturer, my psychiatrist was wine, vodka, champagne, even Listerine (it’s amazing what you will do when you are desperate and to not feel.)

My biggest obstacle was to stop knowing everything and to be willing to be “not OK.” As old saying goes, you can’t save your face and your ass at the same time. I felt an incredible amount of shame asking for help again, which is funny, because asking for help saved my life. So to overuse a metaphor to death, but whatever, sue me, I kind of feel like a survivor from the Titanic that hit a Chardonnay iceberg in the Vodka sea. I thought for sure I was going to drown. Thank God I got pulled to shore. I’ve been sober again almost a year. And seriously, if I can, anyone can.

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Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on March 19, 2010 6:13 pmDon't Get Drunk Friday14 comments  

14 Comments

  1. Ellie said,

    OH MY do I identify with what you say. I’m a big ‘ole YES person – in sobriety, too, but it was waaaaay worse when I was drinking. Helping take care of everyone else was a great way to deflect my attention off me. And it took a toll me. Alcohol was the cushiony landing I gave myself after a long hard day raising kids, saving the world… whatever.

    Being willing to be “not okay” is something I still struggle with a lot.. but it is better. It is amazing to ask for help, have help come, and for me to LET it come. I ask for help for just about everything, now.

    You are so brave and strong to share your story – I always thought it must take double the guts to get sober young. You are an inspiration to me that you’ve been able to do it twice. Way to go. And thank you.

    -Ellie
    .-= Ellie´s last blog ..In Which I Threaten, Beg and Guilt Trip You. Sound Fun? =-.

    | March 19, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

  2. robin said,

    I loved this whole post, but my favorite line was: If I was controlling my drinking, I wasn’t happy. If I was “happy,” I was out of control.

    So true for me. I was constantly battling being in control of drinking….every night. But if I actually accomplished that, what fun was it? I wanted to be drinking! But if I wasn’t accomplishing that, then the extreme guilt set in. Oh, such a roller coaster.

    Congrats on 1 year. You are brave and strong for making a second go around at it. It takes guts to ask for help again and walk back into meetings with a new sobriety date. You have a lot to be proud of.
    .-= robin´s last blog ..Kid, tell me your secret. =-.

    | March 19, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  3. Kristin said,

    Never look back sweetie. Keep trudging the road of happy destiny, one day at a time. :)

    | March 19, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

  4. Shannon said,

    I think so many people go through life and say “I’m fine” and they’re not. Your post is telling of far more than addiction. Your persistence inspires me :)
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Generation Limbo =-.

    | March 19, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  5. Sadie said,

    I have felt like a freak my entire life. It wasn’t until I came to AA that I felt I finally belonged. What an overwhelmingly beautiful feeling that is. I only have 3 months at the age of 22 and to feel truly understood has really helped my sobriety.

    You are an inspiration.
    Thank you for your sharing.

    Love,

    Sadie

    | March 19, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

  6. seekingclarav said,

    Well Amen. That is an amazing story. Your story is very similiar to mine, just w/out the previous 15 years sober.

    I particuliarly related to: “if I was controlling my drinking I wasn’t happy.” I always thought hey, I’m an adult, I can drink when I want to. And I definiatly want what I want when I want it.

    But as a fellow Drunkie McDrunkerton, I can’t play by those rules anymore. And I’m happier.

    Congrats on your return to sobriety. Stay strong.
    .-= seekingclarav´s last blog ..So…you come here often? =-.

    | March 19, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  7. Brooke said,

    Thank you for sharing your story Lora. I agree that this: “If I was controlling my drinking, I wasn’t happy. If I was “happy,” I was out of control.” is a wonderful line. One that I think all of us alcoholics can relate to. Thanks again.
    .-= Brooke´s last blog ..rubies and love songs =-.

    | March 19, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

  8. Erica said,

    you are so brave………

    | March 20, 2010 @ 12:05 am

  9. Corinne said,

    ” And I CERTAINLY didn’t understand those weird people that would sip a glass of wine and even gasp leave some in glass. (What the hell was wrong with them?)”

    Seriously. I would get SO MAD at my husband when he would only drink half a drink. Yikes.

    Your story is such a good reminder to keep sobriety in check, that it’s always a work in progress. Thank you!
    .-= Corinne´s last blog ..Navigating =-.

    | March 20, 2010 @ 12:24 am

  10. muskrat said,

    wow…glad you were able to stop the second time.
    .-= muskrat´s last blog ..you don’t forget the guys who run from the cops with you =-.

    | March 20, 2010 @ 2:44 am

  11. Lisa Rae @ smacksy said,

    You are a wonder and an inspiration.

    I am so grateful that you came back.
    .-= Lisa Rae @ smacksy´s last blog ..Smacksy Saturday Photo: How We Roll =-.

    | March 20, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  12. Shannon Kieta said,

    Iwould like to comment on behalf of you and every other surviving alcoholicin the world. It is a milestone every MINUTE you are sober. I am so proud of all of you. I wanted to post a story on Steph’s blog for my brother, who is now serving time in prison for DUI, and “sobered-up” by choice of drying out in jail. It gave him alot of time to think about his life and analyze things more “clearly” in there. I just hope that when he gets out in a few months, he takes a whole different appraoch to life and turns his life around. If he continues to drink, I am afraid he will die. He has Sclerosis of the Liver and was told he can never take another drink. I will dedicating my post to this today…

    Shannon
    .-= Shannon Kieta´s last blog ..I Miss You… =-.

    | March 21, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  13. WarsawMommy said,

    Congrats on making it to almost one year…can I also say that your story just scared the crap out of me?? I reached 5 years of sobriety this past November 27th, and – dear God – I am so LAZY about my sobriety. I don’t think I need to think about it constantly, but I must admit, I have noticed myself lately thinking, “This is under control. Maybe just one glass of wine?”

    I think I read about you just in time. Once was hard enough; I will not go through it again.
    .-= WarsawMommy´s last blog ..BREAKING NEWS! =-.

    | March 22, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  14. Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said,

    It’s amazing how the helpers of the world have such a hard time asking for help. I too am one of those people.

    Congrats on your year of sobriety!
    .-= Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist´s last blog ..Writing is like breathing, but not in a good way =-.

    | March 22, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

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