I had a nice dinner last night with a friend. We have known each other seven years but this was the first time we got together since 2010. We had a lot of catching up to do. But when we first made plans, I warned him I quit drinking. I gave him a brief description of my “bottom”. He told me he had a lot of questions for me about quitting.
He and I used to have a lot of fun times drinking. We both had night shift jobs. On nights off, I would stay at his place and drink 1 or 2 large bottles of Yellowtail wine. Sometimes 3. And by large, I mean the 1.5 liter bottles. Usually we got Shiraz. Sometimes Cabernet. We would drink until sunrise and talk about lots of different things.
He said I used to get mad when he would make me brush my teeth before passing out. My teeth and lips were purple but I would get irritated he encouraged me to clean them. I just wanted to fall asleep.
We did get to catch up a lot over dinner and walking around the city. But it is hard to cram four years into one evening. I felt a large portion of the conversation was about my sobriety. He said he thinks he drinks too much and he is worried about his weight and blood pressure. But he never had a “bottom” to get him to stop. I told him high blood pressure should be a good reason to quit. He quit cigarettes 2 years ago. I told him I think he can quit drinking if he feels it is something he should do.
He, like most people, asked if I am doing AA. I told him I go to meetings and I like the support of the groups, but I am not subscribing to the “rules” of AA. I have not seeked out a sponsor. I did not do “90 meetings in 90 days”. I feel reading and writing daily blogs was a great substitute. (I bet Bill W would approve of sober blogs as part of the program if internet existed back then.)
I told him about sober blogs and the books I read. He wants me to suggest a few blogs for him to get started. I told him to reward himself with little things first few days and then every 10. I shared with him some of the positive outcomes I have experienced. Like saving money, no hangovers, feeling good, and pride to have come this far. I told him he should check out AA meetings but also check out SMART meetings.
We will hopefully get together again soon. It is hard with our schedules. Maybe we can even check out a meeting together.
I am not sure if my friend is an alcoholic. Only he can decide that. I never thought of him as one. But then again, I don’t think many of my friends would have thought of me as one. I was just a “party girl”.
Mistake 115- He told me a story of one night I was staying with him about 6 or 7 years ago:
I did a scavenger hunt with other friends in the city. I remember part of the scavenger hunt was to find shots in an Irish bar. I remember the team all agreed I would do the shot. I was the one that liked to drink. We had to stop a few places for this game and if the place had alcohol, I chugged a drink. We finally got to the bar where all our friends met on Thursdays. We did not win but I still celebrated.
I got drunk. My friend came to find me. The plan was to meet at the bar and then subway back to his place. He said he found me passed out on a couch upstairs at the bar. Our friends told him he should just leave me there. “Ah she will find her way.”
He got me up and outside. He turned to say bye to some people and then lost me. He found me sitting on the curb. Passed out. He got me up after much work. He said he had to teach me how to walk. “First your left foot. Then your right foot.” After a couple steps, I insisted on showing him I didn’t need help by demonstrating I could run. One. Two. Three. Fall on the ground.
We got to the subway. He said I insisted on reading. So I pulled a book out of my bag, opened it, and read. Then my head would slump down after a few minutes. He would wake me and ask “how is the book?” I would tell him it was really good and go back to reading. Then my head would droop again. The subway ride was about 45 minutes. He said at one point my head was on his shoulders and I was drooling.
We made it to his apartment. I stripped off my dress in front of him and passed out on the couch naked.
The next morning at breakfast, he asked “do you remember getting home last night?” I told him no. He said I answered “no” like it was completely natural not to remember a 45 minute train ride or the stumbling/walking/running bits to and from the train. Like “no, I don’t know who won the game” or “no, I did not watch the Oscars.” I was nonchalant about my blackouts. It was just part of who I was. Oopsy daisy.
And my friends were used to me passing out in public places. I am sure if he didn’t bring me home, I would have ended up on another friend’s couch. Or in a strange man’s bed.
5 thoughts on “Blackouts were so normal”
Ugh! I did my blacking/passing out at home, but the feeling of slipping into darkness is the same no matter where you end up. Just easier to hide if it’s in your own bed, with your own spouse.
I once rented a house and the stairwell was so small, I could not fit my queen size mattress up it. I just put it up against the wall downstairs in the dining room. I had no dining room table. I would pull it down on the floor before going out drinking just to avoid having to climb the stairs drunk to my bed. (There was a bed upstairs that came with the house.)
Ugh! Blackouts were normal for me too. I remember a guy I worked for when I was only 18 or 19 told me that blackouts were a sign of alcoholism (he was a recovering alcoholic) and I thought to myself ‘well I black out every time I drink – but I don’t have a problem!’. It was years before they came to be an issue for me. It makes me sad to think of it now!!!
I knew people who used to think I made up blacking out. They did not understand it. I would get mad because I thought a lot of people blacked out and those that didn’t were strange.
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