Tuesday, March 13, 2012
If you're expecting to read a blog post about how crazy I partied on New Years' Eve and how hungover I was this morning, then you've stumbled upon the wrong blogger. Sober is a post about how I overcame what I categorize as acute alcoholism. Something I've dealt with in 2011.
They say that individuals that work in the restaurant industry are either alcoholics or drug users. My response to those that make that claim, "You're absolutely correct." And I unexpectantly fell into the alcohol category once I started working for Outback Steakhouse in March of last year. I was also working at a grocery store coincidentally. The amount of alcohol that was on the grocery store shelves and in the bar was too widely accessible to me. And since I already had a taste for alcohol I took full advantage of the situation.
At the grocery store I had a discounted price on my favorite brand of wine. It was the same situation at the restaurant. Depending on the time of the month, there were $2.00 glasses of moscato, and if you know me like I think you do, you know I love my moscato. My coworkers at the restaurant weren't much help though. After their shifts they'd go sit at the bar to eat a nice steak dinner accompanied by a cold 22 oz glass of beer, glasses of wine, or cocktails. And you know what they say, right? Monkey see monkey do. And "do" I did. Sometimes after the restaurant closed, I tagged along with my coworkers to the nearest bar to finish off my buzz.
I remember this one time, this was early in my employment with the restaurant, I was at the bar ordering food to drown out my long day of work. I remember I ordered a 10oz ribeye wood fired grilled cooked to medium with two sides of broccoli. I ordered a cocktail to wash it all down. I'm fuzzy on the details on what I was drinking. After my food was brought out and I was well beyond ready to dig in, I was invited to go up to Native New Yorker's that was up the street to hang out and drink with my co-workers. Since I wanted to feel included and make friends with every damn body that worked there, I strung myself along. I only intended to order one drink. My one drink turned into two; two drinks turned into three; three drinks turned into a $30+ tab. That night after we were all done drinking, I sat in my car for two hours trying to sober up for my 20 minute drive home. The only thing I had beside me was my to go box of my meal and a to go cup filled with that cocktail I can't remember. I ate the contents of the box to soak up the alcohol. I didn't get home until after 3AM that day. I could've easily turned down the invite and made it home by 9PM.
I have dozens of drinking stories from 2011. Several of them included me telling myself, "I need to stop. I'm spending too much money on alcohol," and other stories of me telling myself, "Hey! It's only $5.00 for a bottle. Why not?" I knew I had a problem when I drank an entire 75 ml oz bottle of white zinfandel and moscato in the same day. I drank from 11AM until 11PM. I remember browning out, blacking out, there wasn't any passing out but I do remember drinking again. That was during the last time I visited Michigan in September. But even going through that, I didn't stop. I continued until I got myself fired from the restaurant in November. For what? Drinking on the job. That was the day I finally realized I had taken it too far. I was an addict. At the time, I was still with Kenny. I spoke to him two days after the incident and told him exactly what I'd done. The next day he sent me a "We need to talk," text. When I spoke to him he told me it was nothing. What he really meant was that we need to talk more often. I fed into him. And overnight, our relationship was dissolved. He cut all communication with me and by Monday the following week I gave up getting in touch with him and sent him a last inbox on Facebook telling him that I was moving on.
During the nine months we were together Kenny never once told me to slow it down. He knew I had alcoholic tendencies. He knew I loved the sweet smooth taste of moscato, but he never once told me to cool it down. There were times I'd go to him and say, "I think I have a problem." His response would always be, "No you don't." People like that should never be in my life. I told my mom that I think I might have a problem. She told me as long as I'm not drinking everyday I'd be fine. My response to her was, "I only drink to get drunk," and then the next thing I knew she was handing me a bottle of moscato she just purchased from Rite Aid (while I was visiting her).
Alcoholism runs in my family unfortunately. Unfortunately enough for myself I think I inherited that ugly addictive personality. But, fortunately enough for myself, I stopped the addiction dead in its tracks after I hit bottom with losing my job in November. I've learned my limits when it comes to alcohol the hard way. But nonetheless, I've learned my limits of alcohol.
121 days sober and still counting.