What's motivated me, primarily, to write about these experiences, was that on my last binge, from January 19 to 28, I said or texted some things that hurt a friend. And I really want to repair that friendship. I want her to understand what makes me 'tick' so she can understand why I would act in such a way.
When people with alcohol problems, like myself, get even a small bit of alcohol in our systems, we say and do things that make no sense. We become different people. I was sober for 11 months and was really bummed out on that weekend. There has been a lot going on in my life, most importantly my wife wouldn't let me see my son at Christmas, and worse she changed her cell phone number. So, I have no idea where they are and how my son is doing. Some other things too, my dad died just before Christmas, and also problems at work. And rather than talk it out with a friend I just kept it all inside. And it was too much to keep inside, and it just got to me. So I just bought some wine and stayed intoxicated for 9 days. I don't remember much of those days, but then, that was kind of the point in a curious sort of logic.
On day 9 I was so sick I could barely walk, much less go out and buy more alcohol. This is how these binges end, I've drank so much I'm too sick to drink anymore. I thought I was dying and held on to a rosary much of January 28 and January 29 and prayed to God that I wouldn't die. Maybe I was close to death, I didn't eat for the last 4 days, and my system was poisoned with alcohol. I was really sick.
Afterwards, I cleaned up the mess, 2 large trash bags of bottles and cans.
Rehab helps, but THIS is what keeps me sober, the memories of the last day of such a binge. It's the most horrible, scary feeling I can think of. Shaking uncontrollably, sweating buckets, too weak to walk to the bathroom, feeling death close by. It's really bad. This is what I remember each day for months afterward that keeps any cravings for a 'buzz' out of my mind. In fact, during this last binge I really don't remember too much of having a buzz, I just drank to stay numb, and I drank wine all day until I passed out. Curiously, I cannot stand hard liquor but it doesn't matter the form alcohol comes in, it's how much is consumed.
There was a lot of pain in my life that I just wanted to not feel for a few days.
But the smart thing, and I knew this before I took that first drink on January 19, is to talk it out. I just couldn't reach out. The ego thing, the 'attitude' thing is going to kill me. And I don't want my kid to grow up without a dad. At some point, I've got to get over this, for my son's sake.
My son and I are best buddies.
I finally did reach out to one of my friends, on January 29, I called him and told him to come over, that I needed some help. When I let him in, he saw me in this condition and was horrified, I remember the look on his face. He saw all these bottles all over the room, and was shocked, he'd never known me to drink.
My friend twice offered to take me to a hospital. I said no, but I really wanted to go to one. Detoxing from alcohol or drugs is very dangerous.
Bear in mind that on the Friday before this binge, I had no thoughts of drinking, and bear in mind that I'd gone 11 months without a drink. Then BAM! 10 days later and my body is poisoned and I feel like I'm dying.
But my friends visit cheered me up mentally, and for 3 hours I told him how I'd come to this point. Basically my life story, my rehabs, my family feuds, my dead brother, my abusive dad, my current problems, everything. A lot of how we get along physically is based on how we think mentally, and this visit was a huge boost to my mood, it helped me get better bodily.
Anyway, this was a Thursday, and to skip ahead a few days on Saturday I was well enough to go hang out that night. I cried a lot all day though, I realized some of the bullshit I said or did during the binge. Especially the friend I hurt, when I realized this my heart was broken.
Then on Sunday, hung out all day. What does 'hang out' mean? Just something I do with people like me. We kinda hang together, to get through this sort of thing...
Sunday night, well I really overdid it, I'm still sweating, shaking, detoxing; but there's just some feature of my personality that won't let me rest like a normal person, like the speedometer is always pegged.
So while my body is still working through the poison, I decide to go to the health club. I laid down at about 7:00 pm that night, after getting home, and it felt good to lay down. I had hardly slept in 4 days, since passing out from alcohol on January 27. This is another feature of detoxing, there's some adrenaline rush that kicks in for some people - like me - that keeps us from sleeping during the ordeal. Who knows, maybe this is what keeps my body from shutting down. But after laying down, I thought I still needed to do something more.
So I'm in the jacuzzi at 7:45 pm, it's very hot, feels like 150 degrees, I don't know as there was no thermometer, I stayed in for 15 minutes and stood up, and felt really weak, really dizzy. I mean REALLY WEAK. I could barely get out, and when I did, I could barely walk about 20 feet to a pool chair. I laid down on the pool chair, and covered my self up with towels, like a blanket, but I wasn't cold. I thought maybe after 15 minutes, or half hour, I'd feel better, but at 8:15 I realized something didn't feel right. I was the only guest there, and yelled over to the attendant to call a doctor. He asked what was wrong and I said I don't know but I feel really bad.
He called 911 and the ambulance came, and it's a good thing, as my blood pressure was only 70 / 30. That's barely anything there folks. I was almost dead.
And then I'm in the hospital, and somehow recovering on my own. They didn't give me any drugs or anything, but just hooked me up to some heart monitor and put me in bed, I think I was in the ICU...
I asked for an Ambien to help me sleep, it worked, first sleep in days. I had these vivid dreams all night, and talked in my sleep. The next morning, the doctor said I was hallucinating during this sleep, I can only remember some OK dreams but they seemed real. I think I may have sleep-walked, I think Ambien does this to some people.
I was in the hospital from Sunday night until Thursday afternoon. One reason for the long stay was my diabetes had my body chemistry out of whack, every 2 hours they took a blood sample and shot me with insulin. They also said my other chemistry was out of whack too, that my sodium levels were too low. Probably the detoxing from alcohol did this.
The only diagnosis I got was that I was dehydrated. I had been sick ever since New Year's Eve with a cough and virus, on top of all of that.
I'll close for now, and thank God I'm still alive to tell these tales. Yeah, my guardian angel is a GOOD one...