Friday, February 21, 2014


I have struggled with alcohol, and addiction, mostly abusing alcohol but sometimes drugs,  since I was 12 or 13 years old.  The first time I got drunk was the Easter Sunday when I was 9 years old, the first time I smoked marijuana was the first day of 7th grade when I was 12, the joint was laced with angel dust too.  By the end of 7th grade I was paying my friends to steal Valium from their parents and then I'd take it at school.  So, there have been many many times, too many, times that I've really fucked up, big time.  To be fair, when I've been abstinent for long periods, and I've gone without alcohol or drugs for as long as 4 years, and 2 years, and over a year a few times, and during these times I've had some huge academic, athletic, and career successes.  Made the news paper several times, and I was even on CNN and the BBC in 1998, as I was a UN nuke inspector getting ready to go inside the Chernobyl plant, and well there just happened to be a news crew there that day who interviewed me on camera.  So there's hope, and that's one reason I don't just give it up and end it all.  Not that I haven't considered suicide as a real option though, during the darker times.

Just a comment on suicide, it's been in the back of my mind as an option since I was 15, and the closest I came was one sad lonely night when I was 22, at college, and during finals week realized I was gonna fail all my classes.  It was my senior year and after spring break, I just came back to the fraternity house, spending the rest of the semester skipping classes to play basketball on the court out back during the days, and my nights were spent drinking and 'being' with the wrong girls.

One of these girls, the most wrong one of all, although I kinda think I'm not one to judge, well I had gotten her pregnant and she had an abortion.  Would I have been man enough to be the dad?  I don't know, she didn't tell me until months after she had the abortion.  I've been haunted by some guilt over this ever since, anyway.  A year later, I tried to talk to her and make it up to her, after all it was partly my fault, but it didn't work, the damage was done and she never spoke to me again.  I still feel guilty at times.  And she wasn't the only one, there were 2 others, they both had abortions too.  All three times I've gotten girls pregnant, I was under the influence during the whole time I was with these girls, including during the sex.  This was many years ago, once when I was 24, the other I was 35, and I felt bad about those also, still some guilt.

One of these pregnancies was with a girlfriend, we were both 24, who after almost a year realized I was losing interest and she admitted she got pregnant on purpose so I'd marry her.  I wouldn't marry her after she told me she was pregnant, but to be somewhat fair to myself, I vaguely remembered that I offered to be the (potential) kid's dad.  She said no to that, I had to marry her, or she'd get an abortion, and when she asked me to pay for it I said no.  So she got an abortion.  What was sad about that was that she was my best friend's (at the time he was my best friend and my number one drinking buddy too for a year) sister.  Somehow, he forgave me for this, and invited me to his wedding 3 years later.  And we haven't talked for 23 years, he went on to get elected to a state representative office and now is an assistant District Attorney in a big city.  At state lawyers' conventions he still asks my brother and brother-in-law (both are attorneys) how I'm doing.  I'm very grateful for his forgiveness, we were very close when we were friends.  I still feel the guilt though.

Those are just examples of how alcohol causes me to fuck up.  It's not just car wrecks or going to jail.  My fucking up has fucked up some lives.  I feel guilty and always will. 

Over the years, parents, brothers, sister, teachers, friends, bosses, co-workers, and mostly myself, wonder whether I've just fucked up (as in the verb 'to fuck up' meaning to make a mistake or fail), or whether I AM a fuckup (as in the noun 'fuckup' meaning someone who just can't get it right.

But I've come to realize, that I am NOT a fuckup, just someone who tends to fuck up when I'm intoxicated.

Curiously, when I've been abstinent, or sober, or dry, or clean, whichever term you choose, and I've had several long periods without alcohol or drugs in my life like I wrote earlier, but during these times I may have made some mistakes, but I've never really fucked up.  And during those periods, I've actually had some phenomenal successes.  Made a lot of money too.  At one point I can say I was wealthy, whether that's a relative term or not.  I really did live in a huge, really huge, house at one time, with rich neighbors and prestige, etc.  And interestingly, I was probably the most screwed up in terms of alcohol and drugs during this time.  I remember driving back to my huge house one Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m., with a newly filled prescription of Adderall when at that time I really abused a lot, and while I was driving I was pouring some vodka into a cup of orange juice using my knee to guide the steering wheel through town.  And my son was just recently born, a wonderful little boy whose birth was really a miracle, there were so many complications during this pregnancy,  and the previous attempt a year before ended in a miscarriage. 

I don't live in a huge house now, I live in a hotel. I don't mind, I've learned not to be so arrogant and worked hard on corralling my ego.  In fact I'm kinda happy, content, although currently I don't have a job.  I'm alive today, and sober.  I pray each morning and thank God for my son, my health, my life, and my sobriety.

I hope I never drink or abuse drugs again.  And the last binge was so poisonous I ended up in the hospital four days after it was over, barely alive with a blood pressure of 70 over 30, which I had to be taken to the emergency room by ambulance.  I kinda collapsed at the gym, four days after my last drink, and even during this 5 day hospital stay the blood tests told the doctors I was going through alcohol withdrawal, and really this was shocking, because when the doctors asked me about this it had been nearly a week since my last drink.  The last binge, I'd gone 47 weeks without drinking and then was feeling really depressed, and instead of calling my friends, I just isolated all day until midnight and went on a 10 day spree of drinking of 5 or 6 bottles of wine each day.  That's just an estimate, I may have drank more, but I was really out of it and don't remember much after day 1 of this binge.  When I was too sick to get out of bed, much less go by more alcohol, on day 10, it was an agonizing day of physical, mental, and emotional pain.  The worst day of my life.  I think (I hope) it was so bad that I'll never forget this pain and this will deter me from ever taking a drink again.  I can say that during this binge I never felt any of the usual 'buzz' from the drinking, I was drinking to forget whatever was making me sad.  I drank it fast so I'd just pass out quickly.  When I came to, I'd just repeat as needed to dull the pain.  There was a convenience store within walking distance, and by day 10 I'd nearly drank all of their wine, and bought some beer too.  Beer makes me puke, I've drank & puked so much beer over the past 37 years that just imagining the taste has literally made me puke.  I can really make my self puke at will, just by imagining the taste of beer, wine, or liquor.  I think that's a good thing, though, and gives me some confidence that the thought of the taste of any kind of alcohol makes me puke, and also that it doesn't give me the feel-good 'buzz' anymore.  I've gone to one 12-step meeting each day since I got out of the hospital, sometimes 2 a day.  And call my friends each day.  There's hope, I'm cautiously optimistic.  I pray every morning too, for God to watch over me and keep me sober.  I am sure the next drink, and resulting binge, will kill me.  I just know it. 

I'm still alive, and I'm grateful for that.  I'll see more successes, I'm sure.

I'm not a fuckup, I just fuck up when I'm intoxicated.

One more drink and I truly believe I'll end up dead.  I pray my Guardian Angel watches over me, and I pray that it's God's will that I live alcohol and drug free for the rest of my life. 

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