I went to an interesting 12-step meeting last night. The discussion topic was, "What was the craziest thing you did while drinking?" That was the first time in 26 years of these meetings that this was the topic, usually the topic is kinda generic, kinda boring, and mostly when I share I go off-topic anyway if it's the usual boring stuff. The usual topics are things
like denial of one's addiction, resentments, one of the 12 steps, etc. This was a very good topic and a very good meeting, and a very good group of recovering addicts & alcoholics. I'll go back to the same group meeting next Friday for sure. But, I was a little surprised that my 4-5 craziest things kinda shook the group up. There were about 10 of us there, spanning the age range from 20-somethings, 30s, 40s, 50s, to a guy around 60. There was a young woman there, kinda cute, and maybe 9 men. I didn't count them, I didn't know I'd be writing about this later though. Really, I was surprised my 'crazy drunken acts' kinda shocked them. I knew I did some really fucked up stuff, but over the past 26 years of 12-step meetings, and 6 rehabs, I've heard worse. I told my number 1 crazy drunk action only once, in Rehab #5, in a group session. One woman cried, most of the others were a bit shocked at the sheer horror of it.
Everyone who shared at the meeting had some real horror stories, and hearing the others tell some of theirs really helps me to remember how fucked up we can get, we addicts & alcoholics, when we drink and drug. These meetings only last an hour, I waited until I was last, after 50 minutes. What I shared really shook these people up. I'm not insane but I do some insane things, especially when I'm really drunk. Just totally out of character. All alcoholics and addicts do though. Or it wouldn't have been the discussion topic. But I'm just so completely different when I'm wasted that I'm really completely not myself. Like a Dr. Jeckyll to Mr. Hyde transformation. One of the crazy stories I remember was from a guy in his mid-30s who went to Vegas with his buddies. Right after they arrived at their hotel in the early afternoon, he went off by himself to gamble and he also got very drunk too, and in a few hours he lost the entire $3000 he took with him. The guy still had $3000 in the bank, so he called his bank to approve his withdrawing the rest of his account, all the remaining $3000, and the bank approved it. But the guy promptly lost that gambling too, while getting even more drunk. So within his first 8 hours in Vegas, and he was there with his buddies for a week, he had lost his entire savings! And then he only had $10 to his name which he used for a cab ride back to the hotel where he and his buddies were staying. It was only around 8 pm, their first night in Vegas, and he's completely broke, and his buddies who apparently weren't alcoholic like he was and they were just then going out for the evening. But this guy couldn't go, he was too drunk and also broke. He just went to bed. I can't remember how the rest of his week went, but I'm sure it sucked and maybe I didn't want to hear it and tuned him out. But this was really screwed up and really sad. Despite this, after I shared my stories later on, this guy was kinda shaken up by what I shared. I know this because he said so. But he thanked me, he said to me and the group that hearing my tales will really help him stay sober, he just doesn't want to go down that road, Damn, am I that fucked up when drunk?
So what did I do to shake these people up, none of whom were newcomers by the way, they all seemed to have been in the group for some periods of time. Probably had heard a lot by then in the meetings. Anyway, I'll list the things I shared, in no particular order except the first one was the worst by far, the rest I consider just equally crazy. I'm not proud of them, in no way am I bragging, but sharing them helps me stay sober when I see in writing just how fucked up I can get when drinking too much. I am very grateful to God and my Guardian Angel to still be alive after some of them. I could have died in a few. Here's the list below:
The absolutely most insane thing: When I was 17 years old, on a Sunday night in November, I was drunk and passed out, and my dad was drunk too. He was mad at me for coming home drunk so came into my bedroom and started a fight. It was a very violent fight, with a lot of my bedroom furniture getting smashed, and I was losing, so I jumped face-first through my bedroom window, and ran away, it was cold and I didn't have a shirt on, and I somehow ended up at my girlfriend's house, 20 miles away, at 1:00 a.m., covered in blood and bordering on hypothermia. This was by far the most insane thing I've ever done while drunk. Imagine, diving face-first through a window. I had a long scar for a year afterwards, barely missing my left eye by 1/4 inch, it went from my forehead down to near the corner of my mouth. I wouldn't come home for nearly a week, I stayed with my grandma, and when I came home there was no offer to take me for stitches despite the huge gash, and really it was never even discussed again. The only change was that my dad never beat me again, he ignored me for the most part. This made some women cry when I shared this in rehab group sessions, and one of the counselors seemed to be a little shocked. I just look back at it, I have no real feelings or emotions when thinking about this or discussing it, I just think, "What didn't kill me made me stronger." And I could have died, I should have gotten hypothermia with the blood loss, fatigue, and being in cold weather, it was November and I vaguely recall the temperature was in the upper 30s or lower 40s. I was outside in this cold weather, bleeding and no shirt, for maybe 3-4 hours, and had walked-jogged several miles too, so I was exhausted. Thanks Guardian Angel!
In no particular order, all are maybe equally insane, the rest of the list:
- When I was 23 and in my 5th year of college trying to get a 4 year degree, I went into a redneck, biker, topless bar and after the bouncer, in my opinion, seemed to have an attitude problem towards me I got up to leave, picked up a chair and threw it across the bar, smashing some things. I ran out the door across the parking lot to the bar where my brother, sister, brother-in-law, and friends from college were, (where I was supposed to be until someone told me that just across the parking lot was a redneck, biker, topless bar so I just had to sneak out to go there). This was very dangerous, I had just barely gotten too the other bar's door, and this was some preppy college hangout and we're all dressed in Lacoste and Polo clothes, but one of the redneck bikers caught me as I was opening the door but fortunately one of our friends was this huge football player from my college, and in the nick of time he came out and pulled the redneck biker off me. We went inside the preppy college hangout and locked the door. I had literally caused a riot. A bartender at the college hangout called the police, and 5 police cars showed up. Me and my friends and brother / sister / brother-in-law tried to go out the back door, but there were several redneck bikers out back too! They were ready to fight too, these big ugly leather-jacket wearing hillbillies, maybe 20 or 30 of them, out back and out front swinging chains and clubs, and I'm sure some had guns and knives. Luckily, the 5 cop cars and maybe 10 cops got there before these outlaws kicked one of the doors in and luckily they of course thought these redneck bikers were the instigators, the troublemakers. Who would have thought a bunch of preppy college kids, no long hair or beards etc., would start a barroom brawl and riot. So this all ended, no one was hurt, and some cops escorted us to the football player's car, he was a non-drinker, and so he was our little group's designated driver. Afterwards we laughed about this, and this story made the rounds all over my college, they thought I was a real badass. If I'd have been 1 or 2 steps slower, I'd have probably been beaten to death, at least beaten to the point of hospitalization. When I think about this night I kinda shudder, just 1 step slower...
- I allegedly threatened to shoot 2 Atlanta cops with an AK-47. So I ended up in jail charged with 2 felony counts for threatening to shoot 2 cops. Plus a misdemeanor for not answering the door, which these 2 cops were beating on late at night. What happened, without the background of why these 2 cops didn't like me, was that they were knocking (actually beating) on my door on a Tuesday night, when
I was home alone and sleeping (passed out) on my downstairs TV room
couch. Before that, I'd never been in trouble with any cops in my life except for a supposed DUI in Kentucky, which was reduced to reckless driving after my breathalyzer test indicated I was below the legal DUI limit. In fairness to myself, the Atlanta and other area cops were known to have several rogues on the force. I was dealing with some of them that night. And also, in fairness to myself, although I'd been drinking beer that night, and really I can't remember if I just fell asleep from being tired or passed out, but anyway I was in my own home minding my own business. And still being fair to myself, these two cops really were not on my property legally. We found out that they got a judge the next day to backdate a misdemeanor summons for me to appear in court. When I did show up 2 months later, it was at a traffic court and my name wasn't even on the docket. Apparently they were too stupid to ensure the backdated, fake summons, had the correct legal system followup. The judge dismissed it. But I was still in trouble for the alleged threats to shoot the cops. Anyway, these 2 felonies were dismissed without any trial, not even a preliminary hearing, because my attorney told the D.A. that he was going to make the central point of my defense the fact that these 2 cops were there just to provoke me. And he had the facts to back it up. The case was dismissed. But I'm including this in the list, had I not been drinking a lot of beer, I'd probably not have gotten so riled up as to talk about my AK-47, which was really only a semi-automatic AK-47 lookalike. Thus I consider this to be something crazy I did while intoxicated.
- The last time I visited my family (family here means my parents & siblings) in my hometown, due to a long-running feud with my brother, and to a lesser extent my brother-in-law, I threatened my brother, although in a general sense, and then threw a propane tank through my brother-in-laws back porch glass door. In addition to the feud with my brother, which is over the sad way he treated my youngest brother who died from the consequences of alcoholism, and really also neglect by his family there, I was stoked into these 'crazy' actions by the way I was treated, like a dog, by my severely dysfunctional parents. They insisted I come and stay with them due to the fact that me and my wife were arguing way too much all summer. It seemed like they really cared about me, wanted me to get a break from my wife, and wanted me to visit too, I'd not really been there in 4 years since my brother's funeral in October 2007. But despite this seemingly 'concerned' invitation to come up to their house to get away from the stress of a very unhappy marriage, as soon as I arrived they treated me really poorly. The last time I saw my dad, I had to hold him up during my brother's funeral, he was really gonna collapse from shock and grief. I really did hold him up. When I walked in his bedroom 4 years later, cheerfully saying, "Hi Dad!" he looked at me, shook his head in disgust (at what he considered to be my too long hair) and looked down. Then he looked right at me and said, verbatim, "You look awful. You need to go get a haircut. You can't come here looking like that." I was really very shocked at this. And being a mature adult just kinda said, "OK" and was cordial to him after this, the next few days. He continued to bitch about my hair, to me and to my mom, and she joined in, starting to bitch about it too due to my dad's bitching. After 3 days he just started to ignore me, in the mornings I'd say, "Good morning Dad!", and he'd just look back and not say anything.
And I'm sharing this now, about that last visit to my (former) family, because it has been a very toxic resentment that I've not been able to come to terms with. To this day, almost 3 years later, I really cannot believe this happened. That I was treated so badly, there's more besides the idiotic long hair nonsense. I was going through a rough period in my life, just wanted a break for a few weeks, and this break turned out to be much worse than if I'd just stayed in Atlanta and put up with my wife. At least she largely kept to her side of the house. We literally lived on separate sides of the house for a couple of years, and I'd wait on my side until she left each day for work before I'd go downstairs which was considered 'neutral territory.' It had been a very unhappy and dysfunctional marriage for years.
Last night, I may have shared more stories of doing insane things while intoxicated. I can't remember now. Maybe what I've written above is enough. I'm kinda tired of thinking about it now anyway, as it's another day and I like to start my days with a prayer and a positive outlook. And for a change it's sunny outside too. I'm hopeful.
Am I insane? Not at all. I've taken the MMPI twice, and the CPI once. These are common psychological tests. I always score in the normal ranges on these tests. Every psychiatrist I've seen, and I've seen the nation's best, the top ones from Harvard, they all have told me I'm OK, except for ADHD.
They all assure me I'm normal, and will remain so, provided I do not drink. I pray I never drink again, it's just too much insanity.