Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life is messy....no matter how much you don't want it to be....


I was given the honest scrap award this week and tonight I'm pondering back through my blog and sort of examining my honesty....I have laid myself open about alot of things, but, I've not really revealed too many skeletons about myself, but, tonight, seemed to be a good night to do it. Why tonight? Well, because the party in The Boy's (my nephew) honor was over shadowed by his arrest friday night for drunk driving......no one was hurt, not even his car....but, he did spend the night in jail and we, his family were disappointed and dismayed, especially his little sister. Why is this about my honesty? Because, I have a drunk driving arrest in my past as well, in fact, two, in a three month span, when I was in my early 20's. (The Boy is 23) and while I wanted to be mad at him for his stupidity, I cannot allow judgement to come across, as I was guilty of the same offense, twice.

This of course is not something I'm proud of, however, if you knew me in the real world, you would already know this about me because I don't really shy away from sharing, if the topic comes up. I have been sober going on 14 years now....it doesn't bother me to be around people who drink, I can hang out in a bar and have a good time, I can go to parties and enjoy the atmosphere and I have no issue with other people who imbibe.....I just can't drink and choose not to do so......however......

In my early 20's I was pretty screwed up and I drank and did drugs. There were several close calls where I probably dodged some serious bullets. I was not a pretty drunk, not nice, nor was I a good drunk, in other words, I could not handle my liquor and took alot of risks. In fact, an old drinking buddy of mine and I would say, "we should be dead"....fact is, with my heart condition I am literally lucky to be alive, especially because of the drinking and drugging.

One would have thought the double DUI's in such a short period of time would have cured me, but, they didn't, not for a few more years after those arrests. I went to AA (A great program for those who work it), but, did not find what I needed there, I was still drinking and I went to AA to convince myself I wasn't an alcoholic (drunk)...eventually, I had a near miss on new year's eve 1995 (possible leathal combo of prescription drugs and alcohol) and woke up new year's day 1996 and realized what I'd almost done to myself and decided right then and there, either choose to live or die, but, make a choice. And, I made the 'one day at a time" choice. I woke up on new year's day and said, "I'm not drinking today". and the next day, the same thing, until 3 months had passed and I was sober. I never really wanted to die, but, I did want to be able to shed my need for complete control over everything and alcohol provided me with the lack of control I wanted to be able to exercise. (does that make sense?)

I count my sobriety from that new year's day, but, and this is the big secret, very few people know this part.....and now I'm putting it out into the ether....after I was sober about two years, I wanted to see if I could drink again, you know, just check to see if I could have a couple of beers and coast, without wanting to over indulge. My Mom, my BFF and I went on a trip together, we visited an old friend of my Mom's in southern california and I confided in my Mom and BFF that I wanted to test the waters....they supported my decision and promised to never speak of it if that was what I wanted....to my knowledge, neither has ever told another soul....I drank two beers one evening on that weekend trip....finding out that I did not like the feeling of being buzzed - did not like it one bit and became committed to my sobriety and knew from that moment on, I would never drink again, nor would I ever miss it. I think to some people that might be cheating on my sobriety years, but, truly it isn't, because the experiment only cemented my sobriety and I did not fall off the wagon because I wanted to get lost in a bottle, but, rather to reinforce my sobriety. I know, people can rationalize anything they want, but, I'm okay with my experiment and how it turned out.

I am sober now and have been for longer than I was a drunk,I do admit to wishing I could have a good glass of wine with a nice meal, although it is not a wish that carries any weight, I do not miss drinking or all of the messy parts that comes with that lack of control. Am I a control freak? not so much, I do like to have some kind of control over my life, at least feel like I'm in charge of my life, with the help of the Divine, so, drinking isn't really necessary for my purposes anymore.

Any other drunk secrets would only be stories about my alcoholic escapades and most of them while to a certain degree would be funny, eventually they are all just sad and pathetic. Sometimes, when I think I'm sharing deep wisdom with one of the kids in my life, I will tell a funny drunk story to highlight a point, but, for the most part, I've let that part of me go...I still find that once in awhile a memory of something I did while drunk will pop into my head and I will have to look in the mirror and forgive myself and let it go.

The Boy may have some bigger complications than I had when I was arrested and dealing with my restitution and I hope that it doesn't completely ruin his life....it's different now, than it was when I screwed up, the consequences weren't quite as high, nor was I active duty military, so, again, I hope this doesn't completely derail his life....he is so close to getting out and getting on with his life. Sadly, The Boy had confided in me a few times before he came home on leave that he is angry, just tore up angry about his service and what it was like for him and that is why he drinks and he confessed that he was afraid he is an alcoholic and doesn't want to be and he hoped that once he was home for good, he would be able to get sober........sometimes life is messy, no matter how much you don't want it to be......

P.S., I wanted to put up pictures of the fabulous food we had for dinner and regale you with photos of our celebration, but, alas, a photo from the fair with a scary ride seemed more appropriate, plus, in all the drama I forgot to take pictures of our dinner......

P.S.S. for a more lighthearted post, if you didn't already read it, read the previous post about the county fair.

Peace and as my friend Christina at Soul Aperture says, One Love,
S

10 comments:

Chuck Dilmore said...

hey, thank you for this!

you're doing great...
i loved when you said
you've been sober longer than you drank.

that's huge!
that's living proof!

your son will learn from you...
and yes, he needs to learn at his pace.
just love him, like ya do!

One Love.

peace~
Chuck

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

I agree with Chuck. Your son is so lucky to have you, your love, your understanding, your compassion, your example. Just do what you are doing - and let him know one moment (or two) does not define him as a person, and that you accept him, even if you do not accept the behavior.

marinik said...

I am moved by your honesty, I'm sorry this happened to your son, but he WILL learn from you, you are a great example. I know as parents we try to shelter our kids from certain experiences, and hope that they never have to deal with some things, but we can't protect them forever, they need to go through life with their own ups and downs and learn their own way.
thank you for your openness, I know how hard it is sometimes pouring your heart out in the blogosphere... I do it everyday, but it also gives you peace..
hugs
m

Catherine said...

You are so beautiful and brave. I cannot tell you how much I admire your honesty, and your willingness to talk about your past, even the things you aren't so proud of. I think it's wonderful that you've been sober so long, and I have to say I think your experiment was incredibly smart, and doesn't constitute "cheating" in the slightest.

I have to admit, I've never had a big interest in alcohol. And now that I can't drink to anything even distantly resembling excess, it's not an issue. But, despite "only being 20," I have a few closet skeletons of my own. I hope someday I can be as brave and honest as you are about them. ♥

rxBambi said...

Great post and I admire your honesty. Congrats on being sober as well, and I even like that you tried to see if you could be a social drinker. I think that's very brave because alcohol is really a big part of many peoples lives. I'm glad you've come to grips with it and don't miss it.
Kudos to you
xoxo

Brian Miller said...

great post...i admire your honesty as well as your conviction...its one a lot of people never make it back from. My early 20s are similar, though i never got caught...hard to believe i lived through it sometimes.

Pastor Sharon said...

I appreciate your honesty. I admire your courage to share your secret. The Boy is blessed to have you in his life. You may be the only one in his life right now who can look at him without him feeling judged. . . and what a gift of love that is!

I admire your courage to stay sober even after testing the waters.

spudballoo said...

Great post, your honesty becomes you xx I feel for The Boy, so much anger; it's hard being a young man and learning how to handle all that. I hope the arrest is a wake up call for him and that there aren't complications, but I guess if he's military then it might not be that simple.

You were wise to have people who love you with you when you 'tested' the water. A friend of MrSpud's died recently from a heroin overdose, having been clean for 2 years. The patch he had (which meant heroin would have no affect on his body, ie no point taking it) wore out, and he decided to have a 'heroin holiday' during the weekend before he was due to have his new patch fitted. We assume his body couldn't cope with the amount he took, and his father found him dead.

So sad, he was a brilliant brilliant man. He just 'tried' heroin once, 10 years ago, and was completely hooked. It ruined his life, and made his family's life appalling. His mother couldn't bear to go to his funeral; so his father buried his son alone.

It makes me weep just thinking about it.

sorry, derailing your post! But your honesty is so important, I admire you xxxx

An Open Heart said...

Chuck-thank you for the encouragement.

Bonnie - you always give great insight.

Mari - I appreciate your honesty on your blog...it inspires.

Catherine - thank you, sweetie..... ;o)

rxBambi - I really thought maybe I could be a social drinker, but, alas it was not possible.

Brian - I know what you mean about living through it...I was telling rommie just last night there were sooo many stupid things I did back then!

Pastor Sharon - It was an amazing thing after I had my little test, to discover that I didn't like the feeling of being buzzed and that I could live the rest of my life not wondering.

Spud - I am sooo sorry for your friend, yes, drugs and alcohol can be devastating to families in more ways than one.

To All Who Participated -
Thank you for your kind words and your encouragement...it makes all the difference.
S

silknparachute said...

Good post. Honesty is a big part of sobriety. Honesty is a huge part of integrity, or wholeness. Keep up the honest scrap, congrats on the award.