The first time i got drunk I was 8. It was a one of our family parties at my aunt Glorias house in Woodacre. People were dancing to the smooth and groovey sounds of the 70's. it must have been the holidays because somehow i had gotten my hands on a glass of brandy and eggnog. Shortly after that first glass that i had picked up off the table, i was hiding under the table with the booze and mixers making my own drinks, and getting hammmered, i enjoyed the warm feeling of lightheadedness and the funny feeling of being dizzy, it reminded me of jumping off the merry-go-round and being all disoriented. Afetr a few cocktails, i realized that something was wrong, and i made my way to the middle of the living room floor where everyone was dancing and having fun, and I proceeded to projectile vomit, while spinning around, so my barf was flying everywhere and making a huge nasty mess. After i was done i passed out and my parents took me home, and it was pretty much a joke, with little or no concequences. It is sad looking back how nothing was really made of it, perhaps with my parents own partying it was to be expected that i eventualy find my own way to the table with alcohol on it, I dont know, nor does it really matter, it was what it was. By the time i was 11 i was smoking weed underneith our house with my friend Morgan. At 11, 12, and 13 i was already partying pretty hard with older family members and older kids and friends of the family who would score dope for me and my friends, buy booze for us and also provide us safe places to drink and do dope.
By the time i was 18 i was using some sort of substance regularly, and had tried all of availible drugs, the list is long, and i had injested them in every way possible - except the one way that we all at one point said "I'd NEVER do THAT" - we'll eventualy i did do THAT - and that story may or may not show up here. I was happy being the party animal that i was, i was good at it and good at always bouncing right back even from putting a pretty big heat on. It just seemed natural to me, I drank, i got drunk, i sometimes fell down, no problem. This lasted for years. The stories are many, some funny, some not so funny, and in fact some of the places where my drug and alcohol dependency had taken me were bleak, and far removed from any and all "fun".
fast foward to December, 1998, i was going to be 30 in less than a month, i had accepted that harsh reality, and my big move was to shave my head and lose my hair that at that time was about half way down my back. I realize now that my outsides had nothing to do with my insides, and the new look fitted me for a while and i kinda liked it for a little while, but i did in fact miss my hair, but thought it would take too long to regrow it and after about 6 years of sporting the buzz cut i did in fact grow my hair out agin. But this write up isn't about my hair.
I have two older sisters, one of which plays in a pool league up in Sonoma county, and her team was and is quite good, and in dec of 1998 had finished with all kinds of fantasic honors and were invited to the big award ceremony were they would be given trophies and plaques and other things of importance that had the team name, their individual names and whatnot - my sister in fact had received a rather large trophy with her name on it and it still stands on her fire place mantel today.
My sister had invited my to come and enjoy the ceremoies, and that she had a friend who was interested in meeting me - oh and there will be a 'open bar'. That was the plan, meet her friend, check out the pool league hoopla and call it a night. I get picked up by her friend who turns out is nothing what i expected (note to self, keep expectations low, as to never be dissapointed) I instantly cop an attitude. Pre-ceremonies, we (thats 'we as in my sister, her husband, and the friend who wanted to meet me, and myself) stop at bar for which my sister represents for her pool team. We have a few drinks, i believe i started out with shots of Jagermeister and washing them down with Anchor Steams. They took the edge off me not getting the hottie for a blind date that i had wanted - at least for a little while.
Shortly after the pre-ceremony drinks we get to the huge Veterans Hall that was reneted out for this hugely anticipated event. I was not one of the people that cared about this stuff, i just wanted the open bar and the hot blind date, but hey 1 out of 2 aint band. So the seats are all marked off with what team sits where and the team logos are all layed out nicely and the whole thing is looking (in my mind) real cheesey, its a freaking pool leage, not a charity event. But who am I? Just and obsever. Then a realized i needed a drink, several in fact, so I sauntered on over to the bar area, and stared in on getting smashed, first up was numerous rum and cokes, i remeber killing at least one whole bottle to myself, amazingly i was still on my feet. I managed through the borish handing out of trophies while making small talk to the local about "yeah im Mia's younger brother, blah blah blah". At this point I had lost any and all interest in the date - not that i had any to begin with - but i do remeber being outside having a smoke and telling her "i'd fuck you but i dont want you to fall in love with me" - she slapped me and left. I didnt care, in fact i still dont.
After the event my sister, brother in law, and I went back to the bar that we had started at, and this is where the fun really begins. I had grown tired of the rum and cokes, so i switched to vodka and tonic, and had probably five or six of those, and i was i full on asshole mode by then. I killed the vodka, then switched to gin. By now i was getting sick of the rednecks up there in sonoman county, and i was making damn sure that they would be sick of me, i i had a few beers to wash down all the vodka, gin and rum and i was up in peoples faces shouting on and on about whoknowswhat. My brother in law suggested that we go outside and smoke a joint to mellow out. On the way out I was told that i grabbed some dudes wifes ass, to wich he took exception, we took the argument outside, and started fighting, i remeber holding my own, up until he kicked me with his goddamn cowboy boots, nailed me right in the knee, how he got me in the knee is still a question, I think maybe he was trying to kick me in the balls and missed, and instead took out my knee cap, it had hurt for weeks after that. I had conceeded defeat after that and was willing to try an walk away with as much dignity as possible. However, in my inebriated state i still managed to slur a few more insults just for good measure. None of this was going over very well with neither my sister, nor my brother-in-law, this was a bar that they frequented, my sister even worked there as well as represented them in the Sonoma County Pool League. So for her younger brother to come up there, make a fool out of himself, get into a fight, and manage to piss off generaly everyone in the whole bar by my antics, my general disdane for their cowboyish living style - making note of their 'incestuous, hillbilly, ass-backwards town'. My sister had tried callming me down, to wich i replied "fuck you" (she still reminds me of that one).
After the fighting, the insulting and the draining the bar of the rum, the vodka the bottle of Jager, and no less that six Anchor Steams, we made it back to my sister and brother-in-laws house. I was reminded of what an ass i had been, what i had said and done, and the problems that i had caused. I decided i had had enough and was time to pass out. I was shown the guest bedroom, where i had landed on the bed nicely, fully clothed. Then i woke up, smashing head, throbbing knee, and turning stomach. I needed to get to the bathroom, to relieve my stomach of what must have been enough alcohol to kill a person less than my size. To my dismay, the door was locked. Was this an evil plan to keep me from tearing up my sisters house? Was this their way of making sure i dont secretly sneak into the bar in their living room and consume even more liquor? Either way i needed to get out of that room before what was floating around in my stomach came up. I pounded on the door askeing to "LET ME OUT OF HERE", but my cries went unanswered. I turnd the nob, pulled on the door, but nothing happened. I had no alternative. I need to purge the poison from my body, so I opened up the closet door and proceeded to let lose. Heave after heave, of what seemed like gallons of toxic fluid came gushing out of my mouth. Truely a wreched sight and smell if ever there was one, all that booze, with god only remebers what for dinner. All emptied onto the floor of my sisters guest room closet.
I wish it was over that soon, but it was not. The dry heaves reminded me that i had over done it far and beyond what any 'normal' person should have consumed. Over and over again I coughed nothing but air, but the wretching of my insides that it caused hurt much worse that if there were actual substance to be expelled. the residual effects of those dry heaves lasted me as long as the damage done to me knee from the fight that i had gotten into. I remeber not being able to take full breaths for some time after that, i had heard from a friend that in some cases that you can actualy 'displace' the abdominal diaphragm - i think thats what i must have done - although i never went to to a doctor to be professionally examined, I do know that it hurt like a mother fucker to breath.
I eventualy 'come to' and realize in the late afternoon, after sleeping off the last of the booze, that i was not in fact locked in, i was just so wasted that i failed to realize that the door open opposite from how i was trying to get out, like i had mentioned before, i was pulling on the door, but in fact the door opened the other direction, all I had needed to do was push the door open, and the mess in the closet could have been avoided. Slowly i stagger out to the living room to find my brother-in-law sitting on the couch, my sister was already out the door and off at work, and he filled me in on all the details that i might have blanked, the fight , the grabbing of the ass that led up to that, the insulting fellow bar patrons, this disrepecting of mysister, this this, the that, the list was quite extensive, and i am sure that I left out somethings, but the bottom line is that, although there might have been nights prior that i got into far worse trouble - which i there is, and there had been nights that i had too much to drink, this night stand as the night that i had a hangover that lasted for what seemed like a week. My body was hurt - yeah i had been in fights and sustained bumps and bruises, hell that wasnt even a knock 'em out drag em out fist to cuffs, that was more of a drunken roll around in the dirt some hill billy who had it not been for those boots and my broth-in-law there to break it up, could have gone to that breaking point of 'survival mode'. I cleaned up the puke in the closet, I apologised to my brother in law for making an ass out of myself and causing him any embarassment.
Later in the afternoon my sister got home and i hear it all over again about what a jerk iwas and how i embarassed her, and made a mess and every other thing that i had already tried piecing together from the previous night. It was a long ride home that day, I was not feeling good physically, which i could live with, I had made a complete ass out of myself, which I could live with as well, but i was my actions that had such a negative impact on those around me that really had me thinking about how I might be able to avoid such a problem in the futre. The next few days i decided to dry up for a bit, never really concidering quiting drinking all together, but mearly take a break so my body could heal, and my feelings of guilt and shame would go away. My body was wrecked for what seemed like weeks, my knee was sore, my guts shredded from the projectile vomiting, nerves fraid from hearing residual stories still pouring in from my idiocy. My brain and body finally got back to normal, and i had concluded that a break from the drinking would deffinatly be a good idea. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months and months turned to years, i was feeling good about myself and making much better choices in life, and i was feeling the freedom of not waking up every moring asking myself "what happened last night?" At two years without a drink I had thought that maybe i could have "just one" but I knew that one today meant two tomorrow, and then a six pack on the weekend and then its right back where i started and pretty soon i would be having episodes like I did that night of Dec 19th 1998, those thoughts of "just one" last a couple weeks, and i fought them off, and i am happy to say that to this day i have not drank since, I do wish though that I could say that 12/19/98 is my actual sobriety date, it is not, it was my last night drinking, but i found other substances to that woull later cause just as many problems as the booze did, and I will write about those eventualy as well. This post is about my last night drinking, and thats the main story here, with a little bit of the stories that have happened prior and since.
I still wonder how I've been abe to do it, I do know this, I have done it one day at a time, some days I dont even think about it, and other days the voice in the back of my head is still telling me "just one" - but i dont listen to that noise, i have new found support that helps, i have friends that care and I do not have to torment myself, I remember that sickening feeling of that night and i am instantly reminded why i stay away from mood and mind altering substances. In closing i would like to mention that i did eventualy get clean and sober from all forms of substances and in time i will write about some of the stories that led up to my finding recovery.