A year ago tonight, I had my last drink. And I don’t remember for sure what it was.
It was a night like so many others; there was absolutely nothing remarkable about it. It was a Sunday. I was keeping a food journal at that point and know that we had steak for dinner. With wine, of course. And that, as was my habit, I’d made myself a big, fat martini to sip while watching “Masters of Sex.”
I quite possibly had a beer after the martini. But I can’t definitively say for sure. The food journal entry ends after the martini.
I don’t have a clear memory of anything after about halfway through the TV show; my memory fades to black.
The next morning, I wake up with the usual mental harangue going on in my head: Damn! I drank too much. Scrolling back through the night before to determine exactly when it was that I lost my mental hold on the evening. Thinking: I’ve GOT to cut back! This just isn’t healthy! Hating myself because, yet again – it just got away from me. Despair, anguish, and desperation – my daily companions.
So I’m up early, re-watching the show because I can’t remember how it ended and God forbid my husband asks me what happened in the episode and I tell him I can’t remember. He’ll know it’s because I had too much to drink and he’ll give me THAT LOOK. That I HATE. The look that compounds the loathing and disgust I have for myself exponentially. Because he’s the person I respect and admire most in the world. And I’m so not worthy of him; not this version of myself, anyway.
A little later that morning, he sits next to me and we’re just talking. Of course, I’m silently assessing whether he picked up on the fact that I’d had too much to drink and is, therefore, annoyed with me. But he seems ok so I relax a little. Then he refers to a romantic interlude after I’d come to bed and says, “It didn’t even seem like you were THERE last night.”
And right then and there the blood in my veins turns to ice. Because I fucking WASN’T. I have absolutely no recollection of anything happening between us. NONE.
It is at exactly that moment – that very second – that I feel the shift. An almost perceptible ‘click’ – as I close the door on booze forever.
Because I knew, deep in my gut – with every fiber of my being – if I didn’t stop fucking around with my attempts at moderation, or making rules about my drinking, or measuring drinks, or making promises to myself that I broke almost immediately – I was going to die.
And don’t get me wrong – I was beyond scared – I was terrified at the thought of never having a drink again. But the fear of what my future would hold if I didn’t stop was even scarier.
Any time I start to feel sorry for myself, or left out of the “fun” when everyone else around me is drinking and enjoying themselves, I try to remember how I felt the morning of August 18, 2014.
Do I regret quitting drinking?
Not for one second.