August 24, 2006

First: a can of Budweiser, stolen from my grandparents’ refrigerator and consumed while hidden among sand dunes on the Lake Michigan shore. Maybe twenty years ago or more. It was metallic, cold, bitter, delicious.

In high school, forty-ounce bottles of cheap high-octane beer. Old English 800. “Old E”, we called it. Swilled and passed from hand to hand, the bottom of the bottle always warm and flat and tasting of someone else’s saliva. Bottles of wino wine: Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.

Early twenties: six-packs of Henry Weinhard, the green bottles. Microbrews. In the winter, Snow Cap Ale (“Go to jail ale”). Sweet Riesling. Chardonnay. Red wine. A progression of the palate, of the minimum requirements.

Crown Royal and 7-UP. Beam and Coke. Bacardi Limon and Diet Coke. Absolut Mandarin and ginger ale. Beer. Beer. Pitchers. Pints. Imperial pints. Grey Goose. Dirty martinis. Shots. Tequila, lime, salt. Margaritas. On the rocks. Blended. Tanq-and-tonics. Double, please. Better make it a double.

Then: vodka, vodka, vodka. Because it’s easier to mask on your breath, because I could tolerate it straight. Blue Skyy bottles, clear Absolut bottles; later, plastic pint bottles of the cheapest gut-burning garbage. Hidden in drawers, in purse pockets, under cabinets, poured into unsuspicious containers.

At my worst I would get up in the morning and feel sickened through and through, I felt like I had an internal rot like a dying tree. Everything was dirty, everything was black and hateful, and I knew exactly what had caused it all and yet I would check the bottle levels, look and look again, because if there wasn’t enough I would have to get more, more, more. Get through the worst of the day by thinking of the bottle. Take the first drink and for the first time in hours the mental shouting quiets, the self-hatred is dialed down, the pounding headache starts to retreat.

Over and over. Get up and do it again. Drinking at work, while driving a car.

Sometimes I would get drunk and cry and try to write down why it wasn’t working and why I should remember, the next day, that it wasn’t worth the pain and the lying and the endless life-fuckery. I’d read my blurry scrawl the next day, take three Excedrin, drive to the liquor store.

It was like being with someone who beats you senseless every night, leaves you bloody and gasping, and waking up every day to kiss him hello. I wanted to stop. I wanted to drink until I disappeared. I wanted to physically gouge out the sickness from my body.

I saw no end. No possible end.

Antabuse. Therapy. Drugs. Threats. Nothing worked.

Then: a DUI. A horrible, expensive, shameful, life-altering legal mess. A night in jail. Fines. Court appearances. I can’t bear to describe it in detail.

Then: a pregnancy. The best thing that’s ever happened in my life.

I never drank when I was pregnant with Riley. That is probably not something to be particularly proud of, but I am.

I don’t drink today. I am only able to write about this now because it is at bay, it is a safe distance away. I feel strong. I feel I am on top of it. I don’t want to numb myself, I don’t want to re-visit that hell, I have so much to live for now. I want to remember every moment, I want to be clear and present.

There are long periods of time when I do not think about drinking at all. I spent years of my life chasing the next drink in my head, being eaten alive from hour to hour by something I could not control. I can’t begin to explain the freedom of not thinking about drinking.

I am scared to post this.

But I am telling you this because to tell the story is to accept its truth. To lay it out where it can be seen, to admit to this part of myself, and help diminish its power over me.

Comments

178 Responses to “Ugly”

  1. Cyril Lufsey on February 12th, 2014 8:23 pm

    I simply want to say I am newbie to blogging and site-building and certainly loved you’re web site. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You actually come with amazing articles and reviews. Many thanks for revealing your web-site.

  2. phentermine on March 25th, 2014 12:58 am

    I think it is er, ah, interesting, yeah, that is the word interesting!. . Actually I like the idea. . The child quality actually can carry a lot of impact. I would suggest that you keep working on your ideas. You might actually have something here.

  3. oxycontin online on June 24th, 2014 5:53 pm

    Really cool post,…

    The camera work…

  4. auto traded on June 24th, 2014 5:55 pm

    Excuse me, has anyone heard about that electrician in Tribeca by the name of New York Electrician, 94 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007 (646) 415-6723

  5. bakersfield cpr on August 27th, 2014 2:34 am

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  6. louboutin balota on October 27th, 2014 4:29 am

    L del tutto sinistro dell di san Lupo ospita dal 2007 istallazioni di arte contemporanea.

  7. Louis Vuitton Handbags on October 31st, 2014 11:13 am

    Imagine the bag as an foe and hit as if being hit.

  8. バックのブランド on October 31st, 2014 11:25 am

    しかし私は知りたいし優秀ポストにこの対象?あなたは少し手の込んだことができれば| 感謝感謝をさらに私は非常にあることと思います。 乾杯!

  9. buy codeine on October 31st, 2014 2:28 pm

    I have tried everything but I am having problems losing weight I gained while pregnant. I want to try adipex but how effective is it?. My son is a year old now and the weight I gained while pregnant will just not go away. I am considering using adipex. How well does it work?.

  10. general contractors on December 14th, 2014 2:23 am

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A few of my blog readers have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?|

  11. custom home builders on February 23rd, 2015 1:54 am

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for beginner blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.|

  12. dish network deals on February 23rd, 2015 11:01 am

    Good answer back in return of this difficulty with firm arguments and explaining everything concerning that.|

  13. vacuum on February 23rd, 2015 11:29 am

    I like reading an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!|

  14. order flowers online cheap on February 23rd, 2015 6:20 pm

    There is definately a great deal to know about this issue. I really like all the points you have made.

  15. dishnetwork on February 23rd, 2015 10:43 pm

    This article offers clear idea designed for the new people of blogging, that actually how to do running a blog.|

  16. best bagless vacuum cleaners on February 23rd, 2015 11:07 pm

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!|

  17. phone reverse lookup on February 23rd, 2015 11:27 pm

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it. Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is amazing. Thanks!|

  18. home security system on February 24th, 2015 12:10 am

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this website. He used to be entirely right. This submit truly made my day. You can not believe simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!|

  19. vacation home on February 24th, 2015 1:32 am

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?|

  20. social security disability law firms on February 24th, 2015 2:00 am

    After looking over a number of the blog articles on your web site, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site too and tell me how you feel.

  21. security systems on February 24th, 2015 2:38 am

    whoah this weblog is wonderful i love studying your posts. Keep up the great work! You realize, lots of individuals are looking around for this information, you can aid them greatly. |

  22. best home insurance companies on February 24th, 2015 5:19 am

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.|

  23. construction jobs on March 14th, 2015 10:17 am

    you’re really a good webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a magnificent job in this subject!|

  24. Dishnet satellite internet on March 14th, 2015 10:18 am

    Awesome issues here. I am very glad to look your article. Thanks a lot and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?|

  25. internet providers on March 14th, 2015 5:37 pm

    I love reading through an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!|

  26. bose wave music system on March 25th, 2015 8:42 am

    Hi there to every one, it’s actually a good for me to go to see this website, it consists of priceless Information.|

  27. satellite internet on March 28th, 2015 3:34 am

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!|

  28. Josh Torres on February 10th, 2016 3:34 pm

    http://weddinginvitations4u.net/invite:256413133475975393 I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.

Leave a Reply