Chris S. and Doug M. – AA Speakers – Finding Humor and Laughter in Recovery
Each of our alcoholic experiences are going to have similarities, and they’re going to have differences. A lot of people drink their way into the phenomenon of craving; the allergy to alcohol. I had it like that, and I had to start to dealing with it right away. See, what happened to me was I drank my fist glass of whisky with my friends, was that immediately after I drank it, I drank my next one, and another one after that. You know, I finished what my friends didn’t drink and I went into my first blackout. I came to in a field, not knowing how I got there, and you know, I was horrifically ill. I had to be horizontal for the next two days. You know it’s your first real drunk by how sick you get. That’s your body saying: “Dude, This isn’t the best stuff to be putting in you.” Something happened though, between the first and the second drink, something very significant happened, that would dictate the rest of my life… what happened was when the alcohol went down, was I had an immediate sense of ease and comfort.
There was a warm glow kind of thing that went down in me, and all the anxiety, all the self-centered fear I had, all the forms of just being uncomfortable with you, went away and all of a sudden. I felt like for the first time in my life that I absolutely fit in. I’m in the right place, with the right people, this is so cool. “This is so great I feel so great.” Then I became a vomiting pig [Laughter]. But in between, I finally felt like, “This is good and I’m okay.” From that first day, I chased that feeling into active alcoholism, into drug use, and everything else I did, I chased that feeling. For the next twenty years, I needed it to feel okay.
Now it’s let’s just fast forward a little bit to the last couple of years of my drinking. I would come to in the morning in the clothes that I had worn the night before. Every single morning the vodka or the bourbon would be coming out of my pores. I would just smell the thing and figured I have got to go take a shower. It was really funky. I would stagger up and I go into the bathroom, I was just shattered. I would have drank a quart of bourbon or a quart of vodka the night before and I have to go to work. With my pounding head and aching body, I would go out and find my hundred dollar car. I never I never accumulated anything.
There was a woman in our home group who raised her hand one time when I was brand new and she said, “I’ve got a real problem I’ve got a lot on my plate. I just bought a new house and I was expecting to sell my old house, and my old house isn’t selling, so now I’m stuck with two mortgages.” I remember thinking, “How do you get a mortgage?” Anyways, you know, I would stagger out of my hundred dollar car and I’d go off to my terrible job. I was an electrician, and I was not a very good one. I don’t recommend the electrical trade for people that are still drinking. I got to tell you I would electrocute myself at least once a day and I just left my hair standing straight up you know. I told everybody that was the “look I’m going for” [Laughter] You know it was really bad.
I thought I’d go off to this terrible job not with a hangover, but something tougher, it’s alcohol poisoning. You have put so much alcohol in your body, that your body is poisoned with ethyl alcohol. It’s like hangovers with the heavy drinkers. You know, I would go to my job and my boss would say, “do this this this this and this…” I would forget what the hell he told me by the time I got to the truck, I’d have to go back and ask again! So here is the point. I would be feeling so bad, you could put me on a lie detector test and ask, “Do you ever want to feel like this again?” I would say “No!” And I would be telling the truth. I would tell myself I would never drink like that again, or even stop drinking, but after a few waters and a light lunch, I would think, “Well, this no drinking thing was a bit of an overreaction, I will just manage better tonight!” And this went on and on and on until I got sober.