I realized I needed to make a change the moment I couldn’t realize anything else. The blackouts were becoming an issue. I yelled at my girlfriend and hung up the phone in anger, then immediately had to text her and ask what I was mad about.
For somebody who has such an encylopedia-like memory of my life, the last couple months are just a blur. After I got my DUI, I thought a safer alternative would be to drink at home. I would load up on vodka and beer, sit on my bed, and slowly fade away. I would scrawl illegible nonsense into a notebook and think I was creating something genius.
I was misunderstood. Misunderstood people have demons and vices. They have no control over it. Maybe it even makes me more interesting?
I didn’t understand the threats from my girlfriend. Why would she be threatening to end our relationship? Because of my vices? I tried to be honest with her, and it was only making things worse.
“Why were you doing pills at work?” Because a girl asked if I wanted to.
“Why did I get that strange text message?” Because I stayed up all night snorting cocaine.
“Why did you get so mad at me?” I don’t know, I was drunk and don’t remember anything.
The next morning after the aforementioned phone incident, I had an epiphany. I can’t keep doing this shit. I talked to my girlfriend about it. I doubt she believes me, and honestly, why should she?
I thought about the kind of person I had become. I thought back to New Year’s, when I was standing in front of a toilet, wobbling back and forth listening to my friends talk about me. The word “belligerent” had never been used to describe me, but it was that night.
I thought about the time I loudly exclaimed to a packed bar: “That fucking whore thinks she’s so cool because she’s hot. I’ll punch her in the fucking face if I see her again.”
I thought about the time I closed my eyes at a stop sign for just a second and woke up in a ditch. Luckily, a redneck with a huge truck came by and pulled me out. He looked worried and told me to be safe as I slurred my words thanking him.
There are more, but those are some of the especially salacious memories.
That epiphany was about half a month ago. Since then, I’ve drank twice. Both times I was invited out. I didn’t really know how to tell my friends about what I’m going through, so I went out to a bar. That night wasn’t bad. I didn’t stay all night and conducted myself like a normal person.
The second time, I went to a friend’s house. Like Green Day sang, “I’m off the wagon and I’m hitchin a ride.” I don’t remember going home. I woke up the next afternoon and felt horrible, both mentally and physically.
I dragged myself to the shower and stood there with my head down as the water cascaded off of me. I had a line from Tool in my head, “Why can’t we not be sober?” It was at that moment when I realized that I couldn’t be normal. A question popped into my head; a familiar one. It repeated itself in my head nonstop during the shower: “Am I an addict? Am I an addict? Am I an addict? Am I an addict?”
It’s a question that I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. I finally answered it. Yes, I am.