Week 1

Since Sunday I have been going to AA meetings. So far, most of these meetings have been compiled of a bunch of gay boys and then there’s me. The token lesbian. Needless to say, I stick out in my flannel shirt, cargo shorts and Birkenstocks (just kidding, I do not wear cargo shorts…yet). But anyways, everyone is so warm and inviting and gay men love boobs and, well, I have enough to go around. I’ve already been asked out on two dates. And, although the dates are with gay men and involve a meeting and a coffee, I still feel really popular.

(I still don’t know if AA is for me. Not because I don’t like it, I do. I just don’t like the reliance on God and the overuse of his almighty power in the program. Perhaps if I think of a “higher power” as something other than an all knowing God (maybe like the fat little Buddha man) then it will be more so for me. And please no hateful comments about me not believing in this almighty God (Grandma)).

So far I’ve learned that I am not alone in this struggle AND alcoholics are really fucking funny. Typically, the people who make up the masses at AA were the life of the party in their drinking days. And some of the shit they did when drinking is just insane. From ending up in jail, buying a one way ticket to Europe, peeing on police cars, stealing police cars — you name it, they done it. The meetings are never short of laughs. But, despite all these laughs about drunk times, most if not all of the stories end on a sad note with someone hitting their rock bottom, hence their attendance at AA.

I was talking to my dad today (who is 14 years sober himself) on my way to work and he asked how I was doing. I told him the truth: I feel great. I really do feel great about this decision (granted it’s Day 5 and I haven’t been put in a situation where I want to drink). But I do feel super confident that this decision is for the best and I’m feeling great (other than the fact that my animals are driving me fucking insane and I’m thinking about putting them all on craigslist under the free section). Back to my dad, I used to hate when I would ask him in the beginning stages of his recovery if he thought he would ever drink or do drugs again. He would always reply the same way, “not today.” UGH! It would frustrate the hell out of me. I just wanted him to fucking tell me “No Brittany, I’ll never drink or do drugs again. Ever.” But for him, it is literally one day at a time. As frustrated as I was with him saying that, I now find myself saying the same thing. Funny how that works. Or not funny at all.

In our conversation, my dad was also telling me that he is proud of me because I am so much like him and he doesn’t want to see me end up like him. I proceeded to tell him that since I am younger and at a stage in my life where I don’t own a home, don’t have any children and have far less to lose than he did, my rock bottom is quite different than his. I didn’t lose a family and a mortgage and a job before I sobered up. What he told me is everyone’s rock bottom is different. Every single person has a different rock bottom. And it doesn’t make anyone’s lesser than the other. Or better. Or more of a rock bottom. Damn it. He’s right. (He won’t read this because he’s not keen on the interwebs and technology so thank God he’ll never know that I said he was accurate).

But rock bottom. Rock bottom makes you quit drinking. Whatever your rock bottom is you don’t quit because of a drunk dial or text to an ex or even a Girls Gone Wild moment – you quit because of something bigger than that. Your own rock bottom. Whatever that may be. You quit because something about you being drunk scares the shit out of you. You quit because, as bad as it’s gotten, you know that it could and will only continue to get worse.

I may come across as nonchalant and funny from time to time (because I am funny) but this is truly a terrifying experience. Putting myself out there the way that I am and declaring sobriety is terrifying because, well, what if I fail? What if I can’t to do this? I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know what the next week will bring. But what I do know is that bottle of craft beer is not gonna get drank.  Today.

“Life is about change, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful but most of the time it’s both.”

 

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Day 1

I’m sure we’ve all heard or seen “Girls Gone Wild” — the classy movies where drunk college girls show off their twins or do whatever other white girl wasted things college girls do when really intoxicated. While I never made it on one of those movies (although lets be honest I very well could have but they were fortunately never filming where I was drinking) I have been there, done that, been so white girl wasted, and then some. And except for a million stories that should be on the Discovery Channel show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” nothing good — for me — has ever come of it. So I have decided to quit drinking and start a new series “Girls Gone Sober.” And while I haven’t come up with the premise behind the show all I know is that it starts with me — getting sober.

****I thought I was so clever about this tag line “Girls Gone Sober” however, upon further research I realize I am not the only brilliant person out there — others, too, have coined this slogan. (Damn it).

So here I am on Day 1. Well, technically it’s day 2 of being sober but I was so hungover yesterday that I couldn’t even move and when I did it was only to Taco Bell. One bean and cheese burrito and one quesadilla later my body was yet again pissed off at me. First my liver hated me when I drank what seemed to be an entire bar the night before and then the next day still hungover at 7 PM I go and eat Taco Bell. I mean shit, I live in San Diego I couldn’t have even eaten good Mexican food? Regardless, today is a new day and I have to learn from my mistakes (and never eat Taco Bell again).

I have made the decision to get sober. It’s been a long time coming. I have tried to have a healthy relationship with alcohol and tried to be normal but for me 100 drinks is not enough and one is too many. I went to my first AA meeting today and plan on going to another tonight. While I do not know yet if AA is the path for me I do know that it is exactly what I needed today: to be surrounded by a group of people who, like me, have a desire to not drink again.

Different stories. Different pasts. Different stages of life. But beyond all these differences there is one commonality that joins us all — we all don’t want to drink.

Sobriety probably will be one of the hardest decisions of my life and yet also one of the best. I don’t expect anyone to understand but I know that if they truly care about me they will respect my decision. I’m not gonna sit here and preach to you that you shouldn’t drink cause alcohol is the devil etc etc because not everyone is like me. So many can have a normal relationship with it. Believe me I wish I could be normal and have a normal relationship with alcohol, homie just don’t play that.

Why get sober? For so long I was like guuuurrl I ain’t got no problem. I don’t drink everyday. I don’t have withdrawals if I don’t drink. I’m not one of those alcoholics on intervention drinking hand sanitizer cause there’s some sort of alcohol in it. I’m gooooood. But what I have realized is that I don’t have to drink everyday to be an alcoholic. My problem is that once I start I can’t stop. Alcohol — for me — is not a good idea. I drink a beer and then another and then another and another and well you get the idea. My brain doesn’t function right — I drink until drunk. It’s all or nothing. I can’t just have a drink or two and be done. I have to keep going. It just doesn’t have the same effect on me as it may others.

It’s like I’m allergic to it. What is this allergic reaction? Well I end up in random places at random times with random people. As fun as that may sound and as many “great” stories as I have that start with “so I ordered shots of fireball” or “so I was drinking” the ones that make everyone else laugh and illicit the response “oh brittany” — in the process I hurt the ones I care about the most. From ending up in Mexico, car accidents, strip clubs, damaging my car, waking up next to strangers, driving drunk with people I love in my car, pushing people away, losing jobs, a concussion and most recently hurting the woman I care about the most — it doesn’t take a genius to realize that I should probably just fucking stop.

I’m not sad about it. It’s not going to change who I am. I will be exactly the same person. I’ll still talk shit and be a little shit — I just no longer will worry my friends and family. I’ll no longer put myself or others in danger. I’ll no longer wake up dehydrated with a pounding headache and wondering what the hell happened. And I will no longer eat Taco Bell. (Lies I’ll for sure have another bean and cheese burrito from that magical place). Oh, and I will no longer drunk dial my grandma who I’m sure is so thrilled about this. Love you Grandma. My poor Grandma.

I want to hold myself accountable and share my story hence the blog. I am very private at times but I thought I’d be public with this because I know that I am not alone in battling with it. I may fail but I hope I succeed and am committed to my success. But as with all things – only time will tell.

And on a final note: yolo.