My Drinking History

Vicki R. asked me to write this up, and I’m finally doing it.

Many alcoholics remember vividly their first drink and how it made them feel.  I don’t.  I was raised LDS (Mormon), so I didn’t have my first drink until I was probably about 16 or 17.  I think it was at Leonora Holman’s sister’s wedding.  The adults were at the reception in a big tent in the Holman’s back yard, and the “kids” were in Leonora’s room playing cards on the floor and drinking. I don’t even remember what we were drinking. Beer?  Something stronger?  I do remember feeling drunk for the first time, walking out of her room to go to the table and get something… don’t remember what… and feeling unsteady on my high heels.  Pretending to be fine.  This was my first time pretending not to be drunk when I was drunk.  Eventually, I got really good at it.

Later that year, my sister Fran, who is 3 years younger than me, scored a pint of Jack Daniel’s and chugged it in the bathroom at a church dance.  She got really drunk and was sliding off of the bench in the locker room, climbing back up and sliding off again and laughing.  Then she went out to the dance floor and started falling all over a boy she liked who wouldn’t pay attention to her.  I was alarmed and so was Leonora, and we didn’t know what to do.  So we avoided the situation entirely.  We left the church grounds and went to sit in the woods and drink beer and talk about how sad it was that Fran was so messed up.  Eventually, we saw an ambulance arrive in the parking lot, so we went back to the church to find out what was going on.  Some EMT’s had my sister cornered in a room, and she was raging and fighting them like an animal.  My mom came and was devastated.  They strapped Fran down and she spent the night in the hospital strapped to the bed.  God, I felt so superior to her back then.  As long as Fran was around to be the bad kid, nothing I did really mattered.

I felt for a long time that I couldn’t be an alcoholic or addict because I was never as bad as Fran.  And because I was meant for better things.  I’m the good one, right?.

Still, I wasn’t too good not to get really drunk one night and go home with Leonora’s current boyfriend after he dropped her off at home.  He and his friend took me back to his house and poured Jack Daniel’s down my throat.  Okay, I poured it down my own throat.  The night is a foggy blur, but I remember images of the guy pouring Jack on his abdomen and me licking it out of his belly button.  I remember going down on him on his couch.  And I remember him trying really hard to fuck me, without protection of course, but we were both too drunk for anything to really happen.  I had head spins all night, so I couldn’t close my eyes.  In the morning, I was too hung over to go home, so he let me sleep in the back of his van while he went to his construction job.  Every now and then he would come out to check on me.  I think he wanted to make sure I was still alive.

I missed the whole last quarter of my junior year of high school because my parents kidnapped me and took me to live with my grandparents for a few months.  I had stayed out all night one too many times, and they felt like they couldn’t handle me.  What they, and I, didn’t realize was that I had gotten pregnant.  I never knew if the father was Leonora’s boyfriend that night or the first boy I had sex with a month or so earlier.  I faked having a period so no one would suspect I was pregnant and worked really hard to be allowed to come back home, where I could do something about the pregnancy.  At one point, I wrote to Leonora and told her, but she just wanted me to keep it and run away with her to a “home for unwed mothers,” so I lied and told her it was a false alarm.  When I got back home, I contacted planned parenthood and had an abortion. This was 1982, and minors could only get abortions without parental consent in D.C. (not Maryland), and even then, I had to sign a form saying that if they told my parents, I would kill myself, to keep them from notifying my mom and dad. I mention the pregnancy because I don’t think I would have been so stupid to have sex without protection if I hadn’t been drunk.  It’s not like I didn’t know about condoms.  Then again, I might have.  I had pretty low self-esteem.

As a teenager, I drank whenever alcohol was offered to me, but I was too scared to try and get it illegally.  After I turned 18, we would drive in to Georgetown in D.C. to go to clubs where drinking at that age was legal.  I remember getting so drunk on red wine one night, that I came home and threw up into a plastic bag and stumbled out to the backyard to put it in the garbage can where no one would see it. The next morning, I was so hung over, I couldn’t get out of bed.  I will never forget my dad standing in my bedroom doorway saying, “Good.  I hope you remember this.”  I remember him saying it, but it didn’t stop me from drinking.  He remembers it too.

My first date with Don Darrow, my future first husband, was at his 21st birthday party.  I was 18 or 19.  I bought him a giant mug from Spencer’s that said “Bet You Can’t.” At midnight, I poured 4 beers into it and presented it to him in front of all his friends.  He took one look and said, “Bet you’re right.” So I proceeded to show him how to do it.  I took the mug and chugged nearly the whole thing.  Then, I lay against his shoulder and passed out.  I woke up throwing up all over him, his couch, his carpet.  He jumped up and walked me down the hall to the bathroom and held my hair while I puked into the toilet.  His friends left.  Then, he cleaned up the mess.  I was too sick to help.  I thought that would be the last date with Don, but surprisingly, he invited me to come to a bar to meet his sister that night.  I felt really sick, but he told me a little hair of the dog would help.  It actually did.

In my sophomore year of college (or was it freshman? not sure) I moved in to a house on Rte 1 with Buster and Marjorie.  We had a big party.  I got wasted on screw drivers.  Don was there, and I remember him explaining to me how he thought that eventually we would break up because he was going to be graduating from college and moving on with his life, while I would still be stuck in school and not progressing.  He was an idiot.  But so was I.  I got all upset and may have started yelling at him, so he decided to leave.  I ran after him and tried to cut him off by cutting through some bushes.  I didn’t realize there was a metal wire running horizontally along the hedge, and I fell over it and face planted right into the gravel driveway.  Don couldn’t very well leave then because he had to bring me back in and clean me up.  Again.

I’m not sure if that was the same party when Leonora’s boyfriend died. (A different boyfriend from the one I went home with several years before.) He was an obnoxious asshole that no one could stand.  He drank a ton of booze and then decided we needed more.  Leonora wanted to go home, so he said he was going to drop her off and come back with more booze.  He left a big bottle of something… some kind of whiskey maybe… at the house to prove that he would be back.  But he never came back.  We figured that he got tired and went home.  And he was such a jerk, that we were glad.  A couple of days later, I learned that he had gotten Leonora home safely and then turned his car over when he missed the curve at the Selman end of Montgomery Road.  He shaved off a stone pillar.  Leonora was convinced he was decapitated, but no one would confirm that.  Afterwards, there was a big discussion in our house about what to do with the bottle of booze that he had left behind.  Leonora wanted it back since it belonged to her dead boyfriend.  But Buster thought we should keep it and ritualistically drink it as a way to remind ourselves not to drink and drive.  Okay, even I haven’t had ideas that alcoholic.

My favorite drink while living in that house was peppermint patties… hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.

I married Don when I was twenty and a junior in college.  I still wasn’t legal to drink and had to rely on other people buying alcohol for me, so I couldn’t drink as much as I wanted.  At parties, I drank Bartles & James wine coolers (it was the 80’s) because I didn’t really like the taste of beer.  And at some point, I discovered white Russians… Kahlua and cream… I must have found a place that wouldn’t card me… or maybe it was after I turned 21… and I started drinking kahlua and whole milk alone at home during the day.  I don’t remember if I put vodka in it or not.  Wow.  That was my revelation… that I could drink secretly and no one could tell.  I didn’t often get slurry and stumbly.  I don’t remember how often I did this, but I do remember feeling really subversive.

After I graduated, I got a job as a canvasser for Clean Water Action in D.C.  Canvassers are a special breed of people and canvassing is almost a cult.  We had different hours from most people… arriving at the office at 1pm and getting back from the field between 9 and 10.  In the summer of 1988, I decided to leave Don (I had tried several times before) and found a room on Capitol Hill within walking distance of the CWA office.  Then, I started doing all the major drinking and partying that I felt I missed out on in college because I was married for so much of it.  Every night we got back from canvassing and went to one of the bars on Pennsylvania Ave… The Hawk and Dove is a famous one I remember.  I would come home wasted every night and fall onto my futon on the floor.  Then get up the next morning and do it all over again.

The pattern continued after I moved out to San Francisco in 1989, but add drugs to the mix.  That was when I started experimenting.  I had smoked some pot in high school and college, but I didn’t really like it because it made me paranoid.  But in San Francisco, I got to try ecstasy and acid.  I LOVED acid,but I didn’t get to have it very often because, once again, I was afraid to break the law and wouldn’t try to buy it for myself, so I only had it when people offered it to me.  But alcohol was not only legal, I could buy it at the freaking grocery store!  (In Maryland, you could only buy it in liquor stores.)  Still, I mostly didn’t drink at home because I’d go out with the canvassers to a bar every night… just like in D.C.

Only a few months after moving to San Francisco, I had my first relationship with a girl.  I decided I was a lesbian and would tell people how relieved I was that I would never have to suck another dick.  (FYI: I actually do enjoy that activity, but at the time, I was pretty pissed off at men.)  I read all the lesbian literature, cut off my hair, butched myself up, and moved in to a house with three separatist dykes in the Castro.  I don’t remember drinking a lot in that house.  Mostly, I remember sneaking meat into my room because it was a vegetarian household.  No meat and no men allowed.  But one particular night of drinking had dire consequences.

I went out to a Mexican restaurant with a woman named Ruth who had been flirting with me.  We had dated briefly and then I broke it off because she freaked me out.  But that night, I got really drunk, and suddenly out of nowhere, I said to her, “I’m so in love with you.”  As soon as the words were out of my mouth I wanted to reel them back in.  I have no idea where they came from.  But I said them, so of course we had to move in together. Isn’t that what lesbians do?

Ruth and I had a tumultuous relationship.  I don’t remember how much I drank when I lived with her. I wasn’t canvassing at that time but working as an accounting clerk and going to accounting school.   I should ask her if she remembers how much I drank back then.  I do remember getting so drunk at a wedding that I dropped Ruth’s very expensive camera and broke it.  And then I denied that it was me who broke it.  But I don’t remember how much I drank while I lived there.

During that time, I worked for a wine company and often came home with free wine samples from work.  Once, we had a company retreat at the owner’s vineyard in Napa.  That night, we all drank a ton of wine and played a game similar to Truth or Dare.  Afterwards, lying on the floor in my sleeping bag, I started having the now too familiar head spins.  Bad sign.  I knew I was going to be sick and tried to make it to the bathroom.  But I started puking right in front of the bathroom door and all the way over to the toilet.  Then, I had to figure out how to clean it up without anyone knowing, in my stumbling, drunk state.  This is not the only time something like this has happened, as you’ll see.

I left Ruth after a year and a half and moved in to a studio apartment by myself for the very first time.  And Ruth got together with a woman who was clean and sober.  Imagine that.  Then I started drinking every night alone.  Just enough to tune out my thoughts and fall asleep. I discovered dessert wines like port and madeira.  I experimented with making flavored vodka with strawberries.  And drank as much wine as I could get my hands on.  I also bought a piercing needle and would come home and put holes in my body as another way to shut off my mind.

I went out with people and made out with people I wouldn’t have if I’d been sober.  A woman named Reilly who really, really liked me but whom I only liked when I was drunk.  A woman named Nicki that I picked up at Pasqua Coffee shop.  A woman named Rose that I also picked up at Pasqua.  And a former male coworker who had a girlfriend but was attracted to me.  Previously, when I was with Ruth, he and I had gone to a Grateful Dead show together and eaten mushrooms.  Now, we went out to the Wave Organ in the marina and then back to my apartment, got really, really drunk, and screwed on the floor.  He freaked out when he realized I had my period… even though I had warned him.  I never heard from him again, which sucks because he could have been a good friend if we hadn’t had sex.  Actually, I did hear from him once more.  He called me and yelled at me for seducing him when he had a girlfriend.  Yes, I did try to seduce him.  I was totally wrong, and I’m ashamed of that.  But on the other hand, I didn’t point a gun at his penis.

Finally, one night in 1994, I was hanging out with Ruby, the girlfriend of my friend Martha, who was  traveling out of the country.  Did we drink that night?  I can’t remember. I think we must have,  Maybe I brought over a bottle of wine, and Ruby cooked peanut chicken.  We ended up in bed together for the rest of the time that Martha was out of town.  And then, when Martha came back, Ruby broke up with her to be with me.

I hate myself.

Ruby and I moved in together to an apartment near Dolores Park.  And as I recall, it was when I was with Ruby (who now goes by the name Red and the pronoun “he”) that I really started drinking and taking whatever mood-altering substances I could get my hands on.  I need to ask Red what he remembers about those days… how much I drank.

I do remember getting Xanax for anxiety and fear of flying back then and combining it with alcohol. And Vicodin.  Oh my, whenever I was able to legitimately score Vicodin, I was in heaven.

Here is one of my fondest memories.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be, and I should feel bad about it.  But honestly, it was magical.  I had a really, really bad cold and was coughing like crazy. It was the weekend, so my regular doctor was not available when I called for some cough medicine…the doctor on call prescribed a cough syrup called Hycodan, which was pure Hydrocodone.  It was like drinking bliss.  Pure, cherry-flavored bliss.  Especially combined with wine.  I was taking an acting class at ACT, and this one evening, my acting partner came over to rehearse a scene from “A Streetcar Named Desire.”  Our friend Simone was visiting and making dinner for us.  She and Ruby were in the kitchen while my acting partner and I ran through our scene in the living room.  I was stoned out of my mind on Hycodan, and yet I could remember my lines and was doing the part really well.  At least, that is my memory of it.  It was one more instance where I proved I could function while wasted.  Eventually, the guy left, and I went into the kitchen to eat dinner.  We had wine and something delicious that Simone had cooked.  Even though I was so, so sick, I felt like I was on a cloud.  Or like a child being nurtured with yummy food and yummy drugs.

I also remember working during that illness and functioning at a meeting while high on Hycodan.  It was awesome.

Eventually, the illness got worse and worse and Ruby took me to the emergency room.  It turned out I had really bad pneumonia and had to go on antibiotics.  The fun was over, and no one was prescribing Hycodan for me anymore.  I was so sick, I was afraid to go to sleep at night for fear I wouldn’t wake up.  And the worst part was that my fever was causing me to hallucinate car commercial jingles.  That part really sucked.

In the late 90’s, I was bored and restless and decided I wanted to leave the country for a while to go teach English in a foreign country.  I took a class to get certified.  It was extremely intensive, and I remember drinking vodka every night to go to sleep because I was so anxious about it.   I ended up not going abroad after all after I met a woman named Keely who became my new best friend.  (Not a romantic friend.)

Keely liked drugs.  Keely had money.  And Keely had few compunctions about combining alcohol and xanax and vicodin, so whenever we could get our hands on the combination, we did.  She told me stories about how she used to snort China White heroin when she lived on the East Coast, but she would never inject drugs, so that’s why she didn’t do heroin on the West Coast.  At one point, she thought she could get some China White and asked if I wanted to do it with her.  I said yes.  I was really excited.  But for some reason, the deal feel through and we didn’t do it.  Thank god I never did that.  I know I would have liked it way, way too much.

In the last few months of 1999, I was so freaked out and scared about Y2K that I was taking Xanax every day.  My favorite combos were Xanax and coffee during the day while I was at work and Xanax and alcohol at night.  December 31, 1999 is all a blur.  Our friend Mark came over and we had a little party in our apartment, watching the TV as each time zone entered the year 2000.  But most of the night is gone from my memory.  Later, when I had the photos from the night developed, I found pictures of us with colanders on our heads.  I have no recollection of that.

For a couple of years, in the end of the 90’s, I was unhappy with Ruby and really feeling attracted to men again.  But I didn’t know what to do about it, so I just drank and ate to numb out.  Then, in 2000, I met Michael through Keely.  I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say, I got together with him while I was still with Ruby, broke up with Ruby, but continued to live with her while I looked for another apartment and dated Michael.  This is probably the single most hurtful thing I have ever done in my life, and I will probably be making amends to Red until the day I die.

Eventually, I found a room in a house with a depressed woman named Donna and moved in.  I had had major fibroid surgery shortly after I met Michael, and that, combined with the drugs I was on, combined with moving, and my job moving to Daly City, and a bunch of other things took their toll on me.  My sister came to visit, and one night, I couldn’t stop crying.  So she took me to the emergency room at Kaiser, and I was 5150’d and moved to a mental hospital in Fremont for 3 days.  That really, really sucked… mostly because I couldn’t see Michael.  When I got out, I went on disability for 3 months and went to the IOP program at Kaiser several days a week.  During the time that I was not at Kaiser, I would stay in bed all day and take Xanax and drink white Russians, just like back in the 80’s. I hid the alcohol in my bedroom because I didn’t want Donna to know I was drinking.  She knew what psych meds I was on and that I wasn’t supposed to drink on them.

In January of 2001, I went back to work and decided, as an experiment, to see if I could go a whole year without drinking.  It was only meant to last a year.  I thought that if I could go that long, I would lose the cravings and then I could drink again safely.  Michael was with me and supportive of the idea since he doesn’t drink in the first place.  It’s weird.  He doesn’t refrain from drinking because he’s an alcoholic but because alcohol just doesn’t mean that much to him.  He can take it or leave it, and he doesn’t like feeling out of control, so he’d rather leave it.  But he never judged my drinking… at least not openly.  Because, once again, I never usually acted drunk.

I managed to go the whole year without drinking.  I joined a gym and started losing weight.  Life was pretty good.  I moved in to a studio in Berkeley to be closer to him (He lived in Berkeley) and then my year ended.  I probably celebrated by drinking.  I don’t really remember.  And then martini madness started.  My new love was Tanqueray gin up with 2 olives.  I would get drunk in my own little studio and no one would know.  Or I would drink with my friend Mark.  We would sometimes go to meditation on Monday nights and then head to the bar afterwards or to Chow to eat and drink wine.

In December 2003, Michael and I moved in together, and in December 2004, we got married at SF City Hall.  Our reception was at The Mint Karaoke Lounge in the Castro.  I drank wine pretty consistently every night since we’ve been together.  I would stay up all night watching TV or knitting or messing around on the computer and just drinking and drinking until I passed out.  I came to believe that I couldn’t go to sleep without drinking.  Which is weird, because every night I would drink to sleep, and every night, it wouldn’t work, and the next night I would do it again.  I was never able to sleep through the night when I was drinking.  I always woke up totally dehydrated and feeling like shit.  And yet every night I would have the same thought: I need to drink to fall asleep.

In February of 2005, I woke up in the morning feeling like there was a rock in my eye.  It really hurt, but Michael couldn’t see anything… no eyelash or anything else.  Eventually the pain subsided, but the next morning it happened again.  Turned out, I had recurrent corneal erosion, a condition where the cornea is not attached properly and the top layer rips off when you open your eyes in the morning.  It got so bad during a trip to visit my brother that they took me to the ER and I was given a shot of Dilaudid.  Oh. My. God.  If Hycodan cough syrup was a cloud, Dilaudid was Paradise.  Felt like my head was melting off my shoulders.  But that’s the only time I ever had it.  I now believe that this eye condition is exacerbated by alcohol because it’s worse when my eyes are dry.

During this time, I was also having really, really bad menstrual periods. Once, my cramps were so bad, I was convinced that something inside me had ruptured.  I was alone and didn’t have a car, so I went downstairs and asked my neighbor to drive me to Kaiser.  I couldn’t stop crying in the waiting room, so they gave me a shot of morphine.  It wasn’t as amazing as the Dilaudid, but it did the job. They did a CT scan and didn’t find anything wrong.  But my GYN gave me a prescription for Vicodin that I could refill on an ongoing basis.  I just had to figure out how many I could reasonably take so they would keep filling it.  I honestly did have the worst cramps in the world, but I took way more than I needed to during times when I wasn’t having cramps.  Then, in 2007, it got so bad that I had a hysterectomy.  I knew I would lose my Vicodin prescription, but I just couldn’t stand the pain any longer.

While I was off from work recovering from my hysterectomy, I had an experience that completely changed the course of my life.

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Here are the events that led me to join AA:

In Fall of 2009, I was prescribed Lamictal and decided I needed to quit drinking in order for the medication to work properly.  I did quit.  Not sure how I managed.  I do remember during this time agonizing over P!nk’s song “Sober” and just feeling terrible about being sober.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5T5uhd4m7c]

I was sober for the PPC event at Irmelin DiCaprio’s house in Malibu.  There was a lot of drinking, but I managed not to.  I even wrote to Dr. Atkins that I had discovered that pineapple juice and soda was like a mai tai if I squint.  He thought that was funny.  I need to remember that drink!

In December of 2009, I went to Disneyland with Denise and Jo Anne.  Jo Anne sent a glass of red wine over to me in the hotel VIP lounge and I yelled at her. I had already told her I wasn’t drinking.  She thought I could drink on vacation.  I said, “No.  I can NEVER drink. I’m an alcoholic.”  I said those words.  But I’m not sure I really believed them.  I just wanted to make her feel bad.

In early November 2010, I met and hung out with Sarah Bayles after the TEDxGreatPacificGarbage Patch event.   We had a long discussion about not drinking and AA.  She told me lots about AA and how the program helped her.  At that time, I was not ready to join.  I didn’t think I needed to.  I really didn’t think I was an alcoholic.  

On 11/29/10 Sarah came to visit me in Oakland.  We had dinner at Crepe Vine.  And she gave me a Big Book, which I believe I promptly gave away to Good Will.  Was I drinking then?  Did I lie to her or tell her the truth?  I honestly don’t remember.

I believe I may have stayed dry for a whole year.  In January 2011, I went to Disneyworld with Denise and Vicki, and I distinctly remember at our first dinner at an Italian restaurant, I said, “Oh screw it.  It’s okay if I drink, isn’t it?”  And Denise was like, “Sure.  It’s up to you.”  So I did.  And it’s been downhill ever since.

I can’t remember if I stayed dry for a whole year or if I had moments of drinking in there.  It wouldn’t have been important to me because I wouldn’t have thought it was so dangerous at the time.

In February 2011, Mom died.  Michael came with me to Maryland.  I wouldn’t have been getting really drunk around him, but I might have had some alcohol in my purse.  Don’t remember.

Okay, so Sarah Bayles was my first exposure to AA.  Mark and Jen had gotten sober around the same time.  But I started drinking again and they didn’t.  I did know they were going to AA.  So I guess that was the second exposure to it.

Then, in December 2012, the BlogHer Book Group read The Power of Habit, which included a part about AA.  That was my third exposure to the idea.  So I think I was primed for it by December 22, 2012.

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Things to remember…

Functioning… straight A’s.  Did well at jobs and never got fired.  Made Phi Beta Kappa.  Did well at my jobs.  Jan didn’t even know I drank.  Most people didn’t.  All these stories are isolated incidents until more recently.  When I was in high school, I didn’t drink every day.  When I was in college, I didn’t drink every day.  When did I start drinking every day?  I need to ask Red how much I drank.  Feeling superior to Jo Anne because I’m drunk at work and still smarter than she.   The red wine in Klean Kanteen.  Can’t have vodka or Everclear for cleaning.  Staying home from work to drink.  Telling my kitties that mommy is an alcoholic.  Drinking even though I was taking Wellbutrin.  Trying to stop drinking when I went on Lamictal and it didn’t last long.  Telling Jo Anne I was an alcoholic and her reaction, but I did the same thing to Mark… asking him to taste my drink.  And then to my sister… asking her to get me Jamison’s.  Exaggerating how busy I was when really I knew that mostly I had to make time to drink.  People think I do so much, but if they knew how much time I sit around drinking, they would be shocked.  How did I ever write that book?  Drinking in Hawaii… having it in my travel mug.  Drinking when I went home.  Sitting with my dad, lamenting my sister’s addiction problems, while I was high on Vicodin.  But it was my own, right?  Wasn’t it?  Or did hegive it to me? I’m sure I didn’t steal it.

Man I cheated a lot.  I didn’t even realize it.

Oh — also the period of really bad heart burn.  There was a time when I couldn’t drink wine because it was like drinking heartburn.  I had an upper endoscopy and put on Prilosec.  And then I could drink wine again because I had no stomach acid.

Also my marathon.  Anything about that? I know I was drinking then too.  The champagne and vicodin and ibuprofen and ice and good to go.  Where did I get Vicodin that time?  Because of my periods, right?

So many nights drunk and crying in front of the TV set… at a sappy movie.

Drinking in airports.

Drinking during every meal towards the end… no matter what time of day. Food doesn’t taste right without wine.

Bringing vodka to work with me that time and worrying that I was going to run out and the buzz would wear off during the movie and then what would I do?

The BlogHer conference in Chicago and that debacle.

Michael’s work Christmas party in 2012 when I got so drunk and felt embarrassed.  Being loud on BART about fucking up the muggers.

So, here’s another question… even though in my earlier life, I didn’t drink every day… when I did have the first drink, was I able to stop at just one?  That’s the question.

David Richardson saying he doesn’t buy wine because it will go bad before he can drink it all.  Say what?

All the things I tried to not drink… not having it in the house… only having 1 shot at night… only drinking after a certain time of day… running out and drinking Michael’s and adding water to it so he wouldn’t see the level drop… lying to my shrink about how much I drank when he was prescribing Wellbutrin… Simply being unable to resist having it every night…

Drinking even when I didn’t want to.  Drinking and it sometimes didn’t work… sometimes I just wouldn’t get a buzz… what was that about?  Sometimes I would just get a headache.

But I can’t do anything part way… Like when Ruby and I were playing Myst and I couldn’t stop… I can’t stop drinking until the bottle is finished or I pass out.

Never had a blackout as far as I know.  (Except when on Xanax.)

Never arrested or pulled over.

Never fired.

Never physically harmed anyone else.

Other things I do to shut off thoughts:  tattoo, piercing, computer/phone games, reading, watching TV/movies, exercise, meditation, music, art, food — oh yes, overeating the worst food — the cream of mushroom soup food, podcasts — have to have all senses occupied.

So here’s what I always loved… getting fucked up and trying to play games and fight the fucked-upedness.  Even when I lived with Red… playing Freecell when high on Xanax and alcohol.  There’s something about getting wasted and then fighting it.  Or getting tired and fighting the tiredness and not going to bed.  What is that?

How I “broke up” with Leonora. Walking through the Castro and seeing bars open in the morning and people in them.  “This is my kinda place.”

How I “broke up” with lots of people: Leonora, Keely, Donna (just didn’t call), don’t remember who else right now.

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