I got this question on my Formspring.me Super Sekrit Spilling Box, and since I promised to answer ALL the questions I am asked in the super sekrit box, I will address this issue today, which is not at all a sensitive subject OH NO, not at all.
Hey, I got myself into this. No whining, self.
Here's the question, from the always curious "Anonymous"
As a regular reader of your blog I'm dying to know more about your drinking days, and specifically the details of what happened two years ago. You don't talk about it much, though, except in tiny doses. Question: why don't you write about it more?
Well, for one, thanks for reading the blog, that's first and foremost. There are a bunch of reasons I don't talk a lot about my drinking days, or, as I refer to it, "the seven year lie." There is a lot of guilt and shame associated with having an addiction, and although the good people back at the 'hab did their best to help us drunks deal with that guilt and shame, it is still quite palpable. I mean, I lied to everyone I knew for seven years. Seven years!
That's seven years of hidden bottles, DTs, lies to get out of driving since sure, it was only 2 in the afternoon, but I had been nursing a bottle of cheap vodka since 9, so there just wasn't any way I was making it to the movies or that job interview or a lunch date.
It was seven years of agonizing paranoia that I would be found out.
It was seven years of constantly being sick, whether it was from too much, or too little booze.
It was seven years of doomed relationships. A broken engagement, and a heartbreak that put me in the hospital for alcohol-related purposes the first time, but certainly not the last.
Most of all, it was seven years of untreated bipolar disease, seven years of self-loathing, paranoia, crippling depression, wild mood swings, and everything else that goes along with having a totally unmedicated mental illness.
I don't talk about it much because it wasn't fun, and it wasn't funny. I drank alone. I have agoraphobia, and leaving the safety of wherever I was living at the time was and still is really challenging, and the booze gave me just another excuse to stay put, stay hidden, stay away. I didn't deserve friends, my mind said. Look at you, you're just a pathetic, broken drunk. You should just hide, where it's safe.
I lied to the people I love the most for seven goddamn years. If that doesn't give a person a hefty dose of guilt and shame, I don't know what does.
So yeah, I don't talk much about my drinking days. I don't feel sorry for myself, and neither should you. What's done is done. It is what it is, and I got myself into, and out of it. I've worked hard. I don't pity myself, and I am working on the biggest challenge, which is just LIKING myself. That's the long road. That's why I have a therapist and a medications doctor and wee fistfuls of psychiatric drugs I take faithfully every day.
It's why I don't go to the liquor store.
But it's also why I do things like write for MamaPop, and (usually) here, and make people laugh, hopefully. Amber has said to me on several occasions that I'm not a performing monkey, and that I don't have to be funny all the time. But I like being funny, dammit, and lemme tell ya, talking about losing my britches at the grocery store is a hell of a lot more enjoyable to write (and I would imagine, to read) than sordid details about puking up my stomach lining every morning for years on end.
Also, it makes my parents sad.
So please. Go read something I wrote that's FUNNY. There is no end to the embarrassing things I do every day dead sober, and I'll keep writing if you keep reading. I just hope that more times than not, you leave this site laughing and shaking your head at the goofball chick in Jersey who trips over her own feet and lands spread eagled in the produce aisle. More than once. More than twice.
And remember, if you're living your own lie? There's light, man, at the end of the tunnel. And if you do the work, you can get through the lying years.
That's when the real work begins.