So the holidays are here and everyone is doing their power shopping. There are fun times and there are stressful times. On both sides of the spectrum we have the stress of our pockets getting lower from the Xmas gifts and going out with friends and loved ones but on the other side we have the joy of receiving presents and going to Xmas parties. As for me I’m closing in on my second year of sobriety and I feel great. I still have to be mindful that there will be a lot of alcohol around me wherever I go and I need to continue to use the mental tools I’ve acquired from my prison program and from Alcoholics Anonymous. I remember getting so smashed during Xmas dinners that the taste of my mother’s cooking wasn’t even a factor. That was my excuse to power drink from the morning all through the day and until the next morning. New years was an extra extra supper power drinking time and by the time midnight would come the whole world would be blurry. The problem I used to have was the fact that I had no drinking limit, there was no tap out time where I couldn’t drink anymore or I’d black out. Being a former afterhour’s patron, I remember it being 5 AM many a New Years and still going hard at the bottle wherever I was then having sloppy drunken sex.
I’m thankful now because the times that I had and the things that I went through led me to my rock bottom, I’m also thankful that I was able to recognize my bottom when I hit it. I spent Xmas and New Years Eve of 2009 on a strict probation curfew and I spent Xmas and New Year’s Eve 2010 in the federal pen. There’s no worst feeling than being away from your family from the holidays and even though the prison fed us well to alleviate some of that sorrow, it still can never beat a real home cooked meal. Inside the guards do extra cell searches around the holidays because they know that inmates will be making and stashing jail brew. And really, who wants to spend these two important holidays surrounded by a bunch of sad sexually frustrated men. We had a lot game tournaments like card games and sport tournaments to mask our sadness but in the end of the day it was still prison. When the guards switched shifts to go home to their families, we still had to stay away from ours. The most we had was a phone call home or maybe a lucky visit or a card.
I’m home now but the struggle continues I need to remember that if I pick up a drink again that my life will spiral out of control again and eventually I will end up back behind bars for more holidays. My choices now are either stay home sober or get drunk and there will being a cold prison cot waiting for me. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which one I’m going to choose.
This blog entry is dedicated to the people that can relate and might think or know that they have a problem. For the ones who can’t remember a day that went by without getting pissy drunk and then doubling up and getting shitty drunk during the holiday. For the people that can have a drink one day and leave it alone the next day or for weeks after, I can’t lie and say that I don’t envy you. As an alcoholic I don’t have that ability, I have to practice complete abstinence. No matter what I can’t do though I still encourage people to eat, drink and be merry. Just make sure to be responsible and drink until the point of enjoyment not to the blackout or to the point where it’s not fun anymore. In the end of the day the holidays are for cheer, so cheers.