Everything I Love About Drinking Too Much Liquor

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So I barely remember most of this because I was too falling down drunk, but I used to to be a raging alcoholic for years.

I always drank, from the time I was about 14 on up, but it didn't really start to take hold until I'd moved in with my Pops to help with his homecare.

I forget exactly how it started to take off, but at first it was just me and Pops taking some shots or having a few beers a few times a week.

Over time though, things started flying off the rails. Slowly the progression crept up. I started partying with a crew of people down the street from my house who were still in the High School/College beer pong phase and I used that lifestyle as an excuse to drink.

Keep in mind, they were good people. Most people party like that at least once or twice and there's nothing wrong with it, but I was just using it as an excuse for something much much worse.

Eventually it progressed to drinking almost daily. I pressured Pops into letting me throw parties out our house he wasn't comfortable with because walking ten minutes was too much for me, I wanted to drink at home. 

These parties started to get bigger and bigger, and the amount of booze I drank would get more and more. I started getting the shakes in the morning when I woke up, but I didn't think much of it. People would look at me worried, and tell me to slow down. "They're just being pussies man... You're fine" is what I'd tell myself.

I remember me and one of my best friends at the time, Wayne, would both way overdrink, get into a huge argument and swear we'd never talk again, wake up and apologize, then do the whole thing over again almost daily.

We would drink two or three cases of beer in a day between the two of us, and made a game of stacking the cans. We built "beeramids" like this that almost touch the ceiling. We once built a Star Destroyer out of about one hundred fifty beer cans and a bottle of a rum. We called it "The Beer Destroyer".

Our arguments would almost always be over the dumbest most petty stuff. I remember one time we were arguing over whether or not hitting women was okay. He said if a woman hits him first, he's fighting back, which is fair. I said "NO NEVARRRRR!!". We ended up in a fist fight. He stole the RAM out of my computer and killed some plants I was growing. The next day we were fine. Most arguments with my family were the same petty stuff.

His brother, Kyle, was our designated driver. Dad decided we needed a DD, because I was an irresponsible lunatic who would hop behind the wheel with a .3 BAC and could kill someone. I disagreed, and thought my drunk driving was fine. I'd shout "LETS PLAY NASCAR!" because going 90 MPH down winding country backroads while blackout drunk was a joke to me. Luckily, everyone else made me let Kyle drive.

I didn't think any of it was unhealthy. All of this seemed normal to me. 

Don't get me wrong, there were some good times at the parties. It would be unfair to paint life as all bad. I made a ton of good friends. A lot of them are still part of my life thanks to the Facepage, even though I've moved away from Florida. 

I remember one time I was tripping balls on shrooms and a guy brought a bottle of wine over for us to drink. We didn't have a corkscrew so he was trying to get the cork out with a knife. He was holding the knife by the blade though, and I was afraid he was gonna need stitches if I didn't stop him. I had him hand me the stuff and said "Nah man, what you gotta do is get the knife in there reeeaaaallllllll deep so you can pull the cork with it... watch this", then I stabbed at the cork as hard as I could. The knife pushed the cork through the neck of the bottle. We named it "Modern Art Wine Bottle" and took pictures for Facebook so everyone could see how hard we partied. Shit was a blast.

My drinking was out of control despite the good times, though. Deep inside, I was absolutely miserable

Sometimes, I'd go into the liquor store and steal the booze, even if I had money to buy it. I'd wanna save the cash for weed or pills, so I'd just take a bottle of whiskey, stuff it in my pocket, and walk right out. There was a period towards the end of my dad's life where I was stealing a bottle every day. Now I was sharing it with people at this time, so it wasn't as bad as I would eventually get, but if you're shoplifting to drink you have a real problem that needs addressed.

All of this continued right up until Pops died, and kept going for another five years after that.

Eventually though I left Florida to be near my mom in Ohio, and the social pretenses I used were no longer possible. I had no friends in Ohio really, my only friends had moved away, and I wasn't in the mood to make new ones. 

I was ashamed and depressed, so I'd drink. Drinking would make me more ashamed and depressed. Being more ashamed and depressed meant I had to drink more to deal with being ashamed and depressed.

The cycle fed off itself like that, and my drinking only got worse and worse. I would binge drink alone in my mom's basement instead of the lighthearted partying I used to do. 

I would get twisted with guilt over my father and start lashing out at my brother and mother. I'd go in to work drunk as a skunk because I couldn't take the shame I felt when I was sober.

Pot became less and less of a priority as alcohol took over my life. 

I still smoke the herb from time to time. I'll never touch liquor for as long as I live.

The drinking progressed to insane amounts. Amounts that used to fuel small parties became my daily consumption. The physical dependence progressed past just minor shakiness to full on "If I don't have this I can't function" levels.

On Saturday, I would buy a liter and a pint then go to work. The pint was so I could get through my Saturday night shift without slipping into detox. The liter was so I could get through Sunday because liquor stores were closed. Often times, the liter wouldn't survive my Saturday night shift and I had to use beer to stave off my withdrawals. The weekends were actually the low point in my consumption.

During the week, I'd start with a liter Black Velvet or Seagrams 7 and go back for more as needed. There was always more needed. In total, I was probably drinking between two and three liters in a 24 hour period. The people at the liquor store started having my pints ready for me when I walked in. If the people at the liquor store already know what you're buying when they see you walking up, and ask you where you've been if you don't show up for a day, you probably need to slow down.

This routine went on for months.

One day I just woke up and my head hurt in a way I cant describe. This sound was just pounding in my ears and my brain hurt. Not a headache like a normal hangover... it felt like there was a rock in the center of my brain cavity growing and trying push my brain from my skull. Then I started vomiting. 

In between running to the toilet and smoking a cigarette I would try to lay down to make myself feel better, but every time I tried to close my eyes my head would pound worse and the most gruesome images would flash across my eyelids.

These hallucinations terrified me so much that I stopped closing my eyes.

This went on for three days. Just a cycle of throw up... drink water... hallucinate a horror show for 10 minutes.... rinse and repeat.

I couldn't sleep, if I tried to eat it I'd throw it up as soon as I swallowed a bite. 

About halfway into day four I gave up and bought a 6 pack of PBR hoping that would stop the visions, but it didn't even make a dent. I was freaked out that even drinking couldn't stop the withdrawals, so I called my mom for a ride to the hospital. I told doctor I was detoxing from alcohol and I hadn't slept in three days. The nurses pulled me into a room and hooked me up to some machines. They said my pulse was 180 and my legs wouldn't stop convulsing. The doctor asked me if I wanted to go to rehab, andall could say was, "I just wanna sleep, man". They gave me some Ativan to knock me out; I woke up two days later.

The nurse said "Do you remember seeing the cardiologist yesterday?". I didn't, but apparently he'd made it pretty clear I'd suffered a heart attack as a result of alcohol withdrawal. Think about that... 29 years old with discharge papers that said NSTEMI and chunk of my heart killed off by my own stupidity. I literally took 10 years off my life. 

Most people think this is made up, 'cause how the fuck does a 29 year old have a heart attack? I shit you not though, I gotta take something called a "beta blocker" to stop the dead chunk of my heart it left behind from growing. I've got an appointment with my cardiologist though, so it's cool. I'm only about... *checks watch*... eight months late for that. No big deal.

I've come off pretty much every drug there is: opiates, meth, coke, spice. Only opiates and spice came close to this in terms of how bad the detox was. Meth and spice both terrify me, but not 'cause of their detox. No withdrawal is more excruciating or horrifying than liquor. 

The havoc booze brings into my life is even scarier: Ruined relationships, pissed off friends, embarrassed family and wrecked cars are all that I see when I imagine gettin' drunk. Nothin' positive is ever gonna come from me drinking, so I don't drink. I just stick to my herbage for my substance abuse needs these days.

Liquor just isn't for me. Me and booze just don't mix. Other people can do what they want; I don't judge. I know not everybody handles the stuff as poorly as I do. I just don't look at booze and see something I want anymore.

Enjoy responsibly and always in moderation, muh dudes.

I’m what happens when you live by the motto ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ then you fuck up and survive
— A Sober Stoner
Dave BarlettaComment