Saturday, August 21, 2004

Silence is driving me crazy

The silence around here is driving me crazy. My daughter is off with her dad and my parents are off on vacation for a week so I'm all alone in this house. I tried putting on the radio to have some background noise, but it didn't help. I feel afraid and my mind is already playing tricks on me. I keep hearing sounds like someone's walking around upstairs but I know there isn't anyone there. I'm panicking about what will happen if there's a fire or someone breaks in if I take my meds because I will be out cold and wouldn't notice either until it was too late.

As I drink my fourth beer of the night, I'm thinking about the therapist at the partial hospital program that told me I was an alcoholic, even noted it in my chart. It was my fault for leaving the last group of that day and when she asked what I was going to do over the weekend I told her I was going to get rip roaring drunk. She gave me all this literature on alcoholics and wanted me to join their substance abuse program. But I told her she was nuts, that I did not have a problem with alcohol.

I know I should probably not be drinking with the medications I'm on, but I don't consider myself an alcoholic. I did question it for awhile because I seem to have a very high tolerance for the stuff. Even though I'm on beer #4, I'm not even a little buzzed yet. Last week I drank an entire bottle of wine by myself in under 3 hours. So it's not uncommon for me to drink large quantities that would have others flat on their face. But I don't NEED to drink. I don't crave it at all. I could drink heavily one night or even every night for a week; and then never touch the stuff again for months. I don't typically keep alcohol around the house. To me, that doesn't qualify as being addicted.

Tonight I'm drinking out of boredom. The beer has been here since I bought it on Tuesday so I figured why not have a few. I do like the feeling of being drunk because I'm one of those happy drunks. I laugh and actually enjoy myself when I'm sloshed. It takes away all the cares and worries of everyday life. I often communicate more when I'm drunk too. It definitely gets rid of a lot of inhibitions, but not all of them for me.

When I was in my early 20's was when I think alcohol was actually a problem for me. I don't think at that time I was addicted either. Back then I did drive drunk though, something I would NEVER consider doing now. I would drink heavily, which for me was 8 or more beers plus several shots of whatever my bartender friends were handing me for free, at least 3 times a week. But back then I was just a stupid kid, feeling most young adults do.

I remember being smashed outta my gourd at my sister's wedding. Heck, I was drunk before the wedding reception even started and just kept right on was an open bar and I was sure as heck going to drink my fill. I had to drive home 30 miles afterward. It's a miracle I didn't get killed or kill anyone else. I don't even remember the drive home.

Of course the party didn't end there. It was Saturday night so I went out to my favorite local night club and drank some more. One thing I was always smart enough to do was to live within stumbling distance to and from that club so I didn't have to drive. But I was so drunk when I left to go out, I apparently forgot to close and lock my front door. By the time I came home the next morning I had sobered up a little and was scared to death to enter my apartment because the door was open. I thought maybe someone had broken in. But then again, because I was still quite buzzed, I went in anyway. Risking my own safety.

When I finally sobered and woke up I realized what had happened. That was the drunkest I'd ever been and I've never allowed myself to be that drunk since, or to ever drive drunk again. The only other time I had a problem after that was by accident. I went to the club and drank while I was on a prescription that contained codeine. I know it said do not drink alcohol while taking it, but I didn't have a lot to drink so I figured I'd be ok. Again, I was still young & you never think anything bad will happen to you. But I was in such a fog I couldn't remember where I lived. Luckily I had several friends there and had one of them take me home.

I did take one of those "you might be an alcoholic if you answer yes to two or more of these questions" type quiz. But, just as I thought, I only answered yes to one of the questions and yes, I was being honest. No family members or friends have ever expressed any concern over my drinking. There are no cravings or need to drink. I don't black out and not remember things because I drank too much. I'm just one of those freaks of nature that has a high tolerance for alcohol. I'm definitely not a cheap date if someone is looking to get me hammered so they can get in my pants. I'd probably end up drinking them under the table...which does have its advantages.

I've known of plenty of women that got drunk and were taken advantage of, even raped. That is a horrific event that no woman should ever have to go through. I used to worry about my sister because she'd be buzzed after one drink, any more than that and she was gone. So if we were out together, I'd make damn sure she was safe because I wouldn't be anywhere near gone after that same amount. Did the same for the girlfriends that I usually went out to the club with. Having a high tolerance did have its bonus. I could party along with my friends, yet still keep an eye out to make sure nothing happened to them.


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