Facebook memory, “On This Day,” has become one weird mind trip for me lately. This morning when I woke up to work early in the morning, I saw two posts that just blew my mind. Now, normally they are of Vivi as a baby and it just makes me kinda wistful, sad, weird. One post this morning was from an old best friend of mine. She posted to my wall that she missed me. I miss her, now, still. We aren’t friends anymore. It is 100% my fault. It is one of the most embarrassing mistakes I have ever made. I was drinking as a bridesmaid in her wedding. I know, you think everyone does that. No, not like I did. It was in the middle of my disastrous and painful to remember 1st marriage to a not nice guy. This was when my “I can drink like a lady (or so I thought) went to “not even trying I am a crazy fun party girl.” That is how I like to think it looked. Really, it was my decade long decent into full-blown alcoholism taking a shift into absolute no control.
I remember crying that morning, putting Baileys in my coffee and heading out the door. I didn’t make it to the reception. I went home before pictures. I miss her terribly. I have actually seen friends and am friends with her now ex-husband on Facebook. I wonder what happened. If I had been sober, how would things have been different? I mourn that relationship. I mourn the time I wasted, literally, on drinking. I feel this just utter sadness sometimes for the pain I caused others.
The other post was from an ex-boyfriend. This guy was a crush I had in middle school. He was so stinking dreamy. I was not. I was even more awkward and weird then than now, believe or not. He was out of my league. We reconnected on Facebook in our mid 20s and started a relationship. He lived in another state, so I went to see him. I ruined that relationship, too. I don’t think there was one specific event, but my memory is awful, so maybe there was. I just know, I ended it. It was me. There is no way to tell if that relationship would have ended any differently if I had been sober, but I wish I had had the chance.
I don’t want to change my life, but in a way, I want my time my addiction took, back. Let me do my 20s again, sober. But no, I know that is insane. I wouldn’t change the incredible family I have for anything. I know I wouldn’t be who I am now without those mistakes. And, I guess it is good to be reminded of my addiction and the stupid decisions I made during using. Yes, I still make stupid decisions, but I remember most of them now. They are mine, I own them. The decisions I made then belonged to the bottle. I did everything because of it. I didn’t even know it at the time.
I had a conversation with a friend about how you get there? How do you get to the doctor telling you your liver isn’t going to make it if you keep drinking like you are and fast? How does a seemingly intelligent person with everything going for them, get to a life not worth living? For me, it was slowly. I always wanted, no needed more. More of what? Anything. I know now that it was how my brain was programmed. I know now that it is just my basic wiring. One drink, one hit was never going to be enough.
The drug addiction was fast. I had almost killed myself with an over dose several times in less than a year. The alcohol took over a decade. I watch people make the same “I drink too much and it is funny” jokes I used to make. It breaks my heart. I watch people I care about drink every night “to relax” and keep my mouth shut. Now I do. Before, in the beginning, I couldn’t. I wanted to save everyone. You can’t.
This is why I write. I know some people reading this think I am an extremist, and that is ok. Yes, I do know a few people who can have just one drink and enjoy it and stop. I know many more people who can’t, but think they can. I just wish they could experience life free of that desperate pull. That life that is marked by what and how much alcohol you consumed, to whether you have any legitimate memories.
I regret not remembering. I regret the relationships I destroyed. I regret the time I spent focused on a liquid that quickly disappears, but leaves such painful scars. My sobriety depends on me not letting that regret drag me back down. I have truly started my life late. As I work on building my dream life, my dream career, I wish I had that time back.
So no, my alcoholism didn’t (hasn’t yet) killed me, but it killed part of me. It stole part of my life I can never get back. I am grateful to still be alive and to have a chance to make the most of the time I have now. I think it also puts into perspective how precious time is.