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Always Have a Drink Handy

by Denise Willis 4 years ago in humanity

Or make sure there is something to drink in the house.

Drinking was considered the number one cardinal sin in our home growing up. My father's first wife was an alcoholic, which caused him to start drinking, and by the time they divorced he had an issue with alcohol that he resolved by replacing drinks with milk. My paternal grandfather was quite the drinker, as were my uncles on my mother's side, just to name a few, so it is in my genetic makeup to want to drink.

I did not start drinking until I was eighteen, and it was short lived because I became pregnant, and didn't drink again for a few years. My next memorable experience with drinking was with my first husband. We were staying in a house that was supposed to be haunted, and our room was the old operating room. Who could blame me for wanting a drink, but I didn't have just one, I drank the entire bottle of wine myself, drank until I passed out, which was my goal to begin with.

When I divorced that husband, I celebrated by going to the bar with my college professor, his friend, and some of my friends. I was drinking tequila sunrises, and have a faint memory of leaving the place, watching the lights from cars flying by, and feeling sick. I locked myself in the professor's bathroom and passed out with my head over the toilet. This certainly did not endear me to any of the other people in the apartment who had also been drinking, and needed the bathroom. The next morning I had to fly to Los Angeles, and the little airplane did nothing but land and take off.

I had times in my life when I stayed sober, but not for very long, and I learned later that people who suffer from being bipolar tend to self medicate with alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, I was not diagnosed bipolar until years later. I look back now and feel embarrassed by the things I did when I was drunk, but I can't undo them. The worst thing that happened was when I began to black out. Bits and pieces of what I couldn't remember came back to me over the course of the next day, and I would moan when I remembered some of the things I had said or done while intoxicated.

I felt as though I could not function around other people unless I was buzzed, and the more I drank, the better I felt. I went to visit a friend in San Francisco, and the first thing I did when we got to the house was check to see if there was any liquor in the house. The next thing was to as how far the nearest liquor store was, and could I walk to it. I even remember drinking cooking sherry once, I was that desperate.

One of my worst and most embarrassing memories had to do with taking an Akido class. Akido is a for of marshal arts that is to the death, and I was the only female in the class. My instructor was a very large man, not fat, but built stout with a large frame, and he was intimidating to look at. I immediately got buzzed before going to the first class, and attended that class feeling pretty good about myself. When class was over, I was putting my shoes back on when the instructor walked over to me, and in a quiet voice, told me to come to class sober next time, or don't come back at all. I was devastated! How did he know I was drinking? I think I quit drinking for almost a year that time, but it didn't stick.

I even went to an interview at a school just plowed, and I couldn't figure out why they never called me.

My advice to anyone who is thinking about drinking more than occasionally, is think twice. Alcohol damages your heart, your kidneys, kills brain cells, and can cause diabetes from the sugar content in alcohol. Alcohol also ages you, makes your skin dry and you look older than your years. It impairs your judgement, and you find yourself saying and doing things that you would not ordinarily do; things that cause you embarrassment later on when the memories start flowing back to you. Above all, do not drink and drive. I have a memory of one horrible night when I was drinking heavily. I'm night blind anyhow, and all I remember was seeing lights coming at me and realizing I was on the wrong side of the road. I was going ninety five at the time, and never want to feel that way again in my life. I could have been killed, but even worse than that, I could have killed someone else who didn't deserve to die because of my lack of judgement.

I have not taken a drink in probably two years, and that was social, and only one glass of wine. I have not been drunk in over ten years.


Denise Willis

I love art as much as writing, and when the world feels dark, I get out my paper and colored pencils and draw while listening to music. When my husband and I were going through a divorce, journaling is what got me through that..

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