I have an interview with the Red Hot Chili Peppers today and have to postpone it because I’m drunk, hungover and sick. I tend to get sick a lot as an alcoholic. I have immunodeficiency that is most likely related to alcohol (among other things).
A doctor I saw recently told me insurance rarely covers the necessary transfusions for immunodeficiency anymore and it is $10,000 per treatment — multiple times for several months. He said he would write a note to insurance to help me. I never heard back from him after multiple attempts to contact him.
That’s only the beginning. Or perhaps, the end… I’ve been drinking since the age of 16. But never like this.
I started buying mini bottles of wine to gulp in the bathroom while my fiance watched TV. I started buying liquor and hiding it. When he realized my lies, I went to CVS in the car we shared to buy “tampons,” but secretly stored mini-wine bottles in my purse. When he wasn’t home, I walked to the the store to get wine or took an Uber to the nearest liquor store.
There was always alcohol hidden somewhere. One time, I showed my fiance everything I had and we dumped it in the sink, by my choice. I wanted so badly to quit. Next day? Back on it. I agreed to rehab because I was just fucking exhausted.
Rehab was horrible. The first few days I shook so bad I couldn’t write, type or hold a phone. I was in constant pain. In fact, the very first night, I was in so much pain that I could barely move. There was no emergency button and it took a nurse 15 minutes to help after I was screaming for what seemed like forever. (This was supposed to be the best center in my town, mind you.)
After a few days, I lightened up and made friends. (In fact, the first friend I met the day we both arrived helped me tape my broken glasses together in a time span of around 20 minutes, as we were out of it.) He’s doing great now. We talk everyday. Me? Not so much.
The withdrawal and anti-anxiety meds (or perhaps rehab in general) brought out the Martha Stewart in me and led me to arrange snack gatherings/three-channel TV parties in our break room before curfew at 10 pm. (Although some nurses were cool and let us stay up longer.) We laughed hysterically on our sugar-fueled, withdrawal med-driven highs while watching Black-ish and Jimmy Fallon and it was amazing.
I loved everyone there and wish I had kept in touch with more people. Some are doing awesome. Some I don’t know their condition and don’t know if I want to know. Some are just… not good. But they became my best friends at the time, as you are with these people 24/7, spilling your guts. And you care.
I didn’t make it the whole month. I lasted 2 weeks. My fiance broke up with me, although we had previously agreed to split as a mutual decision. I never knew how real it would be/feel. The permanence of it didn’t hit me until I moved back in with my parents. I had writing, but what else? I lost the love of my life and ruined everything for fucking alcohol.
I hated/hate the way it tastes. I hate drinking it. But I do it anyway, because it’s better than the alternative — being in the moment. The present. So incredibly alone. Not just alone. Lost, confused, stressed, overwhelmed… everything.
I’ve put family and friends through hell. I went on dates through iPhone apps that never worked out because I’m not okay. I did it to distract myself. I miss/missed the unconditional love my fiance/boyfriend of nine years had provided me.
My dad never called me once since I was out of rehab. I doubt he’s read more than one thing I’ve written (and I’ve written a damn lot for being an alcoholic). My step dad since 18 (who I am living with, along with my mother) pisses me off with rules, but he is twice the father my biological one will ever be.
Here I am, six months later. From rehab, I mostly talk to the two people I knew best who are still sober. My other friend, who I still keep in touch with, went to another rehab in Florida. A much younger guy who did much more than alcohol but someone I had bonded with throughout the process nonetheless.
At times, I even miss rehab. It showed me I could have fun without alcohol. In fact, I laughed more in rehab than I have my entire life. Then again, maybe it was the withdrawal meds.
So where am I now? Losing more jobs and more relationships. Still drinking and attempting to hide it. I’m afraid that no one will ever love me because of how fucked up I am. I type this and I’ve already downed half a bottle of vodka. Call it a talent. Too bad drunk-typing isn’t an in-demand field. I’d be excellent.
I just want to tell my story because I know I’m not healthy. I can die at any moment. I want to leave something behind that means something. Something that can help people. It’s definitely not a how-to. More like a don’t-do.
I want to get better. Us addicts — maybe we aren’t all bad people. For those who know someone who suffers from addiction, do what you need to do, but maybe cut us a little slack sometimes. It is never, ever easy. In the end, we all just want to be loved.
***Published anonymously at author's request.***