August 25, 2005

You Might Have a Problem With Alcohol If…

Disclaimer: This post isn’t meant to be funny. These things are only funny to me because they are all true, because I did them, and because I salvaged my poor gin-soaked soul on August 6, 2003. If you think you might have a problem, consider these points or take this quiz. I took it 14 times before I realized that cheating on the answers didn’t make them any less true.

Image respectfully borrowed from BeerStuff
You Might Have a Problem With Alcohol If…
  • You make three separate trips to the recycling center because you don’t want anyone to see how many bottles you have, but you still care about the earth.
  • You carry your trash really carefully when your landlord is around, so he doesn't hear the clinking.
  • You remember 1 bottle of chardonnay, but in the morning you see 3.
  • You go to at least 3 different liquor stores because you don't want to be seen going so often; nevertheless, all the owners greet you by name.
  • You drunk-dial your friends and then tell them the same story several times, in almost the exact same words. When they call you on it, you say, "oh, I've told this story so many times I don't remember who I told it to." (this doesn't work very well when it's the same person, in the same phone call)
  • You make elaborate plans with friends and family, and then don’t remember a word. The next day, when your friend says, “so what time should come over?” you pretend you know all about it to cover your ass. Later, when your other friend calls (with whom you also made plans), you cancel because of an “appointment you forgot you had”.
  • Your first words in the morning, every morning for 2+ years, are “Oh, fuck—not again.”
  • Your coworkers ask you why you look so tired, or if you are sick (answer: both). Your answer: trouble sleeping (also true).
  • You wake up at 3 AM every night in a shame spiral, and wonder how & when you got to this point. You’re an intelligent, beautiful, self-aware woman, dammit—you can’t be a drunk! (you can be both; nobody sets out to have this affliction on purpose, ya know. Duh.) (By the way I sometimes dream that I went on a drinking binge & wake up feeling utter despair at having failed, then relief that I’m still OK. And if I did fail, I hope I’d have the strength to pick up where I left off).
  • You bring your own magnum of chardonnay to the party because they probably don’t have what you want (or enough of it); you offer to open it for the hostess. You drink most of it.
  • You order a whole bottle of wine at a bar and the bartendress keeps it on ice for you and all the friends you intend to share it with. Most of them don’t have any.
  • You decide that a mandarin Absolut & tonic (m.a.t.) is OK at 10 AM; it’s citrusy, like orange juice. That's breakfast, right?
  • You decide that grocery shopping is so much more fun with a buzz on, so you have one m.a.t. for breakfast & then put one in a sippy cup for the road.
  • The following activities are drinking triggers: talking on the phone, sitting at the computer, watching TV, driving home from work. Also breathing, eating, sleeping.
  • You’ve rationalized that you’d better switch to vodka since it doesn’t smell (as much—enough of anything and your sweat still smells like skid row).
  • You lie to your best friend on the phone that the reason your speech is slurred is because you are wearing a Crest White Strips on your teeth.
  • You decide to drink only on weekends, then drink on a Thursday because that’s close.
  • You decide to drink every other day, and then fail after 2 days.
  • You decide not to drink one morning, and then change your mind on the drive home. You haven’t done it yet, you could still stop it, but having made the decision in your mind it is already too late.
  • You decide to drink just 2 glasses of wine, but glass 3.5 kills the bottle, so why stop? Wine goes bad if it sits.
  • Wine never goes bad in your house.
  • You wonder aloud about your drinking habits with all of your drinking friends, and say things like, “it’s not as if I’d drink something else if there were no wine in the house” (this was before I discovered the m.a.t. and the no-smell-vodka secret)
  • There is always wine in the house.
  • You actually think to yourself, who needs friends when I have this?
  • You choose a night home with a DVD and 2 bottles of wine over a night out with friends (rationalization: cheaper, and then I don't have to drive drunk).
  • You wonder aloud whether a life without wine in it is even possible. All those dinners out, and no wine? (it is possible, and the peace of mind that comes from a sober life far exceeds the enjoyment of a fine chardonnay. Although sometimes I still imagine the molten-gold flavor of it going down my throat, and I feel a lust unlike anything I’ve ever felt since then).
  • You finally resolve to quit drinking, but you can’t “officially” quit until all the booze in the house is gone, so you make a list of everything you need to consume, including that nasty bottle of Pimm's and the Smuggler whiskey your dad brought over for a party once (happy ending: upon realizing the huge volumes I’d have to consume, I gave all my top-shelf vodkas, gins, scotches & rums to a friend for her huge summer bash, and poured the rest of it down the toilet on August 7, 2003. Funny, I didn’t feel bad about wasting it, even though I was raised not to waste nutrients. I figured those kids in Africa didn’t need to become boozehounds).
  • You check out the AA website, just to see what it’s all about.
  • [note: I am not made uncomfortable in any way by the mention of alcohol, the presence of it, or when my friends around me order it at the dinner table. I am happy to discuss it and proud of my sobriety. It’s not a word that needs to be whispered, like cancer or prison. I am not offended by anyone’s drunken audio post, or mention of drunkenness in this virtual (or any other) world. The only thing that upsets me is when I meet/see people who are obvious alcoholics; not because I judge them but because I know the place they are in, and it is not a good place. I questioned my drinking for 8 years, and experienced out-of-control drinking for about a year and a half before I stopped. I still question exactly how I got to that point. I can only hope that suffering alcoholics find solid ground, as I did. Thank you for reading.]


Heather said...

First I have to sound all condescending even though I dont mean to.. Im so proud of you.. I have an friend who has been sober for 3 years now. and I see how she still struggles. Its a hard fight and I'm glad you won. :)

Bobby said...

Keep it up, you seem a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Cap'n Marrrrk said...

13 fucking years for the Cap'n. Congratulations on your 3rd year. It took about 3 years before "sobriety" finally kicked in, and I realized I could be my weird self without it.

One important thing to remember, you may hear at AA meetings that you can discount: you are your own worst enemy. Don't forget you can also be your own best friend.

Congratulations again.

art said...

Glad you are staying sober. It is never easy and always a constant battle so keep people around you who you trust and can help when you need them.

UberGoober said...



Cass said...

My boyfriend is two years sober...mostly. He has had a couple of relapses, but all in all he is doing great! We don't keep alcohol around the house, (I would feel way to guilty doing that) even though he says it would not bother him. He tells me that his drinking is his problem, and it doesn't bother him when I have a drink with dinner at a restaurant, but I feel guilty nontheless...It has definately made me aware of my own alcohol consumption.

Lee Ann said...

Wow! That is awesome! Sounds like you have found the right path, congratulations.

ticharu said...

It was pot for me, twenty years everyday, not as addictive or destructive, but I understand, and it's great being free... stay free

Monkey's Human said...

You go to at least 3 different liquor stores because you don't want to be seen going so often; nevertheless, all the owners greet you by name.

And my personal favorite: "I'm a wine connoisseur, this is research for my article, book, diary...".

Congratulations on a big anniversary for you. I'll be celebrating my 6 month anniversary on August 29th. Two days after my wedding anniversary.

Monkey said...

Oh... and this is for you:

$4,300. Saddle.

Ivar said...

saku loves you...i minu es jon! beer break!

Juliabohemian said...

my sister is sober now. we have many alcoholics in our family. I am allergic to alcohol, so I guess I am the lucky one.

Danius Maximus said...


Melody said...

I admire your strength, wisdom and sense of humor. You are the best kind of teacher: you know your shit. Congratulations on passing your two-year anniversary.

Ivar said...

sorry...minu nimi es jon...long time since

Mollenkamp said...

One day at a time, young friend.

BadGod said...

I once spent around $1100 dollars on alcohol for me and three friends for a 3 day weekend.

That was wild. Holy shit, good times.

Then I said, no. I just woke up one day and said no more.

Dec 24, 1996

Thank you for that post.

JJ said...

You forgot one: Your psychiatrist tells you to quit drinking so you switch to a psychologist who tells you to quit drinking. All of which sucks because the reason you went to the psychiatrist in the first place is because your wife and friends were driving you crazy telling you stop drinking.

Oh and one more: You think Leaving Las Vegas is a feel good movie.

Congrats on two years.

Shannon said...

I admire the courage it took you to fight addiction. I've had a couple of friends, since gone, who I wish could've had the same courage.

Keep kicking ass.

Veeba said...

What a wonderful post and all too true most of the time for me. Thanks for your honesty!

LBseahag said...

That was hilarious!!!!!
The one about one bottle of Chardonnay and it being 3 in the morning...i swear elves deliver it to your door!!!!

Doublebogie said...

I think I used everyone of those excuses. I ate altoids before work because I smelled of booze from the night before till my friend said I only smelled like a minty booze mouth. The one I hated the most was waking in the morning and saying to myself,,
"What the F... did I say to that girl.
I'm glad that's all history now. Congrats! I've got 5 yrs this Jan.
Keep going girl,, You rock!

Rrramone said...

Wow. I don't know you other than you finding my blog yesterday. But I am proud of you and happy for you! I do lots of work with men, some of whom are dealing with this, and I know how tough this is for some of them. Keep on lovin' yourself. :-)

And I'm the biggest Simpsons fan in the world, so I was sucked in by Homer. Again.

twolf1920 said...

HOLY CRAP SPINNING GURL~I just got your comment on my blog-i will comment after i can read more later!

twolf1920 said...

wow Spinning Gurl thats GREAT! We ARE everywhere aren't we? i have known old Bill W. for a while. I made it just short of 3 years when the insanity returned, and it was just the way all my mentors said it would be.


I just celebrated one year on Nov13th.

Congrats on your 2 years. Feel free to email me sometime-I am