It has been a while since completing my drunk-a-logue or what I consider my steps towards a commitment. How to capture a long time of drinking and writing it down was oddly easy. Maybe because it rattles around so much and it is part of my life’s story. The oddity of it all is how I was able to maintain a level of maturity and intelligence today as I am, regardless of beginning to drink at 18 but how the exterior things I embraced at the time (music and trends) have re-surfaced now. I lost a bit of myself over the years.
I stopped embracing my fun side. I became “as mentioned” a kind of shadow of myself. I have noticed at my 43 years of age, I can still wear my Doc Martins. I can still have multi-pierced ears and tattoos. I can still blast the Dead Kennedys and X as loud as I want and I can rock out to any of my favorites at the gym. They travel well. I can also “reintroduce” some things I forgot. I forgot how much I loved punk. I also forgot how much I loved music. AND tattoos. I can tattoo now with some inspection and creativity without just putting it on there. No tramp stamps on this little lady.
I do not have to age into something I am not in sobriety. In fact I can start up right where I stopped; at 18. The good news is, I have lived 25 years since and I collected some wisdom along the way. The scary news is – is my brain OK?
It has been said in some fashion or another that somehow when you start drinking and obsessively that you stop mentally growing. There is some truth to that. Due to “wet brain” symptoms you eventually can become, well a bit unfocused. I just became more focused on my next drink and I digress but I don’t remember any excessive brain complexities while drinking. Overall, my symptoms to date around the loss of thiamine or balance as it is has been well, pretty null. I did however experience some pretty bizarre experiences in my early drinking at its heaviest. I would close my eyes at night and see falling spiders or black and white fireworks. I believe this was the delirium tremens and looking back at those years there was some very heavy drinking. Any symptom was unknown to me and hangovers really didn’t exist.
Needless to say, the brain does take abuse and it isn’t pretty. Today at 119 days of freedom, I feel like I cannot remember names with faces. I am not panicking, I just think I am seeing a lot of people at meetings and they are starting to blend together.
I use to forget things people would tell me all of the time. I am getting better. I am remembering to stop, ask how things are; remembering birthdays and appointments of others – finding their needs. The selfish alcoholic will forget a lot of things even benign to them but maybe important to others. I say sometimes, “sorry, it is just my brain.” It could just be normal overworked-ness.
I get lost sometimes. Not physically lost but spiritually and connectively. I don’t always want to think or be with others. I sometimes feel outright dumb in my brain. A walking zombie. I give myself GRACE. If I don’t walk through this and live through my feelings, the drink is a hand away.
So, I can be ABNORMAL. I can re-live a sober, straight edge life now. No reason to regret and sometimes seeing the bands that are still touring is a lot of fun. Thankfully, some of them survived the ravages of our times and if I wake up the next day, forget to do something – maybe it is just because there is a little part of me that wants to still rest.