Saturday, May 21, 2011


I'm not going to entertain or bore you with a long drunkalogue. As in the case of my character, Sister Mary Olga, my drinking escapades may seem to have been outrageously funny. The truth is that there was nothing funny about drinking or the effect it was having upon my life. It was also a way that I continued to escape dealing with my feelings and life's problems.

Here are some of the things that happened before I saw the light of a better way of life: I put myself and others at continuing risk as I drove in escalating drunken states. I would occasionally act out in anger at my partner when I was drunk. One time I hit him before passing out. The next morning I awoke and couldn't raise my arm out of bed. I had broken my wrist when I had hit him on his knee.

I contracted a serious and life-threatening venereal disease when I went out to a bar, got drunk, and picked up a stranger on the night of my maternal grandfather's funeral. The result was that I ended up in the hospital for a week. Fortunately I had not contracted HIV/AIDS as the doctors had suspected.

I picked up another stranger at a bar who turned out to be seriously mentally ill. He subsequently threatened to burn our house down and to kill me and my partner. The bottom line was that my quality of life became seriously compromised as it became more and more unmanageable.

After years of being able to stop drinking for periods of time, I finally went on a four month binge that was unlike anything or any binge I had experienced before. I began to drink to excess on a daily basis. It was not unusual for me to come home from work for lunch and have a few beers before returning. I would go to happy hour every day and drink until late in the evening.

Beer had become my drug of choice. I somehow felt that I could control my drunkenness better with beer than with alcohol – another practice of denial – The problem was that I was now drinking up to a case of beer per day. I had indeed become powerless over alcohol. I would not see the light until my partner of eight years left me. He was too frightened to witness what was happening to me to continue to live with me.

What I would later come to understand was that I had always been drinking to medicate a bipolar disorder. I'd never experienced a mania while I was drinking. When I was in an “up state,” I would drink like a fish. When I was depressed, I would stop drinking. I'm certain I would have had a brilliant mania during my final binge had I not been drinking. My experiences with mania were yet to come. I will discuss them in an upcoming article on recovery from mental illness.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui

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