hotmail, hot mess.

It must have been nice to be a crazy alcoholic back in the good old days. In that golden era before phones, email, text messages and Facebook, you could just tell people face-to-face all kinds of awful things drunk people say while intoxicated. Slurred assaults like “You never loved me” or “I liked you better ten pounds ago”  could just do their immediate damage and that would be the end of it.  Sure, perhaps the folks on the receiving end of these booze-soaked barbs would recoil and run the opposite direction whenever you entered the room but you wouldn’t have to worry about the words themselves coming back. Today, the Ghost of  Tequila Tantrums Past likes to haunt my inbox with moronic messages from YesterBeer.

This week, I stumbled on a doozie when I was searching my inbox for a pre-maturely deleted client email. See, I know it’s hard to believe but when I drank a lot, (which was the only way I drank, by the way) I had an annoying habit of saying brutal and horrible things to people I loved. And it was always under the guise of “being honest” or some crap. Like those drunk reality stars always say, “I’m just keeping it real” or “I’m using my voice” or my favorite– “Just sayin'”. No what you’re just doing is being a hateful, crazy douchebag. And that’s how I rolled. I didn’t know that I could be honest or state my opinion without being horrible or abusive. When you’re drunk seven nights a week, normal communication is a puzzling prospect. It was far easier to pound out a shitty, nonsensical text message or email while wasted and deal with the fallout later. The recently resurfaced email misdemeanor was written to my ex in 2007, two years before I got sober. I’ll save you the boring and tragic details but the email essentially apologized for the bad behavior from the night before. What made the email remarkable was how pedestrian and insincere it was. The tone of the whole thing is of the “Sorry I forgot to pickup more cat litter” variety and  not of the more appropriate “Oh my god I’m horrified that I screamed at you” flavor. I read the entire email thread, shaking my head in disbelief that I ever lived that way. Alas, this was not the only email trainwreck in ye old inbox. An apology over a barbecue blackout and the continuation of an epic drunken text battle were also readily available for my reading enjoyment.

Out of curiosity’s sake, I entered more search terms into Hotmail to see what old chestnuts they would produce. I mean this stuff no longer has the power to humiliate me anymore and I’m not living in shame about my past so why not? The words “drunk” and “sober” came up with another form of email that also shocked me. Like messages in a bottle, my email communication from 2009 were calls for help. “I don’t know what to do”, “I can’t stop crying”, and “I’m scared” are some of the sentences that stood out. I got a little teary eyed reading these but I couldn’t stop.  It was like reading a book where the crazy character who said he was “keeping it real” actually got real and asked for help. Other searches turned up job rejections, bold faced lies, SOS emails asking for money and even some embarrassing Craigslist dating ads.  Abruptly, I stopped the email archelogical dig. I got the message I was suppose to hear. Just because  Hotmail was going to hold on to this stuff no matter how many times I pressed the delete button or how old it was, didn’t mean I had to. I could read, remember and be grateful for the life I have now and truly “delete” the shame attached to old words and behaviors.

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11 thoughts on “hotmail, hot mess.

  1. How amusing. I tend to be brutal when I’m not drinking. My partner makes sure I have a drink in my hand by 5pm every day. That’s why we’ve been together for over a decade.

  2. I was thinking of this blog post as I was writing mine today…about forcing yourself to look back on those times so you remember why you are choosing not to drink. Sometimes we just have to refresh our memories so we can reinforce our commitment. Regardless, I hate the way old emails just seem to reappear years after you delete them. Its so creepy…

    • Yeah everything sticks around for a reason I suppose but you’re right it is creepy. It makes me wonder what will be left of me digitally when I’m gone. Yikes. At least we have reminders of what we don’t want and what to avoid.

      • I am a firm believer that every human must designate at least one person who does not live with them to go into the house in the event of your untimely death…dump all embarrassing stuff from your computer and the secret stuff we keep in the very back of the closet…lol

      • Totally! Ha ha ha! My sister and I have that arrangement. We also had a comical if not a tad morbid discussion about what we did and did not want at our respective funerals. All to insure that neither of us ends up with deli trays and bad versions of Wind Beneath My Wings.

  3. Thank GOD there were no computers when I got sober. Have found some old embarrassing love letters from an indiscretion during my 1st 3 years sober about 2 weeks ago (around 3 pages). I don’t even remember actually getting them and even felt WEIRD reading it …nor do I know how it got how where it ended up…been married 10 years now! I did blush, do remember the person and feel/felt rather odd about it all. Thanks for the post. I am definitely grateful for the NO computer thing NOW!

    • Oh the electronic age is really a pain in the ass. Although I make my living clacking away at the computer I often joke with my husband about retreating to a cabin in the woods with a typewriter. Now the wreckage of my past is just a search engine away. Like Carrie Fisher once said, “Nothing is ever really over. Just ‘over there'”.

  4. OMG… I’m not sure I could live with the fact that the shit I wrote whilst drunk was still out there. I created a habit over the years and that was to erase anything I couldn’t bare to re-read.

    You’re brave to have re-read that mail thread… I think I would’ve thrown up somewhere along the way due to the anxiety.

    Phew… you sure have travelled a long way in sobriety, I am happy you found living life, are happy in it and have dumped shame.

    Take care Sean!

    • Thanks so much! It’s such a journey and at times a hilarious one. You know ‘they’ say not to shut the door on our past, which makes me cringe. But ‘they’re’ right.My past makes me feel so grateful for today and besides had I not had these experiences, I’d have nothing to write about! lol. Anyway, thanks for the comment love and for dropping by!

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