5 Things That Remind Me I’m Still An Alcoholic

5.) I still drink everything to the last drop: Recently, I guzzled down a glass of ice tea as if it was the last beverage on Earth.  I even sucked the tea out of the ice cubes like I was an anteater. The thing is: it wasn’t very good ice tea. In fact, it was horrible ass-brewed ice tea that tasted like a Glade Air Freshener. Didn’t matter. And doesn’t matter if it’s coffee, flat diet Mountain Dew or a thick chocolate shake, I gulp everything down like it’s a tequila shot. And regardless of what it is, I want more. (Duh)

4.) I still don’t know how to do ‘Happy Hour’: Or perhaps I should say my Happy Hour in SeanLand never lasted an hour and never wound up too happy. I never had that one after work drink over chicken wings with the gals from accounting. Happy Hour to me meant I had 6 two-for-one margaritas and the blackout walk home just happened earlier in the day than usual. Like I said, I don’t get it. Likewise you won’t find me in Vegas or at Mardi Gras or Oktoberfest. Thems drinkin’ places and without booze I fail to see the point.

3.) I still wake up in Saturday with a little dread: Altough I’ve been sober for a few years, a part of me still wakes up with that momentary “What the hell did I do” feeling on Saturday mornings. It passes faster these days mainly because my life is boring (and in a good way). It’s nice not welcoming in the weekend wondering what the fuck I said or sent in a text or did the night before. People who haven’t “cussed a bitch out” in a drunken haze rarely experience this kind of humiliation and good for them! I wish I was one of them but I’m not. I’m the guy who drinks and then yells at you. Charmed, I’m sure!

2.) I read stories about Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson and I identify: No really. Aside from that whole being a child star thing or being a crazy racist thing, I totally get these two. Love it or hate it: I know that we suffer from the same shit. Normal folk, on the other hand, read tales of their drunken terrors and shake their heads. I read that stuff and think, “Oh my god! Me too!”

1.) I don’t understand the concept of “Just one”: This sounds stupid because of how simple it is but hear me out. I was sitting with my husband a year ago and he had half of a glass of wine. And it just sat there. On further far and few between instances with alcohol, he would just have one drink. Or rather he could have just one drink. Fascinating! When I saw him do this the first time, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “There’s something I could never do!” And that’s the point! I was always looking for some concrete, absolute evidence of proof positive that I am in fact an alcoholic. And since AA doesn’t send you a plaque or a special sticker for your windshield, this was my proof. Yes there were thousands of other flaming signs that pointed to my alcoholism. But in the simplest of terms, when it comes to drinking alcohol I just can’t stop.

So there you go! My first listy type of blog! Did you enjoy it?  Clearly, there are others and maybe we could add to the list. Also, it should be noted these are just my ways of remembering that I’m an alcoholic and by no means a definitive list for others questioning if they are or aren’t touched by this special condition.  In the end, it doesn’t matter how I remember, I’m just happy that I do.

Maybe This Time I’ll Win

In the showstopper, heart-wrenching number “Maybe this Time” from Cabaret, Sally Bowles sings “Everybody loves a winner so nobody loves me.” Pardon me while I get all musical theater faggy on you but this Kander and Ebb song from 40 years ago couldn’t be more relevant to this addict especially when talking about the could-have been comeback of Lindsay Lohan.

In the days leading up to her appearance on Saturday Night Live, Lohan popped up all over NBC on shows like the Today show and Jimmy Fallon. Lohan was quick to tell Matt Lauer she was sober and that she knew she’d have a long road before folks trusted her again. But like a good little girl in recovery, she said she was ready to do the work. Policing a famous person’s sobriety is something I have no time for. I’m crazy enough on my own, thank you very much. But I have always rooted for the girl. And so have a lot of folks. That’s why when her hosting gig on SNL failed to blow folks out of the water, the press was eager to dub her the worst  host of the year. (which by the way would be subjective since that program stopped being funny right around the time Tina Fey left and hasn’t ever gotten it’s mojo back, in my opinion.)

Even though Lindsay has struggled in public to get sober I identify with wanting to prove yourself and wanting people to see you’ve changed even if you’re not totally ready. I went back to school in 2009 when I got sober. I wanted so badly to prove that I could finish and get a degree and make my life happen the way I thought people wanted it to. School in some ways was a total God send. It was great distraction from my hot mess of a life and I was able to work on things that interested me.  Yet 7 months into the education rejuvenation, I was thrown the curve ball of an HIV diagnosis and I also realized my drug and alcohol problems were deeper than I expected. This getting better thing had to become a full-time job. School was hard and need my full attention. And with figuring out meds, places to live and how to survive, it was tough to focus. I beat the crap out of myself because I had to take a break and get my life together– again. I wanted to prove to the planet that “Yes, Sean can finish things and be successful.” But the cold hard fact was, I wasn’t ready.

Thankfully, I became ready for bigger things as time went on. But I had to stop and move slower and realize all of this recovery stuff takes a really long freaking time. So Lindsay, wherever you’re at in sobriety, remember there’s always a next time. And if you hang in there, eventually, you’ll win.