My last drink.
I don’t remember it well, I was drunk, of course. But I had done it enough times, that I feel as though I remember it- like it was muscle memory that carried me to that point.
It was a random Tuesday night, well, by this point, very early Wednesday morning. It was beer number 11 from a 12 pack of high ABV beers. I was nearly asleep in my arm chair, the TV glowing in the background. I was alone. It was unceremonious. I finished my drink and then fell asleep- thinking about that 12th beer in the fridge. I would have drank that too, if I was physically able to.
That was my last drink.
At the time, I didn’t even really know it was my last drink. I didn’t say to myself “this is the last one.” I finished it and passed out.
But a lot had led up to this last drink. It had to be my last drink. I had drank enough for one lifetime.
Prior to my last drink, I had gone three days without drinking (the longest in about 15 months, since my previous attempt at getting sober). It was true, the writing had been on the wall about my drinking for quite awhile.
After my previous attempt to get sober, my drinking escalated. My anxiety increasingly got worse and I was having more health problems. In the months prior to my last drink, I had emergency surgery and also had to visit the ER to get stitches after I fainted and smashed my face on the bathroom floor the morning after a heavy drinking session.
The arrival of my youngest daughter further illustrated how deep my addiction had gotten.
Prior to her birth, I knew that I shouldn’t drink much- in case my wife went into labor. But I did anyway. I couldn’t stop. Thoughts of missing my daughter’s birth because I was too drunk to get to the hospital filled by head, and in spite of that, I drank on. I knew that I would never forgive myself it I missed her birth, it would crush me, but I just kept on drinking.
Thankfully we made it to her scheduled C-Section date.
Once we got home though, I kept drinking.
One night I was drinking and I had the baby with me on the couch on her little boppy pillow. She was kind of a fussy sleeper, so I kept her out there with me and I would rub her little feet and that always helped calm her down. At some point I passed out. The baby was there just screaming her head off and my wife came out to find me dead to the world around me.
I was so ashamed of myself. Every day.
In the morning I would wake up and tell myself, I won’t drink. By the evening, I would be drinking again.
Even just a few days before my last drink, I had resolved myself to quit.
We were on vacation with the kids and I had drank probably 14 or so beers throughout the evening (at least 6-8 of those at the waterpark with my kids) and my wife called me an alcoholic (she claims this didn’t happen and if it did, she was joking). For the first time- being called an alcoholic didn’t seem funny or something I was proud of, it just felt real, accurate.
As we left the waterpark, we were joking about how our friend’s little girl was so tired, she was walking like she was drunk. My middle daughter then asks, “whats drunk?” I explained its what happens when you have too many beers. My middle daughter then said, daddy drinks lots of beers all the time and he never walks like that.
I guess it was good that I wasn’t an obvious drunk, but it was obvious that I drank a lot of beers- even to a 6 year old.
And still with all of these events (and, quite honestly, way too many more to recount here) weighing on my mind, on the way home from work the day of my last drink, that familiar magnetic pull compelled me to go to the liquor store. It was luring me back to my safe place, my comfort zone. I just needed to go back there once more.
The rest of the night is a blur, like so many others before.
One year ago today, I had my last drink.
I hope it forever remains my last drink.