Living in a state of blackout...
I used to write sticky notes to myself and leave them everywhere when I was drunk to remember the things I did. I would read these notes the next morning. Don't forget to change the laundry. Don't forget to mail Christmas cards. Call Allison for her bday.
I would jot down normal to-dos and things that I would think of while drinking wine at night on the couch, but I often had to write them down because I was in a state of blackout and I knew I would never remember. Eventually, once I began to utilize the smart phone, I started making dozens of calendar reminders. Random notices would pop up telling me to record a show next week. One time I told myself to - Check out the new season of the Kardashian's. I found that calendar reminder one random Tuesday morning and wondered when I had written that to myself, because I never even liked that show or watched it before.
Sometimes I would find the weirdest plans scheduled in my calendar that I created while out and about on a Saturday night. Once, I made plans with a couple that I had never met before until late one night. "Dinner with Bob and Lisa!" And then a month later I saw the notice pop up the day of and thought, who the fuck are Bob and Lisa? I clearly didn't remember meeting those people and obviously forgot all about the big plans we had made together.
On certain nights, I used to write things down that I said to Evan, so I didn't forget that I told him something. I did this because I knew it annoyed him when I repeated things I told him when I was drunk. I would write out full on recaps of conversations with him in email format, so I would remember if there was something important that he said to me. If I had a meaningful talk with a friend, I used to email myself summaries of it before passing out in bed. Rereading my words the next morning was always a puzzle, trying to decipher what it was I was trying to say or convey to myself.
It's funny how back then my subconscious was actually working pretty hard to keep my writing going, I guess. My love for expressing myself through the written word had never really left me, but I wasn't aware of what was going on. The alcohol was holding me back and suppressing so much, because I was always so blacked out. So numb. But I was hanging on by a thread, in one of the only ways I knew how. Through my words. Even then, in my darkest days, I knew that writing was one of the only ways to survive.
On the last night of our vacation this week, the waiter asked if we were celebrating anything special. I told him it was my two year soberversary. He was really happy and intrigued. Towards the end of our meal a couple of hours later, the waiter asked me how I knew when I needed to stop drinking. He wondered how I was even able to stop in the first place. He said to me, "I wonder a lot to myself if I have a problem with drinking? You know, I think I actually do but I don't know if I can ever do anything about it. I have one or two drinks with friends. Then suddenly I need to have three. And it's so hard to say no. I just don't know how to do life without alcohol."
I ended up having a nice conversation with him after that comment and left him my information. I am hopeful for this kind gentleman and his future, but there is no way to know what will become of him and his relationship with alcohol.
For me, I am so glad to no longer be trapped by those feelings that he described. I am overjoyed to be free to write today simply because it make me happy. Tonight, I write this blog post in the hopes of inspiring others, not because I need to be able to remember what it was I did this Sunday evening. That is joy. That is peace. That is freedom.