2012: alcoholism at its worst.
My sober date is September 23rd, which, coincidentally, is also my middle brother’s birthday. Zach has always been my harshest critic.
On Christmas Day, 2012, Zach staged an informal intervention in our Chicago living room after a particularly brutal Christmas Eve, during which I drank a bottle of champagne and told Luke’s Japanese teacher my life story in explicit detail over holiday dinner. The next morning, Zach said that if I didn’t change, he would remove me from his life. He said I was an embarrassment. A disaster. He couldn’t handle it.
My plan was to move back to Minneapolis from Chicago (where I’d gone to treatment and subsequently relapsed) on January 1, 2013. First, though, I would wreck myself on New Year’s Eve in Milwaukee with booze, speed, and hallucinogens. On New Year’s Day, I sat through breakfast with my friends, brainstorming ways to kill myself. I was sober for the next 20 months.
As most of you know, I no longer attend 12-step meetings. When I first told people I was backing away, I made a conscious effort to not offend anyone or talk shit on the program. Okay, well, I’m done doing that. Toxic people and systems encourage the kind of fear I’ve been sitting with — the kind that keeps people silent.
Y’all fucked with a big mouth.
I’m two weeks sober today. It’s not much, but I haven’t been clean for this long since last October.
And I haven’t experienced cravings like this since…. ever.
One of, like, five pictures I took in Barcelona.
I’m shaking in my parent’s computer room, partially because my dad likes to pretend he lives in an arctic tundra in the middle of summer and partially because I am TERRIFIED. It’s happening. In just over 24 hours, I will be playing Tom Petty on repeat in a narrow economy seat on my way back to Barcelona.
I am so fucking glad I came home.