No, today is not the day I was born. Today is the third anniversary of the day I woke up after getting out of jail and decided that I needed to quit drinking.
My friend had come to pick me up when I was released on my second DUI arrest. I went to the bank to get out 100 bucks so that I could spend the day getting thoroughly wasted with friends, and trying to forget all the stuff I'd have to deal with regarding my conviction. I ran home and got clean clothes, then headed to my friend Raylynn's to take a nap before we went out. I'd been up all night in the drunk tank, then the release tank. I can not sleep in places like that.
After the nap I woke up and Raylynn said, "Take a shower and let's go out!" I looked at her and said, "No man. I think I need to quit drinking." Simple as that. And I haven't had a drink since.
My first drink was given to me by my siblings when I was really young, and I remember it. My first shot of tequila that I drank down in one gulp. And I loved it. My sister gave me meth when I was 11 and didn't want to clean my room. The strange thing is I turned straight edge in high school and didn't do anything until my senior trip. That trip to Cancun was off and poppin'. I was drinking Everclear and having blackouts, and I never felt better. My brain wasn't going 87 places at once. I didn't have thoughts of "You have to iron this" or "Is your shirt crooked?" every second. I was free.
I got in to raves and started doing a ton of drugs, and alcohol took the back seat. But as soon as I stopped doing that, beer and whiskey became my best friends. I didn't drink every day, but every time I did drink I made up for it. On average I would consume more than a liter of Jameson, and about 12 beers in one sitting. I wouldn't remember hours of the evening. It didn't frighten me at all that I'd come to and have to look out the window to see if my car was there, or worse, to get my bearings and figure out whose house I was in.
During these years I had a ton of good times, and a ton of bad. I saw way too many people die, and attended far too many funerals. I'd drink and I would fear nothing. I would do any drug that was put in front of me, and not care about the consequences. I did this so often that I almost died of a heroin overdose while hanging out with a junkie. I was really drunk so only half hesitated when she filled the needle with the dose that she, an every day user, would inject. I did it, and that's all I remember until coming to on a kitchen floor, being slapped in the face by a man I'd never seen before. You see, junkies and drunks don't call 911. They call a bar and get help. Or they just drag you out the door and leave you on the grass across the street. I've actually helped people do that to someone. Then we called 911 from a cell phone and said there was a passed out guy who looked dead on 18th street.
I have a ton that I've made amends for, and I continue to do so on a regular basis. I am at heart, a good person. The person that drinking and drugs made me is someone I look back and am glad I no longer see in the mirror. She was a horrible person. She sold the class ring her mom bought her, for a 20 sack of dope. She robbed people's apartments to get money for drugs. She beat people up and didn't care at all.
Today I am three, and this birthday has become far more important to me than October 10th. That day is passive. This birthday is a positive choice I made, and therefore represents a far more powerful birthday in my eyes.
I am going to celebrate by eating fancy cheeses and salamis and prosciuttos with my girlfriend, and having girly time. I am going to try and remember today that I need to keep this up in order to keep achieving things that I never would have achieved, had I kept drinking. I was always able to keep a job. But I have gotten two promotions in this 3 years, and just applied for another one. There is NO WAY that would have happened if I weren't sober. I'd be sharing a house with the same old druggies thinking, "This is fine. I still have a job and I still have a roof over my head." I'm sad that there was a point where that was enough for me.
Now I have goals to strive for that I wouldn't have even thought to have before. I have my little house in the hood. I have people who love me even though I'm hella crazy. I have a real, genuine, life that I never had before.
I want to thank my sponsor Donna, Christina (my best friend and the woman I know I wouldn't be as good with, if she weren't a part of my life), Ally, Rosie, Rich, Bradley, Matt, Jesus (no, not THAT Jesus), Little Debbie (no, not the snack cakes), Lauren, my mom and dad (seriously, they have been so amazing in all of this), Kel, Lisa P., and any of the friends I'm forgetting. I'm sorry, you know how my brain works (or doesn't work). I want to thank my grammy, whom I miss SO MUCH today. At least she got to die knowing sober Melanie who owned a house, instead of drunk Melanie who would come to her house then bike to Sammy's to drink all night. I love you gram!
Happy picture of the day: my friend is having this shirt made for my bday. "But you already have a spork spock t-shirt Melanie!" "SHUT IT!" I talk to myself AND answer. *shaking head at self*