My standard disclaimer: I don’t remember much from this time. What I do remember is jumbled, very well jumbled.
I was in college, I was living with the guy from across the street, and when he left me, I drank. I made a decision to drink, and I did it. Over the next approximately five years, I drank, attended AA, and achieved some brief periods of sobriety. All of my abstinence from alcohol was achieved through AA. I never was able to stop without. I don’t remember trying to do that.
I have one harrowing incident I always tell when I tell my story at a meeting. It encompasses many of the elements of what went wrong and what was bad with my drinking.
I remember getting up on a school day, drinking before I got in the car to go to school. I remember arriving at school, parking in a parking lot, and having to pee so badly that I couldn’t make it a building. I remember (once) peeing in the back of my car.
I remember being in class, being drunk, making loops in my notebook to give the appearance of taking notes. I remember going to the ladies’ room, taking a swig from the bottle I had in my purse. It was a hand lotion type of bottle, a successor to my frizzy hair spray bottle I had used when I first started drinking. I hadn’t been found out with the hair bottle, and I wasn’t found out with the lotion bottle either.
Next memory, I was sitting in the cafeteria downstairs in the building where my class had been. There were two guys from my class sitting at a table with me, saying things like, “That’s not right, the way he treated you.” I surmised that I had done something stupid and awful in class, and that the teacher had spoken to me about it. You have right there a classic symptom of alcoholism. The fear and dread, and no memory, of what the hell did I do, and will I be able to fix it?
Next memory, it was snowing. I was in a phone booth, speaking to some poor, good soul who was answering the phones for AA at their home that night. I was telling this poor, good soul that I was a member of that there fellowship, and that I was too drunk to drive myself home from school, and could someone help me? Well not knowing where I was, or who I knew, this person had a slim chance of actually helping me. I hung up. I hope that person didn’t worry about me too much. Too bad I can’t tell them that it all turned out OK.
Next I remember coming to, briefly, on the road to my home. Next thing I knew, I was further down the same road. I would swerve all over the place, unable to drive, then black out and come to again further down the road. I guess I was driving OK in the blackout, but I’d lose the ability as I came to. It was snowing hard and piling up, and I pulled over.
I remember being at a gas station pay phone. I called my sponsor (who else?), and I tried to describe to her where I was. She asked me, and I told her, what I saw out the windows of the place. I then decided I was too drunk to do even that, and I hung up on her. I went back to my car, I passed out, and the snow quickly covered my car.