Myth of the High-Bottom Drinker

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A friend recently said to me, “At least you’re a high-bottom alcoholic, if you have to be one.” I couldn’t really agree with her about being a high-bottom anything. It kind of depends on where you might have ended up had you not begun drinking at all. In other words, you don’t have to be homeless to have been hit pretty damn hard by the “grapes of wrath.”

I am reposting this blog (written at a blessed 10 days sober!) because I think we sometimes use the term “high bottom” to show that we weren’t really all that bad, were we?

Day 10 at a Fork in the Road

Hope for the Heavy Drinker

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Quote by me.

I’m here on the same mountaintop where I got sober over a year ago. The sun is rising, and I can hear the wind whispering in the trees. And here’s what I want to tell anyone who’s losing hope of ever getting sober.

  • I lost hope hundreds of times. On the day that I quit drinking for good, I had no idea that that day was it. It was just another desperate attempt to end a battle that had gone on for far too long.
  • I didn’t have a moment of clarity or a parting of the heavens to let me know that this was the day. (As the author of “Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget” will tell you — epiphanies are cheap. I had had hundreds of epiphanies, but that didn’t stop me from drinking.)
  • ALL I did, the sum total, was to decide I would not drink that day. That was it. And it was a decision that I would repeat over and over again.
  • Giving up is not an option. Life won’t let you, because life loves you. You will be bombarded with signs from the universe to quit drinking. And you will never run out of chances to quit.
  • Thousands of people stop drinking every day. Every single day, lots of people are able to stop drinking. These people are often more hopeless, with worse circumstances, and are farther down the rabbit hole than you are. So why not you? Why not today?
  • You absolutely cannot imagine how much better life will be. Just like you can’t really “remember” physical pain, you can’t remember how amazing it feels to wake up happy to be alive, anxious to start the day, loving what the world might bring you. You will experience days like when you were a kid, without a care in the world.
  • It is so worth it. If you could zoom forward even a few months or a year into sobriety and look back on how far you’ve come, you would quit drinking RIGHT NOW. If you could see the future you — healthy, confident, serene — you would be thrilled to jumpstart the journey NOW.
  • Yes, you will still have problems, but now you can learn from them. You will understand so much more about why things happen and how you can change your relationships for the better. And these problems will eventually fall away. Life will get so much easier.
  • Millions of people want to help you do this. The world is at your feet when it comes to recovery. There are books, bloggers, support groups, AA, SMART Recovery, addiction therapists, new friends, rehabs, vitamin supplements, yoga groups, and angels all at your beck and call. All you have to do is reach out.

From high on the mountain, I give you my hope. Please take it. I don’t need it anymore.

💕

Success! The 30-Year Plan to Sobriety

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So so many of you have asked me “Wow, you have over one year of sobriety! What’s your secret??” So I’ve decided to share my sobriety plan for FREE because I am that evolved spiritually, now that I am no longer lunching on wine.

This plan is simple, easy to follow, and fool-proof!

To begin, choose a starting date. Then set aside 30 years or so (more if you’re a slow learner). Go out and buy your first six-pack. You are now ready to … LAUNCH!

DAY 1: You are young!

Call up some beer-swilling friends. (A quick shout out to Lisa, Carly, Dan! You know who you are!) Invite them to meet you at the local pub.

Have a “Get Ready Beer,”  because a friend has taught you that this really takes the pressure off getting the bartender’s attention for that first drink. Plus, it’s one less beer you have to buy at an exorbitant price.

Drive to the pub.

Throw yourself completely into group mentality thinking. Use the group’s mood to guide your behavior. NEVER be that sullen person refusing to order a drink, which often drags down the rest of the group. Learn to keep up! When drinking lulls or people want to go home, always suggest one more round.

Earn a reputation for fun! When you reach the witching hour (that magic time of night when a decision must be made to go home or not, because maybe the bar is about to close or it’s a school night), speak up! Loudly yell “One more round!” Order shots for the table.

Drive home. TIP: If you have that pesky double-vision, cover one eye and concentrate on keeping to the RIGHT of the center line. Drive to the LEFT of the center line if you are in the UK, Australia, Honk Kong, or South Africa. If you’re not sure which rules apply, don’t drive.

Day 2

If you made it home and are not too hungover, go to school or work. If you didn’t make it home, try to locate your car. If you find it, drive it home.

If you are unemployed or have been fired, lucky you! Sleep it off.

Call your friends around 5 PM (or whenever you wake up) to commiserate and find out what all you did. TIP: NEVER make this call before drinking the Get Ready Beer. You can’t laugh it off without a buzz.

Meet up again. Same place. Same people. Same time.

Day 3 through Year 10: Build Your Stamina!

Continue every day for ten more years, or whenever your schedule permits.

Don’t do things that are too demanding mentally. If you are in school, shoot for just passing grades. Same goes for jobs. Avoid ‘real jobs’ as long as possible. Always work below your potential so that you can give minimal effort. Don’t raise expectations! Show up just enough to not get fired.

Take jobs that enable your lifestyle: restaurants, bars, sales! Take this opportunity to travel on the drinking circuit. If you somehow save a little money, spend it on a weekend splurge/drunkfest with your friends. You deserve it!

Decade 2: Growing Up

You made it. Yay, you! Now it’s time to take a breather and begin some much needed work on maturing.

In your second drinking decade, you will begin to find helpful signs that you need to change. Some of these signs will be life’s typical milestones, coupled with this nagging feeling of wanting more. A dog? House? Marriage? Children?

One sign is that some of your drinking buddies are growing up as well. They won’t go out as much. They want to go home early, which is OK because, believe it or not, you will too! Sleep becomes more important. You will also start to get some serious feedback from your body that you can’t quite continue as you have been. Stubbornly slog through by drinking more, because persistence is key to the success of this plan.

Decade 3: The Home Stretch

You look like shit! (LOL!) No seriously. Your looks are going to slide this decade, but no worries. You will be in the kind of mental state where you notice this, but then it just gets added to the pile of other shitty things that are happening to you.

There’s so much to discover in this decade! And all you have to do is keep drinking.

Here’s a checklist of what to look out for:

  • Declining health (as mirrored in your looks).
  • Financial instability.
  • Cognitive decline, including long and short-term memory.
  • Hair loss.
  • Deeply troubled relationships.
  • Legal problems.
  • Loss of friends, except for other drinkers.
  • Plummeting self-esteem.
  • Comments from loved ones (whoever is remaining) about drinking habits.
  • Nagging thought that maybe alcohol has something to do with the state of your life.

During this decade, attempt to quit drinking for short periods of time. Then attempt for longer periods of time. Keep attempting, allowing a year or two between attempts. Or commit to every Monday for the entire decade. You choose!

Final Day

Wake up one day. You will be hungover, just like almost every other day. Attempt to quit, with just a whisper of hope that it might be possible. Ask for help.

Succeed. 

Emails from the Universe

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If you don’t get these free inspirational emails from the universe (TUT) you should!

Here is today’s email to me:

Contrary to popular thinking, Shawna, being worthy isn’t something you earn, it’s something you recognize.

And once you do, you won’t be able to think, speak, or behave in any other way than as if what you most wanted was meant to be.

You were born worthy,
   The Universe

 

(It’s Mike Dooley’s website, Thoughts Become Things.)