It was about three years after my mother died and I moved into her house that I hit what I consider my rock bottom. Three years I wasted, drinking myself into oblivion, hardly seeing anybody except the bartender at the sports bar, and my drinking buddies Mark and Brian. I even had meals delivered to the house, which I’d initially been set up for my mother and just continued for myself when I moved in, so I didn’t even have to leave home or change my routine for my basic needs.
My daily pattern was wake up, drink, drink some more with the guys, drink some more at home, sleep, and eat (I think the meal delivery plan really saved me during this period, because I was drinking so much I probably wouldn’t have bothered or remembered to eat without the packages of food showing up regularly on my doorstep). It was a wildly unhealthy way to live, and a far cry from my previous lifestyle, when I was working every day at a place that promoted healthy living and fitness, and outside of work I was obsessing over the health of my mother.
One day, I was drinking with the guys as usual at the bar, watching Judge Judy, and next thing I knew I’d woken up in my house, on my couch, with a trash can by my head and my shoes off. Mark and Brian were sitting on the couch across from me, looking concerned. It was the first time I’d ever seen them without drinks in their hands, or outside of the bar, for that matter.
Yes, they were alcoholics and enablers, but I am lucky that those two were such kind men. They explained how I’d blacked out at the bar, falling off my stool and hitting my head. I was passed out from the alcohol and bleeding from a cut on my forehead where I’d hit the corner of the bar. The bartender freaked out and wanted to call an ambulance, but the guys said they would take care of me. They had found my address on my driver’s license in my purse, and took me in a taxi to my house, where they took off my shoes and bundled me in blankets on the couch. They had used cool cloths to wash the blood off my head and brought me a trashcan in case I vomited, which eventually I did when I woke up. They brought me food and monitored me to make sure I didn’t have a concussion or alcohol poisoning. I was embarrassed but so grateful for their help.
When I felt well enough for them to leave, I stayed on the couch, nursing my hangover, exacerbated by the searing pain from the gash my forehead. I finally got up to use the restroom, where I threw up some more. I splashed cold water on my face and looked in the mirror. It was like I was seeing myself for the first time since my mom died.
I looked haggard and much older than my age. My skin was a ghastly white, with dark circles under my eyes, blood congealing in the three inches long diagonal cut on my face just above my left eyebrow. I was a mess and barely recognized myself.
I knew from that moment that something had to change.