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Grapevine : November 2011
Petersburg B&B, and the high from the adrenaline rush that came after jumping 10,000 feet in the air. Later, when I came back down to earth, reality came back too. I thought: I can't always run off to Florida. Someday I have to face my- self and beat this beast of an addic- tion. And maybe the hardest of all, I have to learn to love myself dry. I did not regret going to Tampa for tequila and skydiving. It was fun, but I was reminded of two important truths that day. One: Life is short, you have to live it. And two: I am now and al- ways will be an alcoholic. I started hating myself again for the selfish, reckless behavior I made my family and friends suffer through---the wondering, the wor- rying and the hours of waiting. I was back on the ground hating my- self. I came home that night after my beach escape, apologized to my mother, unpacked and went to bed. That night I told myself that was it, I was done for good now. Wrong again. Two weeks later my friends were playing in a tippy cup tournament, a game that in- volves drinking lots and fast. I agreed to go and told myself I would drink water. I drank water for the first 10 minutes, then moved to beer. I had 17. I blacked out and tried driving home. Fortunately, my friend was there and wouldn't let me. He drove me safely to his place where I spent the night. I woke up the next morning, again feeling worthless and loath- ing myself. We sat in the living room, talked about our families and polished off a bottle of red wine. I missed my family Christmas party, oneofthefewtimesayearIgetto see my dad and 90-year-old grand- ma. I was too preoccupied nursing my hangover and hating myself to spend time eating gingersnaps and shooting the breeze with my aunts in ridiculous reindeer sweaters. So I drank some more and planned to go home after the party. I wanted to walk into an empty house, crawl into bed, and forget about the night and last year. I walked through the door and my whole family was in the living room. Drunk still, I ig- nored them and marched straight to my room. My mom followed me, not angry or disappointed. Instead, she handed me a homemade name tag she had made for me to wear to the party. It was blue with snowflakes and a snowman that read, "Walk- ing in a Winter Wonderland." She reached out her hand holding the name tag with love and said, " Here you go sweetie, it's for the party." My eyes welled up with what felt like a billion steaming hot tears. I hated myself more in that one mo- ment than I ever had before and hope ever will again. I held back the tears. "Thanks," I snapped quickly, "but I'm not going to the party." She said OK, and off my family went. 46 November 2011