Black(out) Friday

25 Nov


The looney time of year has arrived. The holidays are upon us. For many, they bring up all kinds of memories—good and bad. For some, there is a struggle to search back into the recesses of our minds to see if we can even find the memories or if they are still as dark as the blackouts that may have enveloped them. For me, Thanksgiving reminds me of few times I’d rather forget.

Thanksgiving was always a huge drinking day for me. I would start quite early with champagne or mimosas as family arrived and I cooked. I had a full glass of something for the rest of the day and night. Wine flowed throughout the Thanksgiving meal. Most people stopped drinking and had coffee with dessert, watched football, or took a walk or a nap, but I continued to drink. Didn’t want to lose the buzz. We used to go to close friends’ for dessert where I welcomed the opportunity to have a plethora of new wines to “sample”. But often by this point in the day or evening, I was slurring, stumbling or literally falling down drunk. How embarrassing to look back upon. What’s even worse is to have to just imagine and wonder what I did when I passed that point and maybe even blacked out. I always laugh at meetings when people say they don’t think they were blackout drinkers. How the hell would you know if you were—you certainly wouldn’t remember?!

There were those totally inebriated Thanksgivings. One where I cried before I got up the courage to talk to my brother on the phone when he was in jail. One where I had a total meltdown in front of my friends about my unhappiness in my life and my marriage and said a bunch of things I still regret to my mom. Ones where I passed out in my wine-stained clothes, most likely leaving it to my husband to tell the kids that mommy is just really tired from all the cooking. Again, alcohol is a depressant. Adding that to an already depressed person is a recipe for disaster.

In just three more days, I’ll have 3 1/2 years of sobriety (God willing). One important thing that I have learned in that time is that I have a choice as to how I look back and how I move forward. Looking back, I can wallow in the miserable, drunken episodes, beat myself up and struggle to remember and relive the embarrassment. Or I can look back and use them to remind myself of a place I never want to return. Use them to “keep it green” as they say. And I can dig deep to remember the good times instead. The Thanksgivings where my grandparents were with us and inadvertently had us all cracking up. The Thanksgivings where we were all together. The Thanksgiving where my kids made little turkeys out of their hands and wrote the things that they were thankful for.

Going forward, instead of focusing all my attention on where my next drink is coming from, I can focus on the things for which I am truly grateful. That I’m not in that deep, dark depression but in a much better, happier, healthier place. That I am sober and present for my family. That I can wake up the day after Thanksgiving and not be completely hungover with a pounding headache or even still drunk. And that I am blessed with amazing friends who have been with me through thick and thin.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” —Dr. Seuss

7 Responses to “Black(out) Friday”

  1. Sharon Kinsman November 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    I am thankful that we have reconnected and in a meaningful way. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

  2. Chris L. November 25, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Great post!

  3. carolineturriff November 25, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Yes I was a blackout drinker too and I don’t know how many parties and other occasions I embarrassed myself on. My last Christmas Day before Recovery, I spent alone with a litre of vodka and large bag of coke. It was the worst Christmas Day I’d ever had. Thank God all that is in the past.

  4. Bob Hisel November 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    After 16 years sober, my recollections and resolutions are very much along the same lines as yours. We travel to my daughter’s tomorrow for our first thanksgiving together in 7 years. We are all about healing old wounds and moving forward in a previously strained relationship which, thanks to AA and sobriety, is getting better. “Stay with me God, I’m going in”

  5. earth-school November 25, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Good one my friend. I can relate…..even tho I never remember being a black out drinker. I simply forgot portions of the previous evening. Yeah right? xo

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Ronald Bosch November 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    I am so grateful that you are on this earth sharing your experiences, wisdom, humor and bits of yourself .. Thanks.

  7. Linda K November 28, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    Good Job!!!!

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