Hitting the Snooze Bottom

Used 2013-02-17 Snooze It Off (AlKHall Annymous recovery sobriety)

Snooze It Off

My drinking life (because it was too long to be just a career) was a series of alarm bells going off constantly, beginning with the very first time i ever drank.

  • At 18, the first time i ever drank alcohol, i peed my pants and drove drunk
  • At 25, i fell asleep driving drunk and drove my car into a guardrail on the freeway
  • At around 40, after waking up from a blackout on a subway platform, a stranger knocked me unconscious with a metal bar and left me for dead

There were lots of warning bells throughout my drinking, yet somehow, i was able to hit the Snooze Button each time an alarm rang. That worked until it didn’t.

  • At 47 i binged on red wine and spent 10 days in the hospital after i attempted suicide

Finally i had my wake up call.

What about you? Care to share with us any signs about your drinking you chose to ignore? Leave a note in the Comments Section!


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on February 17, 2013, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I was out with my gay, piano-player friend who is in alcoholic denial — still, sort of — last night. He actually said to me after his performance, “You were right: I can’t control my drinking. I think I’m an alcoholic. Progress. ‘Course he told me this when he was halfway to blitzed, too — and I kept thinking, “He’s going to drive like this.” Maybe. Sometimes he knows, and so he walks. He was going to stay at the lounge where he plays with the two lesbian friends of his that showed up (lipsticks, lol — they were very conventionally pretty — I don’t know too many gay men who like hanging out with masculine-looking lesbians. Young gay men seem to prefer pretty people).

    I hope he didn’t drive.

    I bet something along those lines will happen, though, if he continues to ignore his alcoholism and keeps hitting the “snooze bottom.”

    As for my own “bottom” (the substance-abusing one), I am still very ashamed about it, and rarely talk to people about it at all. I am working with my psychologist now about it as the reasons I hit that bottom are complex, and likely stem from childhood abuse, which I cannot clearly remember, but a part of me knows. That’s a very common thing for addicts, co-dependents, and people who abuse substances or use relationships and/or sex to numb out. It’s not something people like to talk about publicly or in blogs and so on, and I keep feeling like I need to do something to change that… We’ll see.

    But yes, bottoms are ugly. Well, not always the cheeky kind, but I mean the denial kind as you do here.

    That pic is hilarious, BTW. I love how people decorated around the guy with cups! I hope someone checked to make sure he was not dead, though. *heavy sigh*


  2. Thanks for showing up! Hopefully your friend will get to where he needs to be before hitting bottom too hard.

    And there’s no need to share anything too personal here. i’ve done some horrible things that i didn’t put on my list.

    i do appreciate your comment, though!

    Keep coming back,

    Al K Hall

    • Hi Al,

      Yes, I know that my friend has to figure it out for himself. I mean, I don’t want others to get hurt, nor him, but it is true that hitting the wall of having a license taken away for a DUI or other such thing would go a long way in helping him wake himself up. I hope it does not take something like that, but he has to get it for himself. Like you have written here, “Carry the message, but not the alcoholic.” I keep telling him, not in a berating way, but a matter-of-fact one, that his drinking will continue to stay out of control until he is really ready to do something about it. I know he knows. And I am just there — no judgement. Still love him as my friend. And I do believe in him, too, that he can figure it out! He’s so close… I hope he gets it soon, before anything worse happens.

      And no, I would never share anything too personal that I didn’t feel good about sharing, and likely not here. I was thinking more about my own blog, and how there may be others that have experienced things similar to myself. There might be a way to communicate those things that would help other people, too, and post them there.

      I mean, there is a time and a place and a way to share things, for sure. But I know that the honesty does help other people, too — I think you wrote that in a comment on the previous post? I know I saw it here somewhere… It was in that spirit I was thinking of how to help others with information I have about how to help oneself.

      I’ll keep coming back. 🙂

      • Sounds like your friend has a good friend in you!

        As for the honesty, “rigorous honesty” is what good recovery needs! That’s why Step 4 & 5 are so important…listing all my defects of character and sharing them with another human being. Thank god i had a sponsor for that!

        Thanks for your visit and keep coming back,

        Al K Hall

  3. Oh mate. I want to go back and give that boozed beaten guy on the subway platform a big hug. A big hug (which would be difficult given that you’re lying down unconscious, but anyway) a big hug and whisper in your ear ‘it’s ok mate, you’re going to get yourself out of this mess’. Because you did! Oh and I want to go and visit you in hospital after your suicide attempt and say ‘mate.. get that fucking booze out of your life!’… but you did!! My heart goes out to you Mr Hall. You are a brave, strong, good man. Kia Kaha (that means ‘stay strong’ in New Zealand’s native language – Maori). xxxx

    Oh and to answer your question, any signs that I chose to ignore..? No. That’s the beautiful thing that saved me. I couldn’t ignore all the signs, the ‘need’ to drink rather than the ‘want’. The more regular binging, sad heavy drinking alone on the sofa at night, needing more and more to feel ‘full’, driving around the neighbourhood trying to find an open bottle shop because the 1 bottle of wine I already had in me wasn’t enough, slurring at parties, every ‘special’ event needing to be about drinking more than usual, doing deals with myself about which nights I would binge and which I would go lightly. All very disfunctional but signs I couldn’t ignore thank goodness. xxxx

    • What a sweet comment, Mrs D! The me that I was back then thanks you for your concern and your reassuring words, and the guy i am now thanks you for your support and encouragement. Sobriety is so much easier around people like you!

      i see you saw the signs and am glad you made the choices you did to get out of the hole and into the light. Thanks for sharing and for your inspiration!

      Kia Kaha, my friend, and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  4. For me it was actually semi-accidentally ending up in studies I really, really loved. And them being incompatible with my wild life. Being forced to make a choice wasn’t even as hard as I thought it’d be, beforehand. Because it wasn’t one. There was no other option than to quit. I’ve been going on that same energy for 2 years and a month now, hopefully it’ll last. Good luck to you xx

    • Hi Z&C!

      Wow, talk about a high bottom! i’m so glad you were able to avoid the pain that wreaked so much havoc on my life for so long. Speaking of 2 years and 1 month, that’s exactly how long i’ve been sober, so i know exactly the energy you’re talking about!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. “At 18, the first time i ever drank alcohol, i peed my pants and drove drunk”
    … Number one qualification I’d say… not sure if you’re an alcoholic. Have you pissed yourself? Yes! You’re an alcoholic. No, no don’t be embarrassed, we all have. In our beds, in other people’s beds, in public, on people’s couches… ya know the run of the mill stuff.

    • Have you pissed yourself? Yes! You’re an alcoholic. LOL. Yeah, been there, done that…

      Maybe I am more alcoholic than I ever thought I was…

    • Astra!

      Actually, as my drinking became more and more problematic, i became better and better at finding ways to pee discretely. i perfected the trick of feigning to take money from an ATM while in reality peeing against the wall. Ah, the bad old days.

      Thanks for the support, and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. jumpingpolarbear

    Your first experience with alcohol at 18 sounds like a pretty bad night :).

  7. Such a heartbreaking read, but at the same time full of hope. I’m with Mrs. D in that I wish I could comfort the old you. And now you’re comforting others. I mean, why would anyone still choose to suffer the pain from their own drinking?

    But yeah, I did too…for too long. The countless painful, panic-inducing hangovers, the embarrassments, the reckless behavior, the exhausting fixation and regret. My threshold for pain was just high enough that it really took undeniable signs of physical dependence to convince me it was never getting better.

    Whatever gets us there is a blessing. Thanks for the reminder and gratitude.

    • BBB!

      Thank you for your sweet comment. Human nature is a really weird thing indeed, that we can become so addicted to something that does so much damage.

      We fortunate few are lucky to have escaped from that personal hell, and i feel privileged to share my survivor stories with a readership of your stature!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  8. I don’t think I hit the snooze button as I did just throwing the damn alarm clock out the window. Too many signs to post, but underneath all those painful, embarrassing and hurtful episodes that was my life, there was the underlying feeling that something was not the way it was supposed to be. That every time I put a drink in me, I was raging against the machine, I was going against the grain of who I was meant to be. But ego and my alcoholism held sway, and off to the races I was again, burning my life down to the ground again.

    Thank you for sharing some of the things that you saw as alarm bells to wake you up to your own recovery. It’s amazing how we rationalize and justify. I am so glad you got your wake up call. Some of us never do.

    Have a wonderful day!


    • Hey Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by. “Burning my life to the ground again” is a perfect way to express the pain and devastation of alcoholism. The AA Big Book compares it to a Tornado wreaking havoc in our lives.

      As you said, by the grace of a higher power we have made it through the storm and a here, happily banded together and making each other stronger with our support, as you have done here with your comment.

      Thanks, brother!

      Al K Hall

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