On Telling Your Story of Past Drinking in Sobriety...Blackout Drinking
I always proclaim that I am an unapologetic sober enthusiast. I choose not to rehash my old drinking habits. I choose to speak of what comes next after the downfall...the beautiful choice of a life free of alcohol induced escape. But, sometimes, undoubtedly, I slip back into "my story." It is like a broken record that skips thoughts. It circles and circles on the same stories that never really had a clear picture to begin with. It goes no where and becomes unrecognizable after a year of sobriety. It is like watching something on TV that your mind has created to fill in the holes. I was talking to a new sober friend and recognized how much my mind doesn't remember details anymore now that I have 16 months of sobriety behind me.
I watched Elizabeth Vargas on 20/20 or Dateline a while back...I cannot remember which one. And, although I am not famous and on TV, I completely related to her. She simplified her story even though we all know how complex our drinking stories actually are. She blacked out. She woke up. She stopped drinking. That's ultimately the way the over-drinking story goes, isn't it? I remember her saying something to the point of "I don't know and never will know" when speaking of her blackout in a park midday. She spoke of how thankful she was for someone helping her because her story could have turned out differently. She didn't know who helped her. She didn't really know what happened. She said, "I never will."
This is a poignant thing to remember when trying to make sense of a story that will never be completely remembered and never be completely forgotten. The constant, "how did it go?" "What happened?" People will always want to hear. Perhaps they relate. Perhaps they are just curious. But, ultimately, the answer to "What happened?" is that "it doesn't matter."
That's what the bottom line is...it doesn't matter. Even if you full-heartedly remember your drinking years. Even if you are writing a memoir about it and need to be completely 100% accurate so you don't get Oprah-ed like James Frey did. The answer to "what happened" is always going to be "it doesn't matter." The answer to every question is how are you going to live today. You write your story in sobriety. How do you want it to go?
I feel like a champion at the end of the Sobriety Superbowl...what are you going to do now?
I'm going to Disney World.
Just kidding. I am going to work. I will be walking in like a champ though.