Monday, January 19, 2009

My Last drunk was 17 Years AGO today, tomorrow will mark my first day of 17 years of sobriety.

January 19 - By your decisions you paint a portrait of Who You Are. Meditations from "Conversations with God - Book 1" page 154
I am so thankful that the decision I made on January 19, 1992 that I had to stop my drinking and go to AA for help. The decisions I made before that one certainly painted a portrait of who I WAS. I had no idea of what the portrait of Who I Am would look like. I cannot think of another quote that so represents that day 17 years ago.
I started my day on January 19, 1991 with a monstrous hangover from a drinking binge I had started three days earlier. I had no inkling of the decision I would make before the sun set that would totally change my life. I know now that this was God letting me set myself up for that decision. I was in San Diego for a long weekend of partying and fun and sure as hell did just that. Even though I was hung over it was time for me to head for Los Angeles because my Motorcycle Club was hosting a beer bust from 4 PM until 7PM and I was President and my attendance was mandatory. So off I went, in my LeBaron convertible, with the top down on a very chilly day. I had the windows up and the heater going.
About 1 PM I was coming out of a blackout on the 405 out by Los Angeles International Airport. NUDE. My clothes were on the floorboard. I have no idea how I got that way but pulled off the freeway and redressed. How in the hell I got my boots off I will never know, they were hard to get off with out the boot jack. Anyway, I pulled on my jeans sans undies, put on my boots sans socks, and that was the extent of the clothes that had survived with the top down. Hell, they might be on somebodys side mirrors now. I opened the trunk, put on a clean T-shirt and my uniform shirt over it. Thank goodness I had the foresight not to have worn my leather jacket from San Diego. I put my overlet on over my jacket and got in the car and resumed my drive into Griff's Bar on Melrose in LA. I got there about 2 PM and immediately ordered a double tequilla on the rocks with a touch of margarita mix and downed it. Ordered another. That was the drill for the rest of the day. I also had a hamburger as Griff's served Hamburgers and Hotdogs on Sundays. The beer bust started and needless to say I was quite shit-faced by 4 PM. About 4:30 Vic (my ex) and his new boyfriend (the homewrecker) arrived. I was not amused. Stayed out on the patio with the rest of my club and another 100 or so drunks. All close friends at the moment of course.
A little while later I wondered back into the bar and stopped and was talking to a friend when Don (the homewrecker) walked up and joined us. He made a few derogatory remarks about my drunkenness and I retorted by saying that at least I could afford to buy my own drinks and anything else I wanted. He took exception to that remark and gve me a little shove. With that I just popped him right in the mouth. Just as fist made contact with teeth - my mind screamed at me I was becoming violent just like my much hated stepfather. The next thought was OMG - I'm going to lose Vic's friendship and I needed to get help. Those two thoughts were in just an instance as someone grabbed me and someone else grabbed Don and pulled us apart. He never did get to punch me back. I also thought oh shit- I just hit a man that is 6 ft 3 in and weighed 350 or so pounds. I'm Toast. Vic came up about that time to defend Don but was quickly told that Don had pushed me and I was defending myself. Vic then started yelled at Don as he and another guy dragged Don out of the bar. My friends then took me out on the patio and I sat at the bar next to Griff. Griff set me up for all the drinks I wanted to because I finally found my balls and pounded Don. Sounded fine to me, but the thoughts I had at fist impact still resonated in my head. About 7:30 we were leaving the bar, I was poured into the passenger seat in my car, and Tom, not as drunk as I was, drove me over to his and Billy's house. There was about a dozen of us over there. I remember arriving there, I remember crying, I remember wanting more tequilla, and then I woke up or came to around 2 AM. Tom and Billy were there with me and they fed me. I cried some more. I left about 10 AM that Monday - to drive back to Running Springs where I was living.
I stoped several times to vomit, bought some big gulps and made the 105 mile drive home. I was in bed by 2PM and stayed there until 01-22-92. I hurt like I had never hurt before. Mostly emotional but it felt like my heart was going to pound right out of my chest. I fixed several pitchers of frozen orange juice and that was all I had for the next two days. It was so cold and just what I needed. I have not had a drink of alcohol since we left Griff's around 7:30 on January 19, 1992. My first day of Sobriety was January 20, 1992 and I am sober today only through the grace of God, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the mentoring of my first second third and fourth Sponsors. I did what was suggested. I followed direction. God knew what he was doing when he struck me sober at that time, if I had continued to drink, I would not have lived through the next year. It is 17 years later and I am still sober. And it just keeps getting better.
Tonight I am Grateful for:
  • God, my Higher Power
  • My Sobriety
  • Mamie, My OCD Schnauzer
  • My Sponsor
  • My suppport group
  • Sharing my 17th year of sobriety with Barack Obama's inauguration.
  • The blessing of humor.
  • All y'all

Y'all be Pretty now, ya heah.


Findon said...

Love the bit about coming out of the blackout in the car naked. Happy birthday Zane. Well done.

steveroni said...


You are probably not going to believe this--but situations which are similar occurr daily in my world. Anyway, I saw your name in my "pre-mail-download" program, and instantly I said to myself, "Zane is going to get a letter today--and it is f ....please believe that--it is true!

Again, congratulations, it is SO GOOD to see people accumulate years of sobriety, and spiritual growth, such as yours MUST be!


steveroni said...

ZANE, I forgot to thank you for a completely interesting story.

Also to let you know to zip over to my blog once more today...OK?
Steve E.

dAAve said...

Barack told me to tell you, Happy Birthday Zane!!!

Patty said...

Thanks Zane, for staying sober and for being a part of my recovery. 17 years one day at a time.
Yee Haa!!

steveroni said...

Zane, yesssss, I DO know your anniversary was the 19th...but we are still "in the Octave of..." Right?

Anyway, a girl new to blogging, OA, AA, and whatever else--NMW!--posted a "Howdy" message to you on my blog comments, so I'm copying it here, with her permission:

idenmw has left a new comment on your post "ANNIVERSARY":

Congrats Zane!Whoo Hoo!!!!!ODAT it's a great life...Thanks for your commitment!Kathy... friend of S. and fellow traveler of the 12 step path.

Sent by Kathy at:

steveroni said...

Zane, I'd much rather do this in Email--but here goes anyways:

At the end of today, you may want to check out my blog's comments, because that's where it seems folks are commenting on YOUR anniversary. It's not the way I intended, as you surely realize, as I did link your site...but , oh well!

Trailboss said...

I could not stop reading that. I am so grateful that you found AA and now can stand proudly to say you have been sober for 17 years. That is the same age as my daughter! I just realized that. You are a good man Zane and a very good friend.

Syd said...

Happy Anniversary Zane. Seventeen years--good for you. And to share this day with the inauguration makes it a great day for everyone.

Kristin H. said...

And now in person...

Congratulations m'dear. You are truly an inspiration.

Cat said...

Happy Anniversary Zane! I heard through the grapevibe so decided to come and congratulate you!

Scott W said...

Pretty good for a woman, not well at all!

Was good to have been with you today!

Congrats on seventeen!

Pam said...

you're gay???
Oh Zane - Happy Birthday you wonderful crazy drunk!
We have the same amount of time for a while.
We're both 17...ahh the prime of our youth.
Welcome to year 18 you are now walking!