Sunday, January 1, 2012

I haven't had a beer since I was 19 years old... I'm not saying I haven't been drunk. I've been more than my fair share of drunk. But I spent a good year trying to get past the gawd awful smell of beer and then I decided that there were better ways to get the job other words "get drunk."

I blame my pepaw brennan for my aversion to beer and whiskey. He was a raging alcoholic. When I say raging I mean down right mean. I remember him holding me down and breathing his fetid beer breath into my mouth until I believe I passed out at the time. We also learned how to handle a drunk. We would stand just at arm's length and make fun of him in his tirades being careful all the while to avoid his pinching fingers and biting teeth with his penchant for popping toes in a particularly painful way.

The phrase I liked to use in college was "nicely pickled." Back then it was legal to drink in WV when you were 18. Now when kids ask me why it isn't legal anymore I tell them it's because people like me were around when it was. It was only legal to drink beer before 21 when I went to Ohio State, so every time I went home my friends would give me money to buy their liqueur. I would come back with $100's of dollars worth of booze in my trunk. I'm lucky I never got caught. I could have probably gone to jail for that. Oh, the things we do when we are young...

I do remember my brother finding my stash in the trunk. I took off for Ohio State immediately. He told my parents but he had no proof - so I got out of that one! We had a banner hanging in our suite that proclaimed we were "perpetually high." Probably another good indicator that the alcoholic gene that I inherited from my pepaw brennan was in full swing.

I remember getting carded going into bars before there were pictures on ID's. I learned to recite my driver's license and SS number no matter how inebriated I was. (yes, SS numbers were on driver's licenses back in the day) That memory skill served me well over the years with various law enforcement officers and other VIP's when I was high and somewhere I shouldn't have been.

I really didn't start smoking pot or popping pills until I met my husband. We were both hard core party people. The difference was I was able to stop to work or do what needed done. He wasn't. The first couple of years were filled with pot and tea and acid and pills. It was so much of a roller coaster that I realized I had to do something to get off the merry go round. That is why we moved to Huntington so I could go to beauty school. The change of venue worked. After that we basically smoked pot...dropping just about every other vice for the most part.

We spent years smoking basically everything we ever wanted. That is until he finally went bonkers from it and spent 3 days trying to kill me back in '98. I left him. I gave him 2 years to straighten up. During that 3 years I was making him take random drug tests and he passed them all. Finally I told him that if he was going to "do it" just "do it". Within 3 months he was as messed up as he ever was.

I came home to find him at my 100 acres one night. He had come up without telling me he was coming. I asked him to leave and he wouldn't. I divorced him. It was finally obvious to me what everybody else already knew...He would never change. So my happy marriage of 15 years was over. I lost my best friend and I really never got over it.

Now I don't party anymore. I have plenty of drugs like heart medicine and such that have warning labels about dizziness and not driving. I don't need to get high. A lack of oxygen feels a lot like getting high anyway. What few times I have smoked a joint here and there have been decidedly uncomfortable because getting high feels a lot like dying. Trust me, I have been close enough to dying that I do know what it's like. The detached feeling is much the same when I compare the two experiences.

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