There isn’t a secret message at the bottom of the bottle…
Drinking wasn’t always a problem for me. I used to be able to drink and know my limits. I know that to be a fact, but I don’t exactly remember the last time that I could casually drink. Everything I remember was that “go hard or go home” mentality, I drank to get drunk, to be drunk, and to out drink every person who surrounded me in a 5 mile radius. I was always underestimated in any setting because I am small, and that kind of fed into me building my tolerance to out drink the biggest men, the frat boys, the old timers, and the other alcoholics.
Seeking outside help was never something I had thought about, and no one around me every really presented my drinking as being an issue.
Let me start off by describing my drinking. I am no saint, and I most certainly did not wait until my 21st birthday to taste my first adult beverage. The first time I actually remember having a drink I was very young, around 6 or 7 years old at a family function where a cousin and I had snuck sips of fruity wine coolers. It was nothing major, and happened periodically over time for about 5 years between the age of 12-16. The family would have parties or weekend bbqs and poker nights, and we would sneak sips. It was disgusting but completely hilarious to do.
I don’t know when the horrible taste of alcohol became something that I actually craved. At 16 and 17 I still remember it being disgusting. Specifically four lokos, which I drank at parties I shouldn’t have been at or at my boyfriend’s cousin’s house when I should have been at school assemblies or Key Club meetings. That is before they changed four lokos. Living in a small Navy town in Washington, there were places where underage kids could go and buy alcohol, we played hey Mr. and really just drank anything that anyone could round up. Hey Mr. was a thing underage kids did to get alcohol from adults who we didn’t know. You would get money together from whoever wanted to drink and basically ask a stranger “Hey Mr. we have x amount of money and want x, can you get it and you can keep the change”. Looking back it was dangerous and stupid. I also knew quite a few kids from my high school who would go into stores with backpacks and just take alcohol and run.
It’s crazy to think about and it’s crazy to write out since I don’t know how much of my family will read this.
After that phase of innocent drinking passed I really went into the phase of excessive drinking. I was still underage but had my own place for quite some time. At one point I let my cousin (who was of age) and her son move into my place. She then supplied the drinks, I would let her have her friends over to prefunk before going out, and I would sneak out and get drinks at bars and clubs. Once my then boyfriend was of age (I was still underage) he supplied the alcohol. I came home from work and drank, with dinner I drank, I cleaned and drank, We relaxed on the weekends…and drank.
This continued and basically my alcohol was supplied by various friends and family members until I was of age to buy alcohol for myself. I had an almost two week long celebration for my birthday full of stories almost 3 years later I try to piece together, it was crazy.
The wild and crazy times that are now memories continued as I attended parties at one of the nations top party schools, Arizona State University. The stories are too much for this blog post. The point being is that I was getting wasted. I couldn’t walk on my own, I threw up a lot, and I was hung over at work the next day 55% of the time.
I am so social and that scene was definitely a place where I showed how social I was. I met plenty of people, I would basically talk to anyone and become the life of an event or party because I pushed the drinks and the shots. Let’s just say there are about 100 people at a party. I would go around and talk to people in small groups get to know them and push a shot or a beer or a jello shot. If a small group is about 10 people, I took 10 shots going around to everyone there while they took 1.
On top of that I also loved a keg, shotgunning beers, and beer pong. You name it I have probably drank it in some form. I grew especially fond of tequilla. I could have tequilla morning noon and night. Even the smell of tequilla was something I loved! YIKES
I took my partying ways to one of the biggest adult playgrounds…Las Vegas! I didn’t necessarily move to Las Vegas to be in that scene, Vegas has always held a great and important part of my heart. It was home to me outside of Hawai’i, and it was somewhere I frequented anyways so I figured why not just move back. I’m an adult, I can do that.
I knew that being in Vegas meant that the world was in a way at my hands. People there knew me, people I knew there were in the club industry, and if I needed something I didn’t know how to get I could most definitely network and socialize to know the people who could give me what I wanted.
I was out an average of 4 times a week. Out clubbing with tables and bottles on the strip or downtown, Wandering around with a yarder (that I would fill multiple times), anything I did I could turn into me getting drunk and wandering home between 2- 4am. All the while still having a job I needed to wake up for at 6am. This continued in Vegas from April-September of 2015.
The moment that changed everything was one of the scariest moments, where I had once again had the inevitable attitude of this could never happen to ME.
It was Labor Day weekend and I had big plans. I took time off of work to live my party life. Every day for 5 days I did the same thing. Woke up and got ready for some day drinking activity, came back home to power nap, drink, and get ready again for a night club. The very last night of my 5 day binge I went to XS night swim. It was like any other night or time I had been there. I came already intoxicated, and continued to drink.
After having a drink from a guy I had known mutually from some people I was there with I suddenly I felt completely dazed. It’s hard to explain how my body felt, how my mind was, and what my eyes were seeing. The best I could ever describe it is paralyzing. I got out of the pool wet, left my top and my slippers, and put on my shorts as I tried to make my way out. I ended up going out the wrong door that led to the back loading area of the Wynn. The guy who had given me the drink was following me! Yes…following me like the disgusting creep he is. It was dark back there, there were no workers, and I was panicking. Then a man came out like an angel! He barely spoke English and I drunkenly and scarily tried to tell him that I needed help, and the man behind me was following me. He took me through the bottom of the Wynn laundry and housekeeping area (Still I was soaking wet), and up to security.
That night and the next day nothing made sense, I couldn’t believe this happened to Me. From then I slowed down, I basically stopped drinking aside from Pure Aloha fall festival concert. I fell back into my ways and showed up to the concert drunk, and continued to drink.
Shortly after that I became pregnant and hadn’t drank until after I miscarried. My miscarriage sent me into a greiving and depressed period that I tried to cover up since I hadn’t told many people I was pregnant in the first place.
I picked up the bottle just as fast as I had put it down. Some nights sitting up drinking, and others going out partying and crawling into bed at some horrible hour of the morning to crawl into bed with the man I was dating.
It all escaladed to the point where I have finally had enough. In April a year to date of me moving back to Vegas it was yet again Pure Aloha, and in my normal fashion I showed up drunk and continued to drink. The guy I was dating was also drunk, and we got into an argument there at the concert. I got home and we continued to argue and fight and it became physical.
That was it, that was the last straw, and I haven’t drank since.
Where I am now…
There’s this mantra…This day is mine. I own this day and I can do whatever i want with it. I am entirely responsible for what happens to me in this day, and I am the one who makes the choices and the ultimate decisions.
When I am sober I give myself that power to control what happens to me, when I am not sober all control belongs to the alcohol. How I feel, how I act, and all my emotions are at the hand of the bottle.
When you want the sobriety you’ll sacrifice what you would normally do to get that. That means to stop searching for the message in every bottle.
“If you do what you have always done, youll get what you have always gotten”
I miss the idea of being able to have casual drinks. I don’t go out and test myself, because I have already done that and failed. I haven’t gotten there yet. Wherever there is. I always used the excuse that I was young and having fun as a means to justify my abuse of alcohol. I always thought that I would learn how to properly drink, how to control myself, and that one day I could just stop drinking to become beligerent. Then I discovered I couldn’t.
There are times where I pout and stomp my feet like the spoiled brat I am because my brain and my heart are at war, and when that happens the liver always suffers! I can’t have what I want, alcohol, because I just won’t allow myself to. I know in my heart that if I were to pick up another drink I would fall again back into my same old ways. I would quickly fall back into the cravings, the mental obsession, and overdoing it.
I am done with that. I have struggled with that already. I chose to stop drinking out of necessity. I don’t like being called an alcoholic, or having my alcoholism categorized as a disease or a condition. The realitly is exactly that though. No matter what you call it, it is behind me. My alcoholism is in remission.
Leaving my comfort zone and the bottle behind to reach new heights in life!
♡ B. Tehani LaRue