There have been very few instances in my life in which I can honestly say I did not drink. I did not drink in high school. I had a few friends in high school that drank a lot and who abused drugs here and there, and I had made the decision that it wasn’t for me, and I remained drug and alcohol free until I was a freshman in college.
I didn’t drink for five days in 2009 because I wanted to see if I could last a week.
I didn’t drink for nine days last summer after a huge camping trip with friends in the Berkshires. I had to drive home three hours in a torrential downpour, pulled over to throw up multiple times and wound up sleeping for an hour in my car in the parking lot of an Applebee’s.
I arrived home just in time for work and that night was, to this day, one of the most hellish bartending shifts of my life.
I never wanted to see alcohol again and apparently to me, never was exactly nine days.
And then there’s now. Today marks exactly two weeks since I have last been “out” drinking.
Despite feeling a bit under the weather two Fridays ago, the good weather beckoned, I donned my first sundress of the season, and traipsed off to Tia’s for my beloved sangria.
As we party people all know, booze is the cure-all for any malady and by the end of the night my mysterious headache was all but gone, replaced by me giving everyone else around me a headache with my screaming for drinks, a cab, at the band and God knows what else.
— BarHavoc (@BarHavoc) May 17, 2013
The next few days proved to be unmanageable, and after a self-check in at the hospital I discovered that indeed, these headaches were no joke—I had a wee bit of a brain bleed. I must have had it for a few weeks; add to that boxing class, wrestling practice, constant consumption of blood thinning alcohol and we have a recipe for disaster.
“Any recreational drug use?” the Doctor asked.
“No,” I said.
“Consume alcohol?” I shifted in my already awkward hospital gown and mumbled, “Um, yes. Regularly. Well, I’m a bartender, so sometimes on the nights I work, afterward. And then on the nights I don’t work, like, a lot, sometimes.” The doctor raised an eyebrow and scribbled something down. “You can’t drink right now, it thins your blood,” he said.
“Well, I mean, I don’t want to drink NOW,” I said, “unless you guys have any margaritas?” The doctor didn’t laugh.
“Seriously,” he said, gesturing towards my tattoos. “It’s like how you can’t get a tattoo after you’ve been drinking. It’s a blood thinner and it will mess up your healing. You can’t drink until this is gone.” I was starting to get it. “For how long?” I asked, already afraid of the answer.
“Six weeks, minimum,” he replied.