It was a frustrating time not drinking. I was bartending and coming home to a husband that drinks. It is like working in a bakery and being on a strict diet, and going home and cooking the same stuff for your family and smelling it all day and eating dry iceberg lettuce for dinner. It was a challenge, but it was starting to get to me. I was wondering if I really was an alcoholic. All my friends and family were drinkers. I saw my whole life changing in an unchanging world. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere! I would come home from work and have dinner and go to bed. Larry would get off work at midnight and come home. I would hear him come in the front door and go straight to the refrigerator and I’d hear a “pop” of the beer can he opened. Ten minutes later I‘d hear the same noise. He would come to bed and I’d smell the fresh beer on his breath. I would turn my back and feign sleep. I finally decided I was an alcoholic. I sat down with Larry and told him I was an alcoholic and quit drinking and was going to AA meetings. He said “You’re not an alcoholic, you just drink too much at times. Your mom is the alcoholic”. Well DUH!!! I told him I needed to be alone and work out my problems. I asked him to leave. Well that didn’t work!! He said he didn’t believe in separations and he wasn’t leaving!! So I went out looking for a place to move in to. I found a cabin across the street from the beach for $500.00 a month. I asked Larry to help me pay the deposit because I had no money at all in savings. He gave me $500.00. On July 28th I took the furniture that I bought, my clothes, poured out the scotch and took my car and my cat and moved. Almost thirteen years of marriage, and I walked out of it just like that!! I loved Larry, but more like a brother, not a husband. He was too controlling and not a social person at all. So here I am, 37 years old, sobering up and still bartending, working part time on the ambulance and alone!! My mom was upset about me going to AA because she was afraid I’d try to pull her into that “cult”. She lost her drinking buddy, and I felt bad for that.
I’d come home from bartending and sit on my balcony with my cat and bawl my heart out!! I was petrified!! I left the only world I knew!! I realized one night I wasn’t crying from leaving my husband, I was crying because I left the bottle!! The bottle was a part of my life! It was there when I was a baby, growing up, at holidays, at work, at play!! Everything I did, alcohol was a part of it. The AA meetings were a big help to me, but after a while I didn’t feel like I belonged there either! The meetings In Mount Vernon were too far away to go to every day, so I went to the ones in Oak Harbor. The people there were mostly court ordered and mad at the world!! They had slips to sign to prove to the courts that they were there, then they’d go out and drink after the meetings. The other ones there were grumpy. I didn’t want anything that they had!! I love to laugh, and there wasn’t much laughter there. I’d go to the bar I used to work at and order diet Dr. Pepper. My presence made people nervous because they all knew I was going to AA meetings, so they would act different around me. I was in a weird place in this world!!
I went to work bartending one night and two brothers were drunk when I got to work. I cut them off and they left. They went to the store beneath the bar and bought a case of beer and dropped it and broke most of the beer. They went and bought another case of beer and drove about 90 miles an hour down the highway and ran into a van stopped on the highway, nearly killing all the occupants of the van. My pager went off and I couldn’t leave work. Later when I closed the bar I drove by the scene of the accident and realized who it was. I went to the hospital and helped out in the ER. I saw the two brothers and they were loud and boisterous, and not caring about the people they just injured and changed their lives for ever!! I was so disgusted at drunks at that moment!! This was in September. In October I was bartending and there was another boisterous crowd. I was reading the want ads and saw an ad asking for bus drivers for a new system starting up on the Island. I mentioned I was going to put in for that job. A few people laughed at me knowing that just a year ago I was petrified of driving my car. How in the heck was I going to drive a 35 foot bus??!!!!
Tomorrow…The wheels on the bus go round and round!!