Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! It’s March 17th, 2017. I’m sure there are thousands of people out celebrating today, drinking green beer and having a blast. I used to be one of them for years. These days my St. Patty’s Day consists of work and hanging out with my kiddos. I still wear the green, I just don’t drink the green beer anymore. And best of all, I won’t have a hangover tomorrow morning and I’ll remember everything that happens tonight. I’ll take that over a hangover any day. I had some crazy times I’ll never remember. Maybe it’s best I don’t.
Here I am trying to look sexy, but it kinda looks like I’m wasted and trying to make myself throw up lol.
I lived in Dallas for years. My favorite day of the year was the St. Patty’s Day block party on lower Greenville. It was a blast and I looked forward to it every year. I would plan my whole weekend around the block party. Basically all it is is a bunch of people walking up and down Greenville drinking alcohol. There were house parties and bars to walk through. It always started off innocent, as innocent as a block party full of booze possibly can. I’d wander through peoples houses drinking their beer, eating their food and using their restrooms. Then I’d head off to the next shenanigans I could get myself into. By the end of the night I’d be in a blackout and somehow make it home. That’s how I spent every year for about 6-7 years. Until I moved to Oklahoma City.
The photo above is how the day started off. Coherent and having fun. We got in an argument and split up. He ended up in jail and I ended up at the apartment. We made up the next morning at Hooters while we washed away our hangovers with more beer. Gross!
I thought I was so cool. But what I’ve learned over the years is that my alcoholism is progressive. It got worse and worse as the years went by. My consequences got worse and the” fun times” were replaced with needing alcohol to function. Fast forward to Saint Patricks Day 2016, my kids are in foster care for the second time and I get to have a two hour visit with my daughter while my son attends a camp for children that have parents that struggle with addiction. My “memories” on Facebook remind me where me and my daughter had lunch. We went to the park afterwards and then I had to take her back to daycare where the foster parents would pick her up. Here we are being silly. Wow, I remember wondering if the day would ever come that her and her brother could come home.
Which brings me to today. March 17th, 2017. In two days I will celebrate 22 months sober. In two months my kids will have been back home under my roof for one year. Today I went to work in my green t-shirt and then I picked up my kids. I also picked up another little girl so she could come over and play for few hours. Her mommy is in recovery too. It really is crazy when I look back over the years and see how much has changed, how much had to change.
I wonder how many people celebrating on Lower Greenville with their green beer will eventually find themselves in the same situation I was in, addicted and unsure how to function without the alcohol. I wonder how many will long for a better way of life, a life that doesn’t include blackouts and guilt that could cripple. If one person reads my story and finds hope, then the hell I went through was all worth it.