In honor of Memorial Day, I’ve decided to look back and remember all of the times I was loaded. Inappropriately. I shake my head and find it hard to believe that nobody ever suspected anything. How could somebody not have known?

And that’s just it: they did. Never once pulled aside and asked outright if I’ve been drinking, but many times pulled aside and reprimanded for my behavior. Behavior that occurred only when I was under the influence, i.e., awake. Strongly worded emails don’t get deleted when I’m drinking. The four worst words in the English language when it came to my work? “Per yesterday’s conversation”. What conversation? Dear lord, how I pray I’ve taken notes – ones I can read. Otherwise it’s a phone call filled with leading questions. I’ve become a detective investigating my own whereabouts.

I attended functions in body only. Meeting up with the boys at a local sports bar required 48 ounces minimum in my belly before I attempted to enter an establishment that served alcohol. I needed to secretly lay down a base of drunkenness before I could drink socially.

All these memories I must remember if I don’t want to go back. It’s a painful chronicling of embarrassing events and disappointing outcomes. The scrapbook isn’t much to look at – all the pictures are blurry. But the heat of shame and guilt can still burn my face and tighten my chest.

For now, breathe out. It’s not inevitable that I drink again. Only instinctual. Daily monitoring required.

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