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The Spectrum To Addiction

Understanding sometimes you cannot balance addiction and relationships, of any sort.


Noticing Your Addiction Before Its Too Late

When my casual drinking was no longer causal anymore.

I began to experience more days that began with telling myself I should keep the drinking strictly to the weekends or special events. Subconsciously I think, you know that isn't going to happen. You have lost control of the ability to keep it in close range. However, you continue to wake up from another night you barley remember - so much your eyes hurt and feel bloated. Can eyes bloat? I am In and out of memories about what happened the night before and we all joke that we will never drink again. Now it's brunch and we're at a bloody Mary bar. A bloody Mary doesn't count because It has tomato juice in it and it will revive me from all the tequila shots I had last night. At least that's what I remember starting with. To be a little more precise we ditched the shot glasses and shared the Milagro bottle amongst us. We take some Ibuprofen to ease the throbbing pressure in our heads and we pop an Adderall to regain our strength and that my friend is how you professionally manage a hangover.

Welcome to Tampa Bay

If you couldn't find a reason to party well it was found for you. Even on a day when I had nothing to do, I at least had a party to attend. Everything around me was beautiful. The people were beautiful and the party environment was even more beautiful. I get up everyday and workout. I am never late to work. I read. I write and I party. So I must be okay, right? I am a bartender on Clearwater beach. Okay. If someone didn't just stop and laugh, I did for you. A bartender who has a drinking problem. It's not common at all …I also volunteer for HEP: Homeless empowerment program. This non-profit organization donates 100% of all raised funds to families, single mothers, supplies nutritional meals, rehabilitates veterans mentally and physically, the list goes on. I have three months before the Charity Auction is held where I will bring the money that I have raised and awkwardly walk onto a stage in front of a few hundred people to share what I did to raise it. It will be held late on a Sunday evening. Unfortunately for me Sunday's are also our WTR ritual. WTR - In better words is a mini Miami pool party on the Gulf of Tampa bay. $20 at the door and $100 more in drinks. Live DJ, floatable beer pong in the pool, unicorn floats with beautiful woman on top of them, cocktail servers walking around in bathing suits with whistles and bottles of Champaign. That morning I pick up my best friend and we head to WTR. We will have a few drinks and hangout in the pool until we need to leave. The beautiful black dress and wedges I picked out are sitting in the back seat along with his suit because he is also in the event.

In this group there is about fifteen lesbians, one gay guy, one straight guy (that I apparently kissed in front of everyone) and way too many shots consumed for someone who has to be at an event in four hours. You know what else was consumed, I'll get to that. I was seeing one of the girls that was there this day. She wasn't my girlfriend but she was at the same time. We were in an open-relation because we didn't dare put '-ship' at the end of that word. I am already blackout drunk. Shortly after this was apparent to everyone I was given Molly. I am not talking about a beautiful woman named Molly. No, like the actual drug that I have never consumed before. For any experienced users reading:

  • I am black out drunk
  • I took an Adderall
  • I took a couple lines

We're all smart enough to know what that is and then I was given molly on top of it. I guess (because I don't remember shit) I was foaming out of the mouth and my body is convulsing. Dear baby Jesus, I am sorry mom. My friends take me upstairs to the hotel room and put me in bed. I suppose that was the smartest thing to do according to a bunch of girls rolling. I come out of it - like an out of body experience. I literally get up out of bed and I am okay! I remember everything from this moment. I lift out of bed and it hits me. WHERE IS MY PHONE! I am dead. I am going to be in so much trouble - It's 7:35pm and I am supposed to be in Dunedin an hour ago. I look at my phone full of text messages from my boss asking where the hell I am. I look over and all of my friends are on the balcony enjoying the sun set over the water. It's fucking beautiful and I cannot even enjoy this right now. I walk out and I do not say anything at all. She asks me if I am okay, and I start panicking. My eyes are full of tears that I am trying to hold back, what did I do? This is not me. I have never done something so irresponsible. I hear, do you guys want a picture together? What in the hell - why would I want to capture this moment right now I am thinking. I honestly feel like the universe was trying to protect me, erasing any memory of this event, she knew I wouldn't be able to handle this shit show of a day. Yes. I think the universe is a woman because only a woman can handle the disaster she witnesses everyday and she doesn't fall apart.

The Governor of Clearwater Beach was the owner of the company I worked for, he was also at the event because I was representing him and everyone I work with. Needless to say, I lost that job the moment I was not there that night. "Welcome to the stage, Mariah Schnoebelen … Mariah Schnoebelen". They called my name a few times, empty stage, to notice that I am not going to be walking up there. Instead of being honest and telling them what I did, I just didn't reply at all. I proceeded through my evening with my friends and pushed this aside like it didn't happen. My best friend of twelve years calls me the next day to ask if I am okay. I answered confused umm, yes why? “Mariah you called me last night and it didn’t even sound like you, I almost called your mom” I do not remember calling her and hearing what she was trying to tell me hurt. I knew I couldn’t continue like this. But I ignored the worry she was trying to tell me she had for me and I played it off one more time like I was okay, and I was out drinking with some friends.

The decision I should have made a long time ago

The next day I am sitting on the back patio with her roommate. I proceed to tell him that I love her, I have not told her yet, but I cannot continue to party like this with her anymore. It's not her fault. I want to emphasize on that very loudly. This is not her fault but with her I lost my balance and I thought I could keep up this life and myself at the same time. This was the day I knew I had to make a change or the change I wanted to make wasn't going to be enough for me to do it alone. We slow down on the partying but we don't stop all together. We stay in during the week. We read in bed together. We wake up and walk the dog. We cook breakfast together. We go to work. Okay - this is a healthy balance. This feels good. We act like wives and we're scared to commit. I still find it humorous when I look back. One weekend we were invited to a house party and we drank way more than we should have. What the hell are we running from? Do we really need to drink this much. I don't remember the ride home. I wake up to her laughing and telling me I was screaming at one of the girls in the backseat the whole ride home. Are you kidding me? I want to crawl in a hole. Apparently I thought she was talking shit about me and I was going to curse, yell, and put her in her place. Yikes! What a hot mess.

My fucking eyes hurt again and I have to be at work in an hour. I love soup for breakfast. It's weird but it's my favorite. Since my non-girlfriend is amazing she had my favorite soup and coffee waiting for me. She's holding me and I say, " Do you know I really love you, like I love you" That's how I told her, guys. How romantic. I am hungover, weak as hell, dehydrated, in her arms, and I thought this was the perfect time to tell her.

She doesn't say anything at all. Okay maybe she didn't hear me and maybe that is for the best. I go to work and I am talking to her best friend as I explain the whole story over again. Yeah - don't worry about it. She didn't hear you, she said. I am relieved because I have never told a girl I loved her first, and maybe I never have told anyone at all, I just said it back. There is a difference. I come home that day from work - to her home - not mine. She's in the shower and I told her I need a drink. She pulls the shower curtain over, are you serious? Yes. It's the only thing that will make this feeling go away, I said. We get ready and go downtown. We enjoy a few margarita's and some pita bread.

We're walking to the next bar that has an outside patio and that is where we are sitting when she pulls out a piece of paper full of promises and asked if I would marry her. HAHA! No, I am kidding. She fucking heard me this morning and she is reading a piece of paper of all the things she loves about me and simply, she loves me back. It felt god to hear this but I also did not know how to feel at all. Sometimes I wonder if I should of kept it to myself so I could bypass feeling what I did.

I did not leave because of her

My apartment was broken into a month prior and I was finally let out of the lease. So we're filling up her work truck with all of my belongings to put it all into storage until I can find an apartment. I want to stay here, In Florida that is. I haven't told her yet but I can't. I just told this girl I love her, and how can I properly do that if I am not okay right now. How can I be good to her if I haven't been good to myself. How can I try to love her the way she deserves if I am not loving my own self the way I need. She doesn't know it but every morning she leaves for work I am left in her bed. I am left in her bed thinking how much I am not okay and I need to leave for awhile, but I don't do well with goodbyes. I tell her I am going home for a month knowing it would be much longer. I need to be OK. I need to seek help within myself. I have to stop drinking, so I come home. I am back in, OKLAHOMA! There is not shit to do but drink and I can't. I must help myself, find myself, and work! It's what I need and I know she doesn't truly understand that in the depth it means. I am sorry. I am sorry I let you all down, but I was first in line.

There is a spectrum to nearly anything you can think about - one to a ten scale; How hurt are? How drunk are you, how sick are you, etc. Addiction also comes in many forms and wave lengths. It is often when people hear addiction they imagine a needle in someone's arm because the mind really likes to jump to the worst conclusion. You can have an addiction to love, to someone, goodness you can even have an addiction with food, with working out. A lot of people won't like the word addiction acquainted with them because it draws negative energy and seems too serious but we all suffer from sort of addiction in our life and this was mine. I have had to learn to replace it with something that brings me goodness, something that makes me feel like a good person, perhaps writing. Not for her, not for him, but for myself. I have saved the future self from indulging into more ache and pain. I have saved the future self that meets a person to love again. I have saved the person in my future time trying to help me because I must do it myself and first.

I hope whoever is reading this understands that having fun with your friends is amazing, I encourage it, but knowing when enough is enough. There is a balance and unfortunately there is not an obnoxiously loud noise that goes off to warn us when we cross it, that sound must go off in your own head and hopefully you are consciously awake to hear it. Pay attention to the signs from the Universe and the inner self that is trying to speak to you. Keep good friends around you that have your best interest because your friends are a reflection of who you are. Be good to them. We all want good people around us but you also must be a good person to others as well.