i Left Myself for Dead

Artist’s Hallucination of what this must’ve looked like

From the juiced-box and a testament to me…

For me, suicide was not a philosophical decision, it was an alcohological miscalculation.

Swallowing 8 prescription sleeping pills and more than 100 Nighttime Tylenol (i lied to every doctor who asked and told them i’d only taken around 25-30—fuck, i didn’t want to sound crazy) simply seemed like a good idea at the time.

The upside? Because you know there’s always an upside. The upside was that, in addition to the tatooed bruises, scrapes and cuts i don’t remember getting, i almost got to suffocate in my own vomit and die like Jimi Hendrix.

Earlier that evening i’d been to a grown up cocktail party with Miss Demeanor. You could tell it was a grown up party because it was in an artist’s apartment, all the furniture was white and there were tons of gay men there. Oh yeah and we drank only wine. Personally, i drank loads of it…exactly how much no one can be sure but my consumption was measured not in glasses but bottles.

i don’t remember getting home just like i don’t remember getting the idea to overdose. Knowing me as i do, i suspect the main reason erupted from a dread of going to work the next day with a hangover. Add to that some financial troubles that have been piling up like bills and peaked when i received an expulsion notice upon returning from my Christmas vacation.

Another big inducement was that i wanted to see what would happen next. Either i’d die or end up in a hospital and i was kinda curious to see which one it would be.

After the decision, i remember taking the pills from my nightstand and telling Miss D that i loved my kids, my parents, my sister, my ex and that i loved her. i insisted that she remember this message.

Next thing, i was sitting at the desk with a fistful of capsules in my sweaty hand and, even as drunk as i was, i knew that i was on the edge of something and i had to decide to look or to leap. i reprimanded myself for being a wuss, commanded myself to man up and swallowed the tablets. Then i went to the medicine cabinet for the second bottle of Nighttime Tylenol and emptied the contents of that one as well.

Hiding the various pill containers at the bottom of the trash, i commended myself on my foresight through double vision.

After that, my evening went downhill. i sat down at the computer, posted a message to this blog, then to another blog (“No one loved life as much as me”, or something of that ilk), and then i started posted posting to my 3rd blog and this is what came out:

Never meant for some one as beu(ètttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttyyyyhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggguuuuuuuuuuuuuuyuu s= asyymh

Knowing me as i do, i’m guessing this is a reference to Don McLean’s “Vincent”. (“And when no hope was left in sight on that starry, starry night, you took your life as lovers often do.”)

i woke up on my back in ICU with my wrists strapped to the bars of my hospital bed. Ironically, the biggest danger came not from the sleeping pills but the Tylenols. i quickly made my way out of the woods concerning the sedatives but Miss Demeanor, myself and the rest would have to wait another 24 hours to discover if i’d recover or die from liver failure. And i did. Just joshing. Here i am.

To conclude, allow me to reiterate what i stated at the beginning of this horrifically boring and sexless post. i did not want to kill myself because of any profound sadness or psychic surrender. i had not been walking around contemplating suicide days before the incident. i was feeling a little pressured by life, but i would not have done what i did if i hadn’t been drunk. Alcohillogical.

Stop Reading Here

A quick disclaimer. While i attempted to pen this post with a certain degree of levity, i do want to acknowledge very clearly that for those in my entourage, there was nothing at all even remotely amusing in all of this. This is especially true for Miss D and my 16-year old son who found me the next morning and had to call the EMTs. My son (and i would not have taken the pills if i’d remembered he was staying with us that night) refused to talk to me for 3 weeks after the event, while Miss D and i are still battling the ramifications.

31 thoughts on “i Left Myself for Dead

  1. “Earlier that evening i’d been to a grown up cocktail party with Miss Demeanor”

    A risk management table is going to have to come into play when desiding participation and game plan for participating safely in such event as they are a common event in all of our lives.

    “Either i’d die or end up in a hospital and i was kinda curious to see which one it would be.”

    Third option is a “living death” of partial success, perminent damage.

    ” i reprimanded myself for being a wuss, commanded myself to man up and swallowed the tablets.”

    The juxtposition of the “manliness” of not backing out of what most concieve as a cowardly act is interesting and probably common in such a decission.

    ” but i would not have done what i did if i hadn’t been drunk ”

    this is the profound truth to many of the conversations we have had here at the Bar None. Are we different people when we drink or are our inhibitions so lowered that random impulses become manifest ideas before our rational mind can squash them? What is observable is that everything becomes amplified (anger, bliss, self-opinion and often voice level), so it is logical that a fleeting notion should become an obsession to be explored.

    “while Miss D and i are still battling the ramifications.”

    For all of the negatives and obsticals that result, know you have what ever support that is possable to be offered. You are no less for bad decissions made than the wonderful impact you have on those in your circle (and do not forget that you do bring good into the world also). We’ve all stumbled and staggered, but we hang in and, if needed, reach out for someone to help steady us to the porceline throne where we pray the retching will stop.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Wayne!

      Sound advice as usual. And i should say that Miss D and i have gone a long way towards working through the aftermath and so things are stable and becoming more so on that front.

      Also, thanks for the links! i’ll be looking to getting to those this week (i hope).

      Thanks for patronizing me, brother,

      Al K Hall

  2. Painful. But not as uncommon as you might expect. Every day someone who would ordinarily never think of getting behind the wheel drunk gets behind the wheel drunk and kills himself.

    For many, including myself, alcohol is a fucking horrific drug for which the consequences of consuming it far exceed any benefits. Surely you must have figured out your of that type as well.

    Whether you have to have a voice screaming “You’re an alcoholic. You can’t drink” every time you feel an urge or if you can step outside yourself and rationally work an ABC to talk yourself out of it, it’s gotta stop, man. It’s just gotta stop.

    • ITSB!

      Hey there, brother. Yes, i definitely have figured out that i have a huge fucking problem with alcohol which means i simply can’t drink it. At all. So i’ve been sober for over a month now and hitting AA meetings weekly until my appointment next week with an alcohol doctor specialist dude and then i’ll decide what the best next step is.

      i’ll be keeping y’all posted on that shit too.

      Thanks for patronizing me, man,

      Al K Hall

  3. I’m glad you finally posted about this, Al. I hope the Bar None gets to hear about all the choices you’ve been making since then. I’m keeping up second hand, but as someone who loves you, I can only say that it feels like finally exhaling after holding my breath for the last twenty-three years.

    • Hi there, Kitten!

      Thanks for the support. i touched a little on the progress in my comment to ITSB and i’ll definitely be maintaining that kind of status update. i’m sure glad you’re able to breathe again!

      May he turned 21 on the base at Fort Bliss
      “Just a day” he said down to the flask in his fist,
      “Ain’t been sober, since maybe October of last year.”
      Here in town you can tell he’s been down for a while,
      But, my God, it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles,
      Wanna hold him. Maybe I’ll just sing about it.

      Thanks for patronizing me, Miss Anne Thrope,

      Al K Hall

      • Wow, this is amazing Al. I just saw this because Celeste linked to it in her About page. I really love that Breathe 2AM song– even posted it a couple weeks ago on my weekend words post. Good taste.

        Didn’t realize how close we came to losing you buddy. I’m so very glad you are sober today. One day at a time…. Christy

      • Christy!

        What a pleasant surprise. Yeah, i try to keep this blog separate from AlKHallAnonymous because this one is a little (OK, a lot) more trash. People here know i’m in recovery but it’s not a recovery blog. That’s me, the black sheep of the AA set, lol.

        Anyway, i’m glad to be sober too, thanks to my HP, the rooms and good people like you.

        Thanks for patronizing me,

        Al K Hall

        PS i won’t take it personally if you unsubscribe from this one. Things tend to get a little raunchy here.

  4. St. Paul, brave knight for posting this. The pic choice is harrowing and apropos.

    You have fair maidens in your corner in a land far, far away.

    • My Most Beautifulest Shells!

      Thanks for stepping out of the shadows and showing your gorgeous self. Do you have any idea how lucky i am to have the support of maidens like you? ‘Cause i do.

      Mwah and thanks for patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

  5. Wow…I must say first I am glad you made it out of that hell. Second it is somewhat refreshing although unfortunate to see the ugly mask of the booze here instead of the funny side. There were a few time I was here and feeling low when I would read the tales of the “funniness” of alchol and I felt like I didn’t fit in here as my quest that day was to stay sober. The mask of the booze is so well painted on and we all go up and down with it. We all know the truth it is ugly, horrific, insanity, life threatning. Until that is a consistant thought and life be lead knowing that I don’t think any one of us can get out. It is unfortunate how easy we can all skirt around it. Also that it took your post above to see the true reality of the booze. So out of your horrible experience come the light of truth, I for one needed to hear it. Thank you. I wish you nothing but the best as your new life unfolds. I will be lurking around to see how things are going. All my best to you and your family, stay steady.

    • My Sweetest Hangover!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come here and leave such a nice note. And especially thanks for the shout-out in your latest blog!

      i’m glad you appreciated the tone of this post and while i must admit that i’ll be going back to the funny soon, i certainly will keep posting my steps along the road to my recovery. Your kind words are very much appreciated and your support during this “exciting time” is invaluable.

      Thanks for patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

  6. While I lived through the tale, and had heard you explain your memories of the events in person, I appreciated reading the written account here, too. I’m glad that you could process it in terms of writing here. I’m most of all glad that you lived to write it. 🙂

    I also really like all of the supportive comments! Everyone had truths to share I’ve found valuable. Most of all, I appreciate The Day After the Hangover’s comment! Very much so. I got a little weepy because of the truths she shared. (She’s a “she,” right? All of a sudden I was doubting there for a moment. I’m going with my gut, though. If I am wrong, a thousand apologies.)

    One of the things she writes is the number one reason there were times I could not comment on this blog, that I could barely read it without feeling upset: “There were a few time I was here and feeling low when I would read the tales of the “funniness” of alchol and I felt like I didn’t fit in here as my quest that day was to stay sober.”

    Up to this point, living with an alcoholic has made alcohol decidedly a lot less funny than I used to think it was. As time progressed and drunks progressed, I had a lot of issues with “finding the funny” in the booze. Then this happened. I can’t laugh at any of it any more. To laugh would be to conspire with the insanity, and I can’t do it.

    I would still like to laugh at things, though. Just not the “funniness” of alcohol and alcoholism.

    So, I am eager to read where this blog goes from here on out. I like how Day After writes about how much this post helped her, and that makes me feel a kind of hope — that maybe there is a place for writing here that puts a different face on booze, one that is stripped of the mask and looking at the realities of what it is to make the shift from “funny guy” about alcohol to what it is to be recovering and sober. Not that there is not humor in that, lol! There is humor in everything, for sure. I want to find the fun, just not the fun in “dysfunctional.”

    Thank you, Al, my love, for waking up. As I have told you before, I am actually grateful in some ways that the Alcohillogical Guy in you did this. I actually think he was trying to save your life by bringing home the point (granted, in a rather dramatic way) that you and alcohol no longer mix. That was Alcohillogical in some ways, but maybe also the most sane thing that could have happened to you.

    I love you.
    Miss D

    • Hey there, Angel,

      i’m glad you enjoyed the read and i’m also glad you’re happy i didn’t die, lol.

      As i said to Day After the Hangover, i don’t expect i’ll be stopping what i’ve been trying to pass off as humor. Regarding the direction of the blog, i don’t think my being sober means i have to stop having a sense of humor. i’ll still be telling jokes and trying to fake a sense of witty. i’ll just be doing it sober’s all. And i’ll be posting from time to time about how my recovery is going…

      Thanks for your support through all this, Angel. Like i mentioned somewhere else, sometimes the most beautiful flowers grow from soil fertilized with shit.

      Thanks for patronizing our sofa,

      Al K Hall

  7. Hi Al, Most important, I am glad you are OK and on the mend. As terrible as the situation was, I know you are smart enough to learn from it. I have no doubt you will come away a better person, a better father and, without alcohol in your life, I suspect you will be much happier. Plus, having the courage to throw all this information out there for the world to see, I suspect that somewhere along the way, you will help another person as well, maybe many people.
    I wish you all the best …AS

    • AS!

      Nice to see you, brother! Glad you could stop by and offer your support. Your kind comments have reminded me that even my clouded thoughts have a silver lining if they can help someone else. Keep up the good work, man.

      Thanks for patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

    • The Rod!

      Just because I’m back schlepping doesn’t mean I don’t need or appreciate your help. Seems to me you promised something about a drunk sex post?

      Thanks so much for your help, brother
      and for patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

  8. Wow, what a damn honest post Al. Your strength amazes me almost as much as Miss D’s does.
    I sometimes use humor to deal with the stupidity of my alcoholism career, it’s okay we all know it’s not funny to you. I’m so sorry that alcoholism has reached into your life like the fucking grim reaper, I wish I could take all the pain of it out of your, Miss D.’s and your son’s life(and all of your loved ones also)but I can’t damn it. I hate alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, I hate pain especially in one’s that are as intelligent as you are. Sigh…

    • Thanks so much, Bats,

      Yeah, every once in a while i squeeze out a serious post. Doesn’t mean the whole blog is changing directions, though. Sometimes humor is what’s needed and other times not so much. It’s all about the balance.

      Thanks for patronizing me, babe,

      Al K Hall

      • It’s all about the fun in the long run, isn’t it. If drinking interferes with the fun (as was my case) then get rid of the drink and keep the fun.

        Thanks for patronizing me, babe,

        Al K Hall

  9. Wow, what emotion in here. The thing about it is, I understand. I’ve never tried it when drinking and mainly because I never have pills in my house. Especially tylenol because as a true alcoholic, I knew people who drank, took tylenol for hanging over and wrecked their livers. So long time ago I made the choice to quit taking tylenol as a pain reliever instead of quitting alcohol.
    I felt everything you went through on this post, so many times before I went to prison, I felt like ending it all. Especially in a drunken haze. The same haze you were in, I imagine when hiding the pill bottles, with the blurred effect, I imagine.
    Today, my recovery is slow, it feel like. I don’t go to AA or sing the praises of it yet. I do go to a group called Wellbriety on Friday nights that works for me. It is culturally based, so I don’t know if that’s why I feel better there than all the chanting at AA that truthfully kind of scares me and puts polygamists in mind. At Wellbriety we know we are sober but we are healing from the inside out also. Kind of like, we know we’re sober, now we have to get well. There are a lot of people out there with sobriety but still not healed and acting the same as when they drank. Dry drunks, my step dad was one. We also say, “Hello, my name is Dana and I’m in recovery…”. Plus there’s food! So I am thankful to Miss D for pointing me this way, I am here. My name is Dana and I am in recovery…

    • Dana! Babe!

      Welcome to the Bar None!

      Pull up a chair, put your feet on the table and what can i get you to drink? (Non-alcoholic, of course, because i know you’re as dry as i).

      Yeah, i know i shouldn’t have had the Tylenol in the house. Miss Demeanor never liked my having it but i figured it was ok if i used the Tylenol only to sleep and aspirin if i had a hangover. As i was a binge drinker and not a daily drinker, i only had a severe hangover about once a month so i ate Tylenol a lot lore than aspirin and i like the Tylenol because i could use it as a mild sleeping pill.

      i was sorry to hear you went through the same shit i did and i’m glad you were able to put an end to it, as well. As for AA, i’m a very big fan, ironically enough because i hate organized religion. i’m thinking AA here in “Yeaman” must be very different than AA in the States because there is talk of a higher power, but that’s a rather vague, personal concept the other members leave up to you. The word “God” is rarely mentioned. AA here is an active process and i like it because it’s full of shit to DO, not just sitting back and waiting for faith to do somthing for you. Here in Yeaman, AA is very much about healing your entire self; for example, this week i realized that when i was still drinking, i had a hard time distinguishing between the ‘real’ me and my instincts. i thought they were one and the same because they were my instincts so that had to mean i was like that. It’s only recently i’ve learned there are good and bad instincts and i have to nurture the positive ones and recognize the negative instincts as soon as they arise and channel them elsewhere.

      i think the bottom line of this is that there’s no such thing as a good or bad recovery program. The best recovery program is the one that works for you.

      Thanks for the visit and i hope to see you around more as time goes on. i’ve linked your website on my homepage, so hopefully one or two people will find your blog through this one.

      Hello, my name is Al K Hall and i’m an alcoholic who’s fucking glad you’re patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

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