Elle Severe Presents

What It’s Like To Quit Drinking, Too

In Authors, Life, Musings, One Beer In, Past Loves on August 22, 2014 by Pabby MFNP


Last August I celebrated my 10th anniversary of sobriety. The year before that I had a nice question and answer session with myself about my sobriety. It was something of a hit, relatively speaking. If you have not read it, please feel free to read it here before you read this.

Q: Well, congratulations on 11 years. How has it been going since we last spoke?
A: They say the 10th year is the hardest but I got through it okay. Just kidding. The first year was the hardest and without a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever done, but then after that, I would have to say that it got progressively easier. For the most part.

Q: The ten year anniversary was kind of a big deal as it was a full decade and represented over 25% of your life. But I would imagine that 11 is not a big deal after you’ve knocked down 10.
A: Yes, it’s not really a big deal now. I try not to think about it too much. I used to have nightmares that I slipped and then I’d have to start the count all over again. I used to celebrate every anniversary and spend the whole day doing anything and everything that I wanted to do. Gambling, Six Flags, pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Basically spending it like it was like my last day on Earth.  I’d even celebrate it like girls in their 20’s celebrate their birthday months.  But now that I’m almost 40, just like them, “I can’t even.”  Also,I eventually started dedicating my weekends to my kids and I would start to feel guilty leaving them behind. Then they’d find out I was doing fun stuff and get pissed. On another note, in the beginning, I expected some kind of parade to be thrown in my honor which never came. But now I treat it like birthdays; if cake is involved and even if I buy and eat said cake by myself while crying, that is good enough for me.

Q: Oh God, I love cake. Thank God you don’t have to quit that. Did you have any setbacks or did you come close to having a drink at all?
A: No, not really. During the Superbowl two years ago, I was in Vegas and I paid like $100 for an all you can eat, all you can drink Superbowl party. There was a long line for the food and then once you got through, it wasn’t even all that good. We also got there too late to get a good seat near a TV and we had to sit on chairs that were these big saddles like they were on a horse. The cheap bastard in me came out and I said this is a GD rip off. Then the cheap bastard in me thought “if you still drank, you could get your money’s worth”. But I didn’t really consider it because I have come too f’ing far to stop now. But my mind wandered: What if I did drink one more time? Who would know? Couldn’t I just stop all over again like I did last time? But I would know, and I have a very good feeling that if I were ever to start drinking again, everyone would know and it would be even harder to quit.

Q: This reminds me of when you quit smoking in the early 90’s.
A: Yes, it was exactly like that. One day, I got fed up with smoking and realized it was terrible for me so I up and quit. I went several months without it. Then one day I got bored and said, “Well I quit before so I’ll be able to quit again.”
Q: Except the next time you went to quit, it was much harder right?
A: Yes, much harder. I ended up wishing I had never started up again. It took becoming super broke in college and having to choose between food and cigarettes and anything else I needed. Food won.

Q: Wow, you quit drinking and smoking? You have a lot of will power for someone who is always putting up Facebook posts from the Wendy’s Late Night drive thru window.
A: Hahahahaha. I’m human, alright? In any case, whenever I have been tasked with quitting something, it always seems to be the exact right time. I would stumble and stumble and never learn from my mistakes until one day I would finally wake up and say, “You know what, jackass? It’s about time you quit.”

Q: Logic rarely comes into play in situations like this. Is it true that admitting you have a problem is the first step?
A: For me being open to the idea that I might have a problem was the first step. I had spent so long telling myself that nothing was wrong because I always handled my business and I never put myself or others in danger but then the blackouts became more frequent and that was that.

Q: I remember blackouts. Those could be scary.
A: Yes, for sure. But part of me really enjoyed hearing about my adventures the next day. I’d always be terrified at first but then it would be exciting. I’d hear things and be like, “Oh wow, I did that? I said that? Oh man, I am one funny, fascinating, crazy motherfucker!”. Oddly enough, even though they were bad for me, I miss those kinds of experiences. Sure, knowing where you’re going to sleep and where you’re going to wake up certainly has its merits but there is something to be said for handing over the keys to someone else.

Q: That was a poor choice of words if I ever saw it.
A: Not literally. Except for about three early exceptions in my early 20’s, I never allowed myself near keys if I knew I was going to get drunk. Getting f’d up was something I planned way in advance. The extent to which I would plan things makes me think that perhaps I could have worked for NASA.

Q: Hahahahahaha. Oh. You were serious. Well, while you’re on the subject, what else do you miss about drinking?
A: I miss the feeling of waking up and going through the day knowing that there is going to be a reward later involving alcohol. I miss the 4th and 5th gears of having fun. I miss the simple act of unpacking a case of beer and loading it into the fridge one by one, lining it up perfectly then sitting back and admiring the view.

Q: But then eventually the beers would be taken out and the beautiful view would be gone.
A: That is just like you to bring up something like that, but yes, that is one thing that I don’t miss. Eventually the beers would go one by one and no matter how many you buy, it never seems to be enough.

Q: That is sad. Take me through becoming open to the idea that you might have a problem. Who did you discuss this with?
A: I talked it over with a good friend who was about to get her PhD and she was super helpful. She asked me a bunch of questions and challenged me to question my beliefs and my priorities. At the end of the conversation, she let me know her verdict and it was just like the scene in the Matrix when Neo met the Oracle to find out from her if he was “The One.” But instead of being told I was not the One, she confirmed that I had a drinking problem. Also, she never said, “I’m sorry, kiddo, I really am. You have a good soul and I hate giving good people bad news”, but I always wished she did. I think it would have helped.

Q: I guess I should have known you would sneak the Matrix into this. So then what happened?
A: Then I started the long arduous task of retraining my mind and changing all of my habits. When I think back to how I was and how I am now, it feels like two completely different lives. I feel like two completely different people. Sadly, I like the other person much more and he really was a funny bastard. But in this life, I have so many more opportunities than I did in the other one and I don’t make my family and friends worry about me which may be the best thing you can give someone with the exception of cannoli from Mike’s Pastry.

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Past Loves of My Life, Part III: The Wonder Years, 1984 – 1987

In Life, Past Loves, TV Addict on September 25, 2012 by Elle Severe

 

Alright, alright, all 6 of my fans have spoken, so, back by popular demand: Past Loves, Part 3, The Wonder Years.  I’m doing my best to keep this chronological but be aware that the latter part of the 80’s is a hazy blur of pot smoke and raging hormones, so it might get messy.  Also, please note that this is just part 1 of Part III – I was very, very busy in the late 80’s.

Let’s just jump right in: Don Johnson.  Okay, that’s it.  Done.  No? You need me to expound? Welllll, if you insist:

Do not make direct eye contact or your pants will fall off.

This guy….man oh man, this guy…I cannot tell you what he did to me.  He made me ache down there.  The stubble, the Versace, the come-f*ck-me eyes, the ex girlfriends, the children out of wedlock, the drinking problem…all combined to make the most sexy piece of ass to ever come out of Wichita, Kansas.   I love, love, LOVED this guy.  Want to know a secret? I still do.

 

Sleeveless pastel t-shirt? Yes please.

1984 saw the rise of a little show set in Miami called Miami Vice.  The show had a pulsating soundtrack that was rhythmically linked to my hormones; the second the opening notes of the theme music began throbbing, so did my lady flower.  This show was edgy, had hot music, crime lords, drug cartels and sexy cops.  It was considered to be a ground-breaking show.  It heavily utilized the colors aqua and pink and caused common-folk to know how to properly pronounce Versace.  Don Johnson starred as scruffy-but-sexy, emotionally damaged Sonny Crockett and he set me on fire.  No matter where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with, I was home on Friday night by 10pm to watch this show.  I didn’t care if people thought I wasn’t cool.  Those idiots didn’t even know what cool was.   Cool was Sonny F*cking Crockett.  Who knows, Miami Vice may have saved me from being on an 80’s version of this show:

 

Thank you Sexy Late 80’s Don Johnson.

My walls were plastered with Miami Vice posters.

Find me something sexier. Go ahead, I officially challenge you.

He made smoking seem sexy.

This on the wall opposite my bed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night…sigh…

His character had a pet alligator named Elvis.  I had a pet goldfish named Elvis. See how connected we were?

Don just oozed sexuality out of every pore of his beautiful body.  I used to wonder if I produced enough saliva to lick his entire body.  I think I could have done it.  I loved his gravelly voice and the way he spoke, his eyes, his lips…I loved every inch of him…what I didn’t love was when he released a single called “Heartbeat”, it was pretty awful.  A touch embarrassing for everyone involved.  The video was even more upsetting; I actually don’t want to talk about this anymore…let’s just focus on the positive! Don Johnson is a sexy mothereffer.  And I maintain that he still is to this day.  I’m so happy that he is enjoying a resurgence.  He’s actually a fairly decent actor.  Have you ever seen The Long Hot Summer? Watch both the original with Paul Newman or the remake with Donnie, either way you can’t go wrong.

Rumor has it that he is packing some serious heat.

Let’s take a quick break here and cool off.  Or maybe not…I’d like to treat you, my faithful readers, to a little somethin’ somethin’ I like to call:

Fifty Shades of Pastel

I was 17 and I lived in Coral Gables, Florida, skinny and blonde, of course.  Just a nice, normal, sweet neighbor kid hired by the actor Don Johnson to be a nanny to his son Jesse for the summer.  I would spend the hot, humid, long days in days in  my red bikini or my white cover up tending to little Jesse.  I was endearing and young and unintentionally sexy as only an innocent 17 year old girl can be.  Unbeknownst to me, Don would watch me from time to time and over the course of that lazy, hazy, long, hot summer he fell in love in with me…but our love was forbidden because I was 17 and he was 38, so he did nothing.  And then one day I could feel him watching me, and I turned and saw him and even though in real life it would be creepy, in fake life it was super sexy and in his eyes I saw all I needed to know, and so in slow motion I moved toward him, and as I walked I slowly began removing my bikini and as I got closer I started to speak but he put his finger to my lips and whispered “shhhhhh” and thus began our Summer of Forbidden Love.  We touched and teased and tempted one another.  We fell deeply in love and even deeper in lust.  Like all things, it had to end.  I had been accepted to Harvard and was leaving in early September to start my new life in Cambridge. The thought of leaving him was unbearable…from the moment I stepped on that plane I knew my life was over.  I ached for him.  Nothing would ever be the same.  When my new roommate asked me how I spent my summer I couldn’t answer her, I choked on my tears and I said “I just nannied, what’d you do” and drifted off into fantasy land as she prattled on about summer on Nantucket and getting groped by some Kennedy cousin.  My classmates seemed so young and naive to me; after all, I was a woman, I was no typical freshman.  I had been taught in the fine art of love making by a skilled master.  Standing at a kegger with Harvard blueblood frat boys seemed so vapid to me.   I missed him fiercely but we ceased all communication.  He wanted me to “move on”, to “experience college” and “have a real boyfriend”…but every once in a while, usually around the exact time when my heart couldn’t take another second without him, an envelop would arrive in the mail…and I would stand there in the foyer of my dorm, suddenly shivering and chilled by both the Winter air and the promise of what was inside that envelop…I would hold that envelop in my mitten-ed hands as long as I could stand it…shaking, knowing…my roommate would call to me “Elle, Elle, are you okay”, but she would sound distant and lost to me and I would mumble, “Yeah” and then I would take off my mittens and I would fumble to open the envelop, scared to read it and scared not to read it, knowing all the while that whatever it said was going to ruin me for the foreseeable future…and it would always be the same; one line meant to invoke that summer, that time, those feelings, those touches, those private, dark, beautiful intimate moments between us…”I miss the evening sun glowing on your naked body” or “I can still smell you” or “I remember I licked my finger and ran it down your spine and you trembled”,  “Your wet body shimmered in the pool that night” or “how do I stop thinking about you, do you ever think about me?”…and in that moment, I shake from head to toe, both from the memories of the ecstasy, to the pain of the loss.  Then I run out of my dorm and into the Yard and I sink into the snow knees first and then I collapse…I roll around and I make a snow angel and all the while I’m laughing and crying and hysterical and in pain because for those 3 short months, I loved him, deeply; I lived him, but oh how I loved him…Oh Donnie, I miss you so…

Take that EL James, you friggin “cheeky” fraud.  You’re not the only one who can write shitty high school porn.  Moving on.

Whenever I see a pic of DJ I want to send him a letter:

Dear Don,

Do you like pina coladas? The dunes on the Cape? Do you like makin’ love at midnight? Gettin’ caught in the rain? Me too. Call me.

Love you!

Elle

Like a fine wine, he is aging beautifully.

He recently showed up on my most favorite show ever, Eastbound and Down, and  I almost fell out of my chair.  It reminded me how much I missed him. Oh my God.  He is still a tasty treat, albeit an older tasty treat, but a tasty treat nonetheless.

Hi Baby, You still look so good to me.

Speaking of Eastbound and Down, I am embarrassed to say that I would totally do it with Kenny Powers, even though I think we all know he’s lousy in bed.  I wouldn’t tell anyone I had done it with him and if asked, I would deny.

Best Kenny Powers quote: “Work drugs”. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that very same thought.

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Past Loves: Whitebread Edition

In Past Loves on July 31, 2012 by WhiteBread

I will preface this post by telling you all that I am, in fact, a weirdo.

Bob Saget

From Full House to America’s Funniest Home Videos, Bob Saget became the last person I saw/heard before going to sleep most nights as a child.  Rumor has it he permeated my brain so dramatically during my formative years, that the first word I ever uttered was “Bob”.  Maybe it was his wholesome family values, or his plaid shirts and corny jokes, or perhaps it was that fact that I secretly could tell his Philly swag equaled a very dirty side.  Whatever it was, Bob did it for me.

The impact of my Bob love definitely stretched into my later years as well.  Up until my current boyfriend, nearly all of the men I’ve dated and/or slept with beared some resemblance to Bob.  This fact proves once and for all that not only is he a tough crush to get over, but that I’m probably the weirdest fucking person on the planet.

 

Nomah

Nomar Garciaparra

What?  I’ve got a thing for noses.

In 1997, Nomar not only entered the baseball scene as the young phenom, shortstop for the Boston Red Sox but he broke into my young, impressionable heart as well.  For years following, my unhealthy obsession with Nomar continued to grow.  Going to countless card shows to add to my collection, pouring over numerous magazine and newspaper articles, memorizing all of his statistics and trying to catch a glimpse of him during Interleague play, I attempted to learn all about this man I admired.  I furiously defended him among groups of friends, family and strangers throughout all of his injuries, steroid rumors and OCD tendencies, and simply could not get enough of him.  The man was a saint to me (remember when he saved that woman who was drowning!), and I was in love.

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Past Loves of My Life, Part 2: 1980 to 1985, The Awakening

In Life, Past Loves on July 7, 2012 by Elle Severe

As the 80’s dawned I was a young lady of 8, my tastes were changing and evolving; I was growing up.  Sure, I still watched CHiPs, but things were different now.  I still liked Ponch and Danny Zuko and Vinnie Barbarino, but I didn’t LIKE like them anymore.  I had begun to discover a whole new crop of boys and men that set me afire. The early 80’s began slowly,  but momentum was building and by the late 80’s I was knee deep in lovers.  It was a brutal time for me, juggling all those men.  I didn’t want to break any hearts, but this was my time.  I inherently knew that I would never have this many boyfriends again and that I needed to enjoy them, but that it was strictly a love ‘em and leave ‘em situation.  Let’s begin:

People often wonder where I developed my love of facial hair, well, wonder no more…behold, Mr. Tom Selleck.

Free Mustache Ride! Step right up!

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Past Loves of My Life, Part 1: 1975 to 1980, First Loves

In Life, Past Loves, Random on June 30, 2012 by Elle Severe

A recent work discussion regarding ex boyfriends and former lovers led me to examine my own past loves.  Who were those lucky gentlemen? Well, the list is long and varied and spans three decades.  It’s full of heartache and heartbreak….untimely deaths, beautiful faces, amazing bodies, and plenty of sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Without further ado, I present to you my first loves.

My very first crush was at 7 years old.  Back then I was all about the California Highway Patrol.  CHiPS began in 1977 but I was far too young to be watching this show in ’77.

Vroom vroom…

By 1979, however, I was more than ready.  While all the other second grade girls loved Jon, the innocent looking, blonde, sexy, California boy, I was pining away for his swarthy partner: Office Frank Poncharello.  Ponch was awesome.  He was olive-skinned with  beautiful thick, dark hair; he  had a super white smile and looked crazy sexy on his motorcycle.  I wanted to ride on his motorcycle with him and feel the wind whip through my pigtails.  Really take a long hard look as this fine late 1970’s specimen.

Yeah I’m looking at you Ponch.

 

1977 also saw the advent of a little romance show called The Love Boat.  Let me just state for the record that this is quite possibly the best show ever.  Fantasy Island runs a close second, for sure, but The Love Boat was where it was at.  As an avid secret viewer of The Love Boat, it became my only point of reference in terms of what sex was.   From what I could tell, sex entailed making out, then falling on to the small cruise-ship-sized bed and then a combo of making out/rolling around on aforementioned bed.  By the end of the show the new couple would leave The Love Boat with their arms entwined, all smiley and head off into the real world to get married.  This coincided nicely with my long-term plans for old Ponch and I: we would make out, fall on the bed, roll around, go get married.  At the time it was a solid plan.

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